spiderweb over water

Befriending Our Missionaries

Missionaries are more than just the name tags they wear; they are individuals who need support just like us.

When I returned home for the holidays last year, my family invited four missionaries over on Christmas Day: three that currently served in the ward, and one that had served in our ward previously. We had dinner, played games, and strengthened our relationships with each other. It was a night that brought joy to us all as we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.

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Missionaries are wonderful friends to have because they can help us with matters concerning both the Church and the world. Elder Richard H. Winkel of the Seventy talks about friendships in the article “Web of Friendship” published in the Liahona. Elder Winkel compares our connections with each other to the roots of redwood trees. He explains, “The interconnecting root systems are the secret of [the trees’] strength and teach us a great lesson. These magnificent giants simply could not make it alone. Without being connected to nearby trees, they would not survive.” This analogy applies to everyone, including missionaries, and it shows that these friendships with missionaries benefit not only us but the missionaries as well. 

When missionaries are serving their missions, they need support from people like us. Missionaries may feel like they are only where they are to serve without receiving anything back, but relationships should be reciprocal. Our relationships with the missionaries should show that we care about who they are, similar to the way they care for the individuals they serve. As we and they connect with each other, we will all be strengthened. Without such connections, we lack the ability to be interdependent. We simply cannot make it through life alone. Establishing these kinds of relationships will lessen our burdens and the burdens of the missionaries we spend time with.

Read Elder Richard H. Winkel’s article “Web of Friendship” to learn more about how good friendship can strengthen us and others.

Source: Liahona

—Taylor Lash, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Read Emily Cook’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “The Weekly Call: How Do I Support My Missionary?” to find out other ways to help our fellow missionaries.

Also check out the Gospel Living article “Quality Is More Important Than Quantity” for friendship advice.

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