A Missionary Experience in Canada


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President Thomas S. Monson

When I served as president of the Canadian Mission from 1959 to 1962, we had a small, struggling unit in Kitchener, Ontario — a city of perhaps 80,000 people. The district leader, who was a missionary, wrote a letter to me at mission headquarters and said, "Dear President Monson: We have tracted out the city of Kitchener. Please tell us where to go next."

I penned a letter back to him: "Dear Elder Maughn: Happy to hear that you have tracted out the city of Kitchener. Now if you will teach and baptize the people in Kitchener, that will be your next assignment."

He took me literally, and he and his companion went street by street and house by house.

I have often told the missionaries, "Be your best selves. Do not try to be anyone else." Elder Maughn and his companion called at the home of one of the most noted pediatricians in Canada, Sigfried Koegler. As they knocked on the door, Dr. Koegler answered, and Elder Maughn from Drummond, Montana, said, "Howdy!"

Dr. Koegler had never heard the word "howdy" in his whole life. And then Elder Maughn said, "I would like to show you a picture of my bay mare." He reached in his pocket and took out a picture of his horse. He almost cried because he loved and missed that horse so much. Then he invited Dr. Koegler to come out to Drummond, Montana, if he ever went west.

I heard that same wonderful Dr. Koegler say that it was that disarming approach of a humble missionary with a sweet testimony which brought him to a position of inquiring further into the Church. He and his family all became members in Kitchener, and faithful and true have they ever been.

President Thomas S. Monson shared this missionary experience at a BYU Dev. March 10, 1998