Advice to a Convert

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Disowned by her Parents

Mary Jones, not her real name, is a relatively unknown, unranked student—body member of BYU. She is now a returned missionary. I first met her in the mission field after she had served just three months. She was a convert of less than a year. After the usual "I'm pleased to meet you," I said, "How are things going?"

She said, "Pretty well." Now, when missionaries tell me things are going pretty well, I know they are not going very well.

I said, "Is there something I can help you with?

She answered, "Oh no, everything is going pretty well."

I said, "Tell me what is keeping it from going very well."

She said, with her chin quivering, and responding from my insistence, "Well, I've been in the mission field three months. I've been a member of the Church for one year. During the three months I have been in the mission field I have not had one letter from anyone. When I joined the Church my parents disowned me. They want nothing to do with me. Elder Ashton, what can I do?"

The only thing I could think to suggest to her at that time was, "Even though your parents have disowned you and won't write to you, do me a favor and write them every week. Write without fail; write without response; write without feelings."

She is home from her mission attending school here and doing very well. Just the other day she greeted me and said, "Elder Ashton, I want you to know that my Mom and Dad are writing to me."

Experience shared by Marvin J. Ashton at a BYU Devotional., Nov. 6, 1984