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Stories: Tribute

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Tribute 11 Aug 2002
This story is a Tribute to a missionary that changed my mission and my life. I really doubt that he understands the difference that he made as a matter of fact I know that he felt very inadequate during our companionship. I guess I should tell you a little about myself first so you can understand what this missionary had to deal with. I was a missionary that wasn't really sure why he was there. I really didn't want to be in Hungary at first and all I could see was the long two-year wait in front of me. I am a very stubborn and opinionated person and for that reason I knew I had to go on a mission. There was no chance I was going to let my family and friends down. In the MTC I met a great bunch of guys and I think two really contributed to getting me into the country. I would have to give a big thanks to Elder Simpson and Lumsden. When I got in to the country I realized I might have bitten off more than I could chew. I was a bit worried but knew I didn't want to fail my family. I'll be honest with you all, after meeting my trainer for the first time I thought for sure I was doomed. He looked terrible. I thought he might fall over dead at any time. What I didn't realize was that he looked that was because of the long hours and love he has for the Hungarian people and for the Lord. As we began our companionship I could tell he was excited to teach me. Unfortunately I wasn't in a learning mood. He tried to teach me a door approach and then we went finding. he did a few doors for an example and then he told me I was on the next door. I told him no way! He knocked on the door and an old woman came out. She looked at us and I looked at him and didn't say a word. As she was about to close the door my trainer told the woman that I had come all the way from America and had been learning to speak their language. He asked her if she would just listen to me for a minute so I could tell her why I had come all this way. She stood there, and so did I. After a minute my trainer apologized to the woman and bid here a good day. I was upset with him for trying to make me do what I didn't want to do and he was disappointed that I didn't try. Needless to say I was a greeny from hell! As time went on I found myself getting up upset with my trainer for staying in appointments too long and not getting home on time. I was upset with anything that didn't make the days move faster. I figured there was no way anyone could be talking about important stuff for that long especially in another language! Then I met an investigator named Abraham Jozsef. My trainer was so excited about Jozsef and the progress that he was making. I have to admit even I enjoyed the discussions with Jozsef and I had no idea what was being said. There was just something about him that was, “Golden”. Well Jozsef got baptized and was on his way to great things when we got the call that sent my trainer to another area. I had been with him for two months and well I thought I had learned quit a bit about what not to do. I was wrong! As my mission went on I heard his name mentioned everywhere and I learned how highly he was thought of by both the missionaries and the Hungarian people. Then one day I could speak the language. A miracle had happened over night and now I could talk to the Hungarian people and understand what they were trying to tell me. I soon understood that my trainer had shown me the right things to do I just didn't understand. I learned that those long hours of terrible discussions weren't about having fun and shooting the breeze. They were about helping people to understand the gospel and doing it in a language that can be very confusing at times. About half way through my mission my Trainer went home. Before he left he said his goodbyes and apologized for not doing a better job. I told him he did a good job but I still had no idea how much he had taught me. As my mission went on I thought more and more about his example and the things he did and said. I realized that he had taught me one of the most important things in my life. A mission is about caring for people. It is a selfless act of kindness and mercy. Being on a mission isn't about the weekly numbers or who baptizes the most. It's about loving our brothers and sisters all around the world and trying to help them understand something that be know is wonderful and helpful in our lives. Because of my trainer I was able to look past all the missionary competition and care for those that needed our help the most. I spent a lot of my time with inactive members. Those who felt hurt and abandoned by the missionaries and the church. I met and befriended people that I would have never thought twice about before. I found myself staying in discussions just a little bit longer so I could help them understand the principals of the church. I realized that I was doing many of the things, which I had thought were so horrible at first and then I realized why I had changed my mind about those things. I loved the Hungarians! I loved my fellow missionaries and the Lord. The Hungarians were no longer people in a foreign land, they were my family. That is what makes the difference in a missionary. That is what my trainer taught me. Kenton Worthington was a righteous missionary who was blessed by the lord in many ways that others are not. He was an amazing speaker of the language, he understood that the people are what are important and not the numbers and he was blessed with an understanding of the gospel that I hope to one day achieve. He was a friend to everyone and would give you anything he had. He loved the Hungarians and his fellow missionaries absolutely and will be blessed in heaven for his obedience and desire to serve. Elder Worthington saved my mission, and has since gone on to counsel me in many other areas of my life. I have a great love and respect for him and I know he will go on to help many other people in the gospel. It is my hope that every missionary can have a trainer or companion like Elder Worthington because it will change you. It will make you a better person. I know that Elder Worthington has influenced thousands of people and the number grows everyday. Every person I am kind to or take a little extra time with is an influence of his example and love for others and me. Elder Worthington is a great man of God and I know he was my blessing on my mission, I would not be the person I am today if it was not for him. Thank you Kenton for all you have done and sacrificed for the Hungarian people and me. Your companion, Elder Wardell
Marc Allen Wardell Send Email
 
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