Elder Peper

My Mission Experience

Lemonade from Lemons

It is amazing to me how diligent the Mission President and his wife are in communicating with the families of the missionaries in their area.  Riley has only been in the OK OKC mission for about 5 weeks, and we have received at least 5 letters from either President Gee or Sister Gee, maybe even more than 5.  I haven’t posted all of them, but I would like to post an excerpt from a letter we received from Sister Gee tonight.  There is a letter within her letter and also a newspaper article.  Sister Gee begins:

With permission I want to share a letter that Elder Palmer sent to President Gee this week.  It shows that lemonade can come from lemons:

Dear President Gee,

I have a story to tell you.  The story started about a month ago.  Elder Empey and I were having a bad day.  People were not receptive and things weren’t going to plan.  So we decided we could walk 3 miles home for lunch or eat downtown.  We chose to stay in town and eat.  We went to the place called Happy Days Cafe and both ordered a big hamburger.  It took a long time to make it and when we got them the manager wasn’t too nice.  So I eat my burger after saying a prayer.  The cook was standing a few feet away from me and he said, “You don’t know that I spit in your burger, do you!”

We stopped eating our burgers and I was trying not to explode.  We got up and left.  We continued our day by going to the next members house on our schedule.  I told him how bad our day had gone.  It so happens that he is a cop.  His son, who is a marine, was there and they went to talk to the manager.  The manager said, “I will give them free burgers if they come back.”  (Right, like that’s going to happen.)  So the member got mad and eventually his brother, who is the deputy fire chief found out and he got mad and wrote this news article to the editor, which eventually made it to the newspaper.  After that everyone was talking to us.  The next day the manager of the apartments came up to us and gave us free donuts and a copy of the news article.  She said I just want you to know that I don’t feel that way towards you.  She was very nice.  Then throughout the day everyone was waving at us.  Pretty neat.  the Lord works in mysterious ways.  I think that good came from it.  People actually are starting to respect us, even in our ward.  I still love Ponca City.  No matter how hard people try to stop us or put us down, this train ain’t slowin’.  The church is true and there’s nothing that anyone can do or say that’s going to stop that.  I love this gospel and am thankful to serve my mission in Oklahoma.

Here is the article (published in The Ponca City Newspaper):

Everyone in our community knows who they are.  They are two young men in suits seen riding bicycles, or walking door to door, trying to explain to anyone who is willing to listen, of their message of Jesus Christ.

Another goal is to try to dispel any misconceptions of their beliefs, due to those in the media who have erroneously depicted them and their message in a bad light by using false and misleading facts to distort those beliefs.  They are not religious zealots or extremists.

They are two young men, 19-20 years of age, sacrificing two years of their lives away from their loving families to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, as they believe it in their hearts to be true, to those having a desire to listen.

They are doing this at a time when most young men this age are going to college to sow their oats and to party until their parent’s money runs out.

So why would someone in this community, who is a cook at a well-known restaurant, be so despicable and full of hate, have the gall to show their disdain to these young men by spitting on their food then brag to them after they had eaten several bites, stating, “You didn’t even notice that I spit on your burgers, did you?”
How many of us would have had the courage to leave without causing a scene as did these two young men?  My question is this…was this person taught to hate Mormons by his parents as he was growing up?  Was this preached in the church he attended?  What really motivated him to act in such a despicable way?

I love this community I live in and appreciate the many different faiths available to us all.

Maybe we all somehow had a small part to play in this horrible incident if we looked deep into our hearts.

May we all try to be more vigilant and refrain from speaking despairingly of other faiths in hopes of discouraging this type of hatred in the future.

My prayer is that we all try to be more compassionate to our neighbors, no matter what their faith, and treat your fellow man as you would want to be treated.

Remember these words:  People will forget what you said.  People will forget what you did, but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel! (author unknown).  (End of article.)

Well, there is a little taste of life in the mission field.  You can tell we have great missionaries.  Keep praying for us.  We had a good week for baptisms in spite of the storm. Have a great week!

Love,  President and Sister Gee

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February 1, 2010 - Posted by | Letters from Mission President/Wife, Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. I love this blog. Thank you for doing this. I was very touched by the newspaper article. What a great writer and human being. What a touching story. I love seeing our missionaries out and about and always make a point of waving to them when I drive by. They’re so young and vulnerable, and are doing the most powerful work on earth!

    Comment by Denise | February 2, 2010 | Reply


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