Often misunderstood and sometimes disregarded, their faith in God’s love reassures them and instills the strength to carry on.
Sister Carissa Hoy and Sister Natalie Lybbert, both 19, are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They say they’re called to teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve those who need it.
During an interview in Wolfville on Aug. 12, just two days before Hoy’s transfer to New Glasgow, they said they like to do a lot of volunteer work.
“I know how much happiness this has brought me and if I can help just one person gain that same sort of happiness and those same feelings, then that’s enough,” said Hoy, a native of Edmonton, Alberta.
People will often say to them ‘you’re out recruiting’ but Hoy said that’s not what it’s about.
“We don’t come to force anything on people. We just come to share what we love and give people that same opportunity to know that they have a Father in heaven that loves them and see how that can change and affect their lives,” Hoy said.
She said it’s nice to know that you can help people. That’s her favourite part. She loves the relationships that are built with those she serves.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in the world that doesn’t benefit from a little love and service. It just touches me to know that I can help someone in a way that maybe they never thought they needed,” Hoy said.
It’s difficult when people aren’t the nicest in return but Hoy said she reminds herself that she loves them, no matter how they may feel toward her. Perhaps they’re having a bad day or maybe they don’t understand the purpose of Mormon missionaries and feel uncomfortable. Hoy said they don’t ever leave a situation being upset with someone.
“We love them and we want what’s best for them,” she said.
Hoy said there are definitely times when things people say to them is “food for thought.” There are lots of times when she has walked away from a conversation finding that she’s learned something about how she can improve her approach with people.
For Lybbert, she said the Gospel has blessed her family and life so much by bringing more peace into their home and giving them a great deal of comfort in times of trial.
“I just feel like its kind of my duty to share that. If you have something good, you want everyone to have that and that’s why I came on the mission,” the native of Raymond, Alberta, said.
She said they want people to know that they really care about them and that they’re here to serve and help change lives for the better. Their purpose is to help other people. Lybbert said the feeling that comes with knowing you’ve reached someone is indescribable.
“When someone has accepted that and come closer to Christ in any way, it’s such a great feeling,” Lybbert said. “It feels like we’re really making a difference.”
She said their duty is to share what they know and if someone doesn’t want to hear or isn’t ready to hear it, that’s up to them. They’ll move on to the next person who might be in need of an uplifting message.
They’ve never had their faith challenged by anyone’s reaction. Lybbert said sometimes she finds it a little sad because people don’t understand what they’re doing or who the Mormons are. She wishes she could explain it to them and help people understand why they’re there.