When you listen to people talk about missionaries for the church, what kind of images come to mind? Let’s be honest. The white shirt and tie are what most people imagine under that little black name tag. Try a search on google images; you’ll most likely come up with a flood of white shirts and ties with a token few pictures of sisters. The scales are slowly tipping in favor of the women serving missions. On one recent evening in Belmont, Massachusetts, a group of young women in the Arlington Ward gathered to listen to a panel of nine incredible women speak about their missions. Each of these women was prepared to answer questions in four categories: something about the culture in the area where they served, an embarrassing moment, their best piece of clothing they wore (bless the denim jumper!), and a spiritual experience.
The young women were mesmerized. A woman who served in Poland wore a traditional hat she brought home. One showed her banana sticker collection from her time in Ecuador. And we enjoyed chocolates from a woman who served in France. I made each of the girls a mission tag and gave them each a “pretend mission call” to places that I know women serving in now. They were really excited to see where they were called to serve. The women on the missionary panel were amazing and inspiring. The experiences they shared made the night unforgettable. But here’s the thing: The impact sister missionaries are having on the world is huge. And the impact this evening had on the young women in attendance means that the next generation of women to serve missions will be bigger and better. Look for the google images search page to be flooded with skirts and dresses in the near future.