Bill is the ward mission leader; it’s challenging for him spiritually in a way his previous callings have not been. Recently in our region (I don’t know, maybe the whole church), there was a day set aside for people to invite their less active and non-Mormon friends. Bill worried about the logistics and the talk he would give. It was actually a nice Sunday meeting. The spirit was surprisingly strong (surprising to me, a skeptic).

We’ve prayed these last few months for our inactive children, hoping that someone might approach them—reach them—love them into a faith in God. Yesterday as I talked to Jessie, our beautiful daughter, she laughingly said something about me sending men from her ward to find her. I didn’t; I wouldn’t. Like I said, I’m a skeptic about proselyting efforts. I’m uncomfortable forcing my beliefs on others.

She said they were really nice and she was friendly. Her neighbors across the street have been very good to her and eschewed the sometimes sadly traditional practice of avoiding the different, so she feels pretty safe with them. She told me how the deacons came to her house on fast Sunday and she gave them some money. Then she said “I’ve even gone to church.”

Well. You could have knocked me over with a feather. She laughed and said, “yeah, they had this special Sunday and my neighbors’ 16 year old daughter officially invited me and I said ‘sure!’” She said this young woman was so excited when Jessie walked into the church. She enjoyed the meeting and felt comfortable in the ward. Maybe she’ll go again.

Jessie was raised in the church, but somehow we failed to teach her the gospel in a way that resonated with her. Yesterday, I told her “sis, you know you lived with God before you were born, right?” “Yes,” she replied.

“And you know you are here for a reason? And that you’re going back to God when you die?” “Yes” she laughed. “Okay, that was your first discussion, we’ll move on to more next week.” And I laughed, too.

Then I told her that I was convinced she was in my life for a reason, that she was a wonderful person who did much good and I was so glad she was part of my life. She seemed a bit surprised. Bill was absolutely delighted when I said, “guess what? Jessie went to church that Sunday!” We’re not going overboard with our hopes; we’re just loving her. As one ages, things that seemed important are not so much anymore. She’s a good person. That’s what matters.