Dear President Albright,

I had just been transferred to my new area in North Carolina.  I was excited to meet my new companion and be able to counsel with him about how the work was going. We drove back to our area and one of the first lessons we taught was to an amazing part-member family.

The husband had been a lifelong member but had gotten involved in with the wrong crowd in his teens and ended up drifting away from the Church. The missionaries were going through the ward roster one day and felt impressed to go to his home to see how he was doing. He invited them inside to meet his wife of 2 years, her two children and a new daughter of their own. The wife was not a member but had recently been asking her husband about the LDS Church because she felt that it might be good for their new family.

When I first met them, they had been meeting with the missionaries for about 2 months. They were the happiest family and were making leaps and strides in the gospel. They mentioned that they wanted to be baptized, but circumstances always came up on Sunday that kept them from attending church. We taught them about the commandments and helped them prepare to make covenants with God.  

Two weeks after I arrived, an unexpected tragedy occurred. The husband was an adventure seeker and always wanted to know where he could get his next thrill. One beautiful Sunday, he took his beloved motorcycle out on the back roads for a ride. He was going too fast around a corner, drifted into the other lane, and was hit head on by a car and killed instantly.

As anyone can imagine, this was a devastating loss to deal with for his young wife.  Many people were offering his widow comfort, support and hope, but nothing would satisfy her emptiness. My companion and I went over the day after to express our love for her and to share our testimonies with her about the Plan of Salvation and life after death. She later told us, “You missionaries saw me at my worst, but you lifted me to be my best.”

The Plan of Salvation truly brings happiness, joy, peace and comfort in the hardest of times.  People who do not understand the gospel often feel lost in times of trouble, but true and lasting peace are only found in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. As the wife continued on the path of righteousness, she was eventually baptized with her two older children. She is now preparing to enter into the House of the Lord to receive the fullness of God’s blessings intended for his children on earth– being sealed to her family for time and all eternity.


Heath Andreasen


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