Sanpete missionaries can share
their stories on local website
By Robert Stevens
Oct. 26, 2017
FAIRVIEW—Tasked with bringing inactive LDS returned missionaries back into the fold, a live-at-home missionary in Fairview came up with a creative solution..
Elder Jack Pemberton, a live-at-home member-leader support missionary who is serving with his wife, Sister Charlet Pemberton, created http://www.SanpeteMissionaries.com, a website where returned missionaries from Sanpete County can share their stories as a personal reminders of the inspiration they experienced on their missions and as inspiration for others.
Pemberton says the idea was originally a way to get his foot in the door with the inactive returned missionaries living in the county—a way to get them to engage with him so he could offer them support as part of his mission duties.
“I just thought if we had a place for their stories, we could ask them to tell them, and it might help remind them of the miracles and wonderful things that happened during their missions,” Pemberton says.
While Pemberton says the website is serving its original purpose well, it has evolved into something with a broader use, which is providing a simple way for any local returned missionary to share his or her mission stories and personal experiences. In the same respect, it is a place for non-missionaries to read inspirational stories born of service to the LDS church.
Even if you aren’t a missionary, you might find the site interesting, Pemberton says.
“There are some fascinating stories,” he says. “Anyone, especially young men and young women who might be preparing for a mission, will find something of value on there with the tales of trials and triumph that are so common on these missions.”
One example of the sort of stories you will find on the site was posted by Elder Klinton Draper from his mission to Romania in 2002.
Draper tells the tale of how he and his companion had secured an Arabic Book of Mormon to give to a middle-eastern shop owner who told them he would meet them.
The shop owner never arrived, writes Draper, but as they were getting ready to leave, a Syrian family walked by and they took a chance and approached them.
The man of the family was interested in their teachings, wrote Draper, but the whole family was taking a real chance. They told him they wanted to be Christians, but if they ever went home, they would be stoned to death for converting.
Proceeding carefully, and with instruction from his area authorities, Draper and his companion had many visits with the family, but ultimately lost contact.
Draper later found out the family had been kicked out of Romania, accused of being spies and arrested. The family ended up split apart.
In the end, the Syrian family had been able to flee to Lebanon, and eventually were reunited and all baptized in church. The Syrian family are still refugees in Lebanon, and the father has had to travel to Europe to find work to support his wife and children.
Pemberton, who is retired, but who worked in the computer field for many years, coded and launched the site with no outside help.
He says the site is designed so a missionary can enter a story directly on the website. So far, 12 stories have been posted, and he expects many more to come.
For more information, contact Elder Jack Pemberton at 851-5226 or his wife, Sister Charlet Pemberton, at 851-5225.