A lot has happened in the world since Rebekah Patton left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Layton, Utah in October 2019. Because of Covid-19, missionaries around the world have had to self-quarantine and only reach out to and teach people via social media. So, for the last three weeks, Patton have stayed indoors, going outside only for exercise or groceries.
Being quarantined is not the only difficulty Patton has faced. She laughingly said, “On the third day of our quarantine it was kind of cool. That morning I was just chillin’ in my bed wondering when my life would begin. Then I noticed that the walls were wiggling, and my first thought was, ‘Why is it so windy in here?’” Then she realized they were having an earthquake.
As Becky faces challenges in the mission field, her parents, A.J. and Sylvia, share their feelings about overcoming hard times, “As it states in the scriptures, The Book of Mormon, that if you are in the service of your fellow man, then you are in the service of your God. When you serve God then blessings are in store.
We have noticed a heightened sense of spirituality in our home. We have been guided by the Spirit to make better decisions. When we have had challenges, whether it be at home, work, or with Becky’s siblings at school, we can tell that we handled those challenges with more patience and thoughtfulness. Those challenges ‘came to pass’ and not to stay. More faith and trust in Heavenly Father have resulted with Becky’s service, and that selfless service has been a constant reminder to see Heavenly Father’s hands in all things.”
Patton returns home on April 7, and her family is excited to see her. Becky’s youngest sister Sophia, 5 said, “[I] can’t wait to see [my] big sister and give her big hugs!” Her brother, Nicholas feels that because of Becky’s mission he has more of a desire to serve a mission also. Patton’s sister, Sylvita, expressed pride in Becky and said that she has enjoyed all the stories her sister has shared with the family.
One of those unique stories occurred on a freezing cold winter day when Patton and her companion met an old friend of her companion. She was homeless and had lost her daughter, sadly due to poor choices. Patton said, “We gave her our scarves and sweaters, but I learned that God gives us commandments because He loves us. He knows how we can be happier in this life and how we can dodge unnecessary heartbreak.”
Rebekah commented that she feels she has a greater understanding and appreciation for the grace that our Savior offers us. She stated, “I want to keep the commandments because I love Him. Just have hope that you can make it through hard things because Jesus Christ paid the price.”
Rebekah will not be able to share her mission stories due to all Church meetings being cancelled but hopes she can go back to college after her return.
— Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak