Linda Flynn returned home early, due to concerns over Covid-19, from serving seven months of an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Phoenix, Arizona. She and her companion were Women’s Auxiliary Specialists and ministered to women in need both in the Church and out.
“Leaving my mission early was hard! When our world came crashing down, it did come with a crash! I think we felt rather isolated from the virus. Perhaps because we didn’t watch the news, it caught us by surprise. It was hard to just quit. When I arrived home, I knelt and asked Heavenly Father about it. I immediately felt peace and even joy. I knew I had given my all, so after that I was okay. And I now have some great friends that I wouldn’t have otherwise,” Flynn said.
Doing missionary work to a specific group of individuals is different than trying to teach and serve everyone. Flynn felt that “wearing the Lord’s name on your shoulder automatically brings the Spirit.” She added that time after time, women would say, please come back! You don’t even have to call. Another sister had serious health issues, according to Flynn, and was facing losing a foot. After encouragement from the missionaries, her response was ‘Now I get a scooter! And I want bright yellow!’
Flynn told another story of one less active sister who has lizards. “She loves her lizards. She lost one. Finally, after a number of days, she prayed and made a deal with Heavenly Father that if He helped her find her lizard she would go back to church. She found her lizard and still regularly attends church.”
Even though Flynn felt that her mission was hard, she prayed and studied, and it helped her grow much closer to her Savior. “I grew to know Him more than I knew that I could. I learned to listen to answers to my prayers. They often came so quickly. I had sacred experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
Flynn feels that her family, including her daughter in Sierra Vista, Sunny Ray, made sacrifices for her to serve. “With sacrifice comes blessings,” she stated. “I am hoping the blessings come in the form of others in my family serving missions, my grandchildren and my children when the time comes.”
Flynn retired just before her mission, so she says she is going to find out what that feels like. She bought a house near her daughter’s family, and the kids are already planning a sleepover. “I have kids and grandkids in Oregon and California as well as here,” she smiled. “I intend to do some grandmothering!”
Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak