It’s Easy to Love: Sister Susan Fulcher
A young woman named Susan Fulcher said to herself, “missionary work is just loving people, and it’s easy to love!”
Meet new people, and be curious. When she moved into a new ward in Cambridge, she made loving the members of that ward a top priority. She arrived early at church to meet new people. She asked these new friends many curious questions to discover what they do and what they love. She asked leaders of the ward to introduce her to other members of the ward.
She made a friendly, competitive game with other new people in the ward to see who could get to know more people first. When someone said they weren’t good at meeting new people, she said, “You can have a conversation that is interesting to anyone if you ask them to tell you about themselves. It doesn’t require a college education or a bubbly personality. You just have to want to learn about other people.”
Encourage ward members to share the missionary work they are doing with each other. When members of the ward shared that they were inviting people to be taught by full-time missionaries and come to church, she applauded their efforts and invited them to share their experiences in fast and testimony meeting. When they did, she wrote them thank you notes. And from the testimonies shared, more members of the ward became eager to share the gospel with people in their communities. When members of the ward began following promptings to share the gospel, many of them learned that they could not predict who would say yes.
Ask to support people in their callings at church and at home. Susan asked members of the ward if she could help them in their callings and with their families—she taught music in Primary one week so the pianist and chorister could go to Relief Society and Priesthood meetings; she freed up a busy mom’s time by helping her make dinner for her family; she volunteered to teach a lesson to the young women and even created an idea for a mutual activity for the girls.
Create opportunities where you need people’s help. The activity Susan created was to make Christmas tree decorations and bring them to a widow who was new to the ward and had no family in the area. As they planned the activity, Susan suggested they needed more people and said, “I think we could help your friends find more happiness in Christmas if you each invited one friend to work with you on this project.” The girls invited friends to help and each brought a friend to make the decorations and again when they delivered the tree. Afterward, one of the friends said, “I wish I belonged to a church that did stuff like this.” She was invited to church and to be taught by full-time missionaries.
Acknowledge all efforts as successful efforts. Susan continued spreading love, and church members continued sharing the gospel and inviting people to learn about it. Ward members said sharing the gospel strengthened friendships, even with people who responded “no,” because they felt the invitation was an invitation of love. People in Susan’s ward felt her love for the gospel, and they too wanted to express their love for others through invitations. And in so doing, they discovered we succeed when we invite. When people strengthened friendships with co-workers because they shared the gospel at work, they also felt free to use Mormon words in everyday conversation and to be open about their faith.
Susan did all these things while a full-time missionary. The beauty we see in what she did is that anyone, full-time and member missionary alike, can love as Susan loved and do as she did. By making love an easy way to live, Susan inspired people in her ward to expand the love they expressed for others. From dozens of invitations, 35 people said “yes” to meet with full-time missionaries. And after six months, 14 were baptized.
It really is easy to love.
Read the rest of Susan’s story of serving in the Cambridge First Ward.
Click here to get the story of Sister Susan Fulcher in other languages.
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December 1, 2012 Latter-day Miracles, Principles