Labeled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, the Avengers are surely some of the most popular superheroes ever created. Charged with the responsibility of ‘saving humanity’, their powers and expertise are employed to fight powerful villains and ultimately win against the powers of darkness.
Does that sound like there are any connections to missionary work? I’d never thought about it until I met one missionary in a class I taught at the MTC and I’d entirely forgotten about it until I saw the recent Avengers movie.
There in the cinema, cogs started turning and, what at first seemed like a ridiculous idea, became more plausible as I worked through how missionaries are in fact are very much superheroes. This is my story of where it started and how I figured it out:
“Brother Swain, that sounds like a super power. I mean, we’re not X-Men, we’re just missionaries”.
I guess that response was fair enough. This missionary had only arrived at the MTC a few days ago and everything was still fairly overwhelming. I’d just explained our class goal, which I made with every new group I taught at the MTC.
Now I can’t take credit for this idea. I was just as skeptical when my Mission President announced that it was our ‘Mission Goal’, all those years ago. It was to be able to teach “Anyone, anything, anywhere”.
At the time, I’d only been speaking French for a couple of months. I could barely teach someone, something in an optimal teaching environment with basic coherency.
As a new missionary, the ability to teach anything to anyone did feel like an unobtainable super power. When I started my mission, I had no vision of how things could change… or what I could achieve.
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