I watched a young missionary’s face as he came down the aisle of the airplane looking for his seat. The worn suit and slightly faded black nametag were dead giveaways. He was going home. But home to what?

Within a few hours he will walk off the plane and into the arms of jubilant family members. He will report to his stake president and take off the black nametag. He will speak in sacrament meeting. Everyone will pat him on the back and ask, “How was your mission?” (As if you could describe the experience the same way you would describe yesterday’s lunch.)

The incredible young men and women that have served as full-time missionaries have sacrificed their time, postponed schooling, delayed careers, and set aside personal goals to serve. They have suffered hot days, cold nights, and rude people in order to share a testimony. Then when they return, the best question we usually ask is, “How was your mission?”

Perhaps it is time we learned to engage these amazing latter-day warriors for truth instead of settling for the vanilla questions. Here are five specific and engaging questions to ask a returned missionary.

1. Did you witness any miracles?

Our missionaries witness miracles on a regular basis. Those miracles range from healings to the gift of tongues, but missionaries don’t talk a lot about them out of respect for sacred things, and perhaps because no one asks about them. I once asked a returned sister missionary this question, and she recounted a miraculous story involving the gift of tongues. My children at the dinner table gave rapt attention to her testimony. The Spirit testified to us as she spoke, and we were all edified.  Choose a time and place respectful to the nature of the question, but ask returned missionaries about the miracles they have witnessed. Be prepared for miraculous answers.

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