February 15, 2016
Not even a month in the office, and Joseph Sybrowsky was on the road. Guided by seasoned area manager Doug Willden, the two journeyed from Idaho to Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and back.
In five days, Doug introduced BYU-Pathway’s newest area manager to the North America Northwest area, the local priesthood, multiple sites, and 87 service missionaries who impressed Doug and Joseph above everything else.
“The missionaries treat the students like family,” said Joseph. “If the student is struggling, the missionaries struggle with them. If the student does well, the missionaries are the first to celebrate and give their praise.”
Statistics from Joseph and Doug’s Trip
Common throughout BYU-Pathway, the missionaries’ connection with the students runs deep, something that struck Joseph and Doug as nothing less than full-fledged devotion. Doug heard from multiple missionaries that they would “gladly do this forever.”
Invited into numerous missionaries’ homes, Doug and Joseph immediately felt a sense of humility and happiness stemming from the love and hard work of the missionaries. Impressed by their priorities, Doug and Joseph confirmed that the missionaries had truly come to understand their shepherding role and were focused on serving their students.
Missionaries weren’t the only residents who were enthusiastic about PathwayConnect. The local priesthood leaders expressed fond feelings of the program and its results. A former bishop in Tacoma, Washington, said, “I have never seen a faster, deeper change in members’ lives than through PathwayConnect.”
It is this change seen in the students that inspires the managers. They travel, meet with missionaries and the local leaders, conduct firesides, visit gatherings, talk with students, and look for opportunities to grow, because “PathwayConnect is different,” said Doug. “You get to see people change.”
The humility and devotion from the missionaries, ample support from the local leaders, and comfort of progressing students left the managers peaceful and reassured. Despite the bustle of errands and meetings, Doug and Joseph both expressed feeling “lifted” when it was time to come home.
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Want more information about the trip and why it happened? Check out this press release!
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