April 5, 2017
Service missionaries assigned to BYU-Pathway continue finding new ways to love PathwayConnect, leading many to extend the length of their missions. In the months between January and August of 2016, 58 percent of service missionaries (479 total) chose to extend their missions. Here are some examples of missionaries who love their calling and why they chose to extend their calls.
The Yourstones: Benefiting Families
Elder and Sister Yourstone from the Iowa Des Moines PathwayConnect location have served as missionaries for two years. The couple was invited to extend their time until the end of their semester in December 2016. They gracefully accepted the invitation and then received another call to serve. They have not yet been given an end date for their service, but in the words of Sister Yourstone, “It looks like we are serving forever, and that is just fine with me.”
The Yourstones, along with many other service missionaries, have a great love and appreciation for the education PathwayConnect provides .It has strengthened their family relationships and helped their children in their academic endeavors.
“Two of our daughters have participated in PathwayConnect, and we have been able to see it bless our own family,” Elder Yourstone said. PathwayConnect continues to bring the Yourstone family together as they individually grow closer to Christ.
Sister Dill: A Spiritual Rescue
Sister Dionne Dill, from the Jamaica Kingston location, shares her thoughts concerning the program:
“PathwayConnect is a spiritual and uniting experience for those who do the program. It has strengthened the testimonies of those who have struggled and it has validated many members who thought they would never achieve higher education.”
Sister Dill had been a service missionary for one year when she chose to extend her call in order to help the new missionaries and students get started for their next year of PathwayConnect.
“I look forward to PathwayConnect getting bigger and better in Jamaica. It has blessed the lives of many here, and I pray it will continue to expand worldwide,” Sister Dill said.
The Wyatts: Gaining Confidence
Elder and Sister Wyatt have come to love their PathwayConnect students dearly. The Wyatts have been able to watch their students come into the program with little to no confidence in themselves, and finish with a dedication to finish their schooling.
“The students come in thinking that they are not college material,” Sister Wyatt explained, “but as they finish the program, I have seen their confidence grow and they see for themselves that they can do it.”
The Wyatts have served as missionaries in the Kansas Lenexa location since September 2014. They have enjoyed serving together since Elder Wyatt served for three years as a bishop. They chose to extend their time because they love the program and want to continue watching the students learn for themselves.
Elder Gonzalez: Gospel-centered Learning
“PathwayConnect, to me, is a miracle. It is a blessing of the heavens because it is a wonderful opportunity to have a secular education through a gospel view. When PathwayConnect came to my life, it made a change in my soul and my mind. PathwayConnect gave me the opportunity to get a higher education and at the same time strengthened my testimony of the Church,” said Elder Javier Gonzalez from the state of Salta in Argentina.
Elder Gonzalez is a 31-year-old who has only been a member of the Church for 20 years. He and his wife participated in PathwayConnect as students before their service as missionaries and have come to love the program deeply.
Common Reasons Service Missionaries Extend their Service:
“I extended my time in PathwayConnect because I saw the blessings and the changes it makes in people’s lives, and we wish to share this with all of the members of the Church,” said Elder Gonzalez. “We see the Lord’s hand in this program. PathwayConnect has the power to change lives and bring people to Christ.”
Continuing With Love
Service missionaries are continually finding more ways to love and serve their students. The joy and love the missionaries have for the program has touched their own lives and the lives of those who participate in PathwayConnect. As the extension rate continues to rise, may the love for PathwayConnect continue to grow.
Learn more about PathwayConnect and the role missionaries play at byupathway.lds.org!