Sister Meg Redner
Before Sister Redner takes the wheel, I wanted to tell you a thing or two about her, because this gorgeous lady is one of my favorite friends here at school. We've been blessed to trek through our mission preparation together, including an occasional appearance at 8am Mission Prep class at the Institute building and feeling old when the mission age was changed to 19.
Meg's really cool, really smart, and really good at being awesome, which is why I've asked her to answer some of my interview questions about her mission prep experiences.
Did President Monson’s announcement affect your choice to serve a mission at all?
Definitely. I was sitting on the couch watching Conference with my housemates when President Monson
made the announcement. I was in the middle to trying to balance a notebook on my lap, write notes, and
take a bit of apple with peanut butter. I think when he announced that young men and young women
could serve at younger ages my heart stopped for a few seconds. My housemate and I just looked at one
another with tears in our eyes – and we couldn't focus for the rest of the session (well, I know I couldn't).
I had planned on serving after graduating from Southern Virginia (I turn 21 in September), so serving
seemed a long way off. I realized after President Monson's announcement (the announcement heard round
the world!) that I wasn't going to be serving after I graduated, but that I was going to serve by October of
2013. The Spirit practically yelled that in my ear. I sat on the steps outside my house after the session to
call my mom to tell her of the changes, as well as my dad (who is not a member). They weren't too sure
about it, but I was, and so was the Lord.
Why did you decide to serve a mission?
I joined the Church when I was ten years old along with my sister and mother. I was raised a Methodist
– my dad was even the equivalent of a preacher when I was a kid – and had a pretty strong relationship
with the Lord from a young age. By the time I met the missionaries, I had read the Bible from Genesis to
Revelations and loved every verse.
The missionaries knocked on our door in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, looking worn, thirsty, and
downright glum. I remember my mom taking them in, pouring glasses of water, and sitting down to listen
to the message they had to share. I took the discussions more times than I can count by the time I was
baptized in Connecticut, but I remember each of those missionaries. As young as I was, I realized they
were doing something amazing. They were the greatest examples of living your testimony, and living a
The elders were great, but I think the sister missionaries touched me the most. They spent p-day at our
house in Connecticut, and I remember thinking they were the most awesome people I'd ever met. They
were so filled with light and joy, and all that came from the Gospel and the Lord. I went tracting with
them a few times, and realized as we climbed hills in Sunday clothes that it was something I one day
wanted to do. That feeling never left.
What are some things that you’ve done (so far) to prepare?
Preparation can feel so overwhelming! When I first realized I was going to leave before I had anticipated,
I asked a couple of friends serving missions what they did to prepare, which I found really helpful. I've
begun journaling the Book of Mormon – verse by verse – as a way of preparing to serve. I know the
principles, but I struggle remembering the stories (convert! I failed primary!), so journaling helps me
not only to learn those stories, but also to become closer to the Lord and build my testimony. I've also
begun to be more on top of journaling, so I can remember what the Lord is teaching me. I also picked up
a copy of Becoming a Great Gospel Teacher by Rob Eaton and Mark Beecher. It's such a great resource
for learning how to teach and bring the Spirit into your lessons. I've also begun a little binder that I
fill with talks that inspire me or are on teaching the Gospel (whether or not they are aimed directly at
missionaries). I mark the talks up, write notes, and slip it into the binder.
Favorite missionary scripture/quote?
"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The
decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure... I won't give up, shut up, or let
up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I
drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no
problems recognizing me. My banner will be clear." - Henry B. Eyring
"There is neither man nor woman in the Church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and it is to do good, to promote righteousness, to teach the principles of truth, and to prevale upon themselves and every body around them to live those principles that they may obtain eternal life." - Discourses of Brigham Young, Sel. John A. Widtsoe, 1941
As a missionary, and as a member of this Church, never underestimate the power of your example. St.
Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words." This is such a
true principle. People won't necessarily remember what you said, but what you did. You can encourage
people to serve others, but that won't mean anything if you don't serve. Let your actions be a form of
your testimony. Oftentimes they speak louder than words. As Jesus Christ ministered, He never ceased to
serve. Remember His words to Simon Peter: "Lovest thou me?... Feed my sheep." Demonstrate your love
through service, and you will change people's lives. You never know the impact of the example you set.
The example the missionaries were to me ten years ago has brought me to where I am.
When necessary, use words.