Friday, November 19, 2010

My Mission Shoes

I said goodbye to two old friends today... I finally threw away my mission shoes. 

 I almost couldn't do it. Everyday I'd pass by and see them sitting there - dusty, cracked leather, broken laces and holes worn almost completely through the heels. They'd been sitting in a corner for almost a year now.  "I need to throw those away, I'll never wear them again. Why am I hanging on to those shoes?" I would think. I could never bring myself to do it. Those shoes went through everything with me. They sloshed through puddles and tread the stone-laid streets of Cajamarca, filled with sand in San Luis, they ran from dogs, stood on buses, chased after taxis, wore blisters into my feet and endured the hot streets of Pacasmayo, Chimbote, Chepen, Pensacola, and Guadalupe. They left footprints in the wet cement of Trujillo (stepping in wet cement is my favorite thing) as my companion and I proselyted the neighborhoods of Laureles, Palermo and Los Jardines. They sat through conferences and were cleaned up for church every Sunday. They were polished by thoughtful companions, they were re-sewn several times by zapateros. I must have gone through 5 pairs of insoles and shoe laces over those two years. 

Those shoes carried me faithfully for thousands and thousands of miles. So many doors, so many faces, so many children of God.

They were on my feet as I had the privilege of teaching the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.  As I slipped my old shoes into the trash can, I almost had a lump in my throat. I took one last picture and said goodbye. I hope to always remember:

"My life is like my shoes, to be worn out by service..." 
- President Spencer W. Kimball


  1. Hi!

    Thanks a lot for this post. I'm a lds woman from Madrid, Spain, and I was preparing my seminary class for tomorrow. The lesson talks about President Kimball and I wanted to illustrate this part of his life with a "broken" shoes. I was looking for them in google and suddenly this pic appeared. Nice to read about your feelings and how are they linked to these shoes. Thanks for sharing your time and faith as a missionary and bring your feelings to all of us. :)

    1. Thank you for the comment Soda, I didn't notice it until today as I rarely log in to Blogger lately. Hope this picture was a help to your seminary students!

  2. David,

    I just found this post because I Googled "old mission shoes" in the image search. I found your image and then read your blog post. I direct the content for a website for LDS returned missionaries that I would like you to consider doing a guest post on. You wouldn't have to do much as you have already written the post. I just know that this is a sentiment shared by many RMs like yourself and it would be great to share. Let me know what you think. I don't want your blog to think I am a spammer, so I won't post the site directly but here it is --- www dot TheReturnedMissionary dot com. And my email is just andrew at TheReturnedMissionary dot com. Thanks! If I don't hear from you soon, I'll use your image of the shoes and attribute it to you and site this blog. Thanks!

    1. Andy, sorry about the delay on this. I appreciate the feedback and would love to do a guest post if you still need it. I haven't been checking my feedback, which is why this is so delayed. I'm always willing to help another RM!

      Take care,