Missionaries from the Virginia Roanoke Mission gathered here to participate in the area's first regional conference April 28-29. During the conference, held in the historic William and Mary Hall at William and Mary College, President Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve spent a few minutes with his granddaughter, Sister Merrily Hunter, a missionary serving in Elizabeth City, N.C.
"Today in Williamsburg was a special day to write about in my journal," reported Sister Hunter. "My grandfather enjoyed the review of the history of our nation. (See accompanying article on this page.) He is avidly interested in history and his patriotism is something his whole family is always aware of."President Hunter seemed interested in the movie about the early colonists shown in the visitors center at Williamsburg. A line from the movie, explained President Hunter's granddaughter, basically defines the reasons for all that was done in this historic town: "It was a hard choice but it was a free one, and if one wants to be free one must learn to make a choice.
"Grandfather often talks of our need to guard our freedom," explained the missionary.
A set of missionaries actually serve in Williamsburg. Sister Lorie Burnham, from Gilbert, Ariz., and her companion, Sister Heidi Turley of Alpine, Utah, enjoy the opportunities of sharing the gospel in this close-knit community.
"This is a special place," Sister Burnham observed. "The people are hospitable and kind to us. We think they have a special understanding. . . . They are willing to give some thought to the idea that there is another book in addition to the Bible that is scripture and inspired. We love the opportunity to talk about that and we encourage people to make up their minds and form opinions after study and give consideration of what we say."
Sister Turley calls the opportunity to serve in Williamsburg an "education."
"We want to understand the history," she pointed out. "In each state, students learn more about their own state and locality than other places. We knew the story of the settlement of Jamestown and about Patrick Henry at Williamsburg, but to be here now is an education. . . . It is a privilege. I wonder if these people realize how different, how courteous, and how genteel they really are!"