Below is the story of the California Roseville mission song, as told by the composer herself. The song is sung at every Zone Conference and at District Meetings.
Dear President and Sister Zimmerman,
Please forgive me for not including a note with the copy of the mission song. I have a 4 –month-old daughter, and am the compassionate service director in our ward here in Provo. A member of the Bishopric had passed away that week, as well as two babies being born. It was very emotional as well as busy.
I want to share with you the story of the mission song. It was April of 1995, and I was serving in Corning at that time. The constant rains and flooding somehow contaminated the city water, and I was one of the more than 100 people who came down with appendicitis. I was in a threesome, so Sister Hess and Sister Stoffers piled me into the car and took me to Paradise for the surgery. We made it just in time – the Woodland Bridge washed out not more than two hours after we left Corning.
I stayed in Chico to recuperate at the home of Ted and Oleta Bryson. Their daughter, Andrea and I had become good friends, and so I was invited to stay until I could get back on my feet. I had a lot of time to study, ponder, and pray while I was there, and began at that point to really understand the importance of what I was in California to do. I’d had a testimony of Christ before, but it was nothing compared to what I was feeling now. It was at that point that Sister Valerie Hoybjerg called me from Roseville, and asked if I would write a new mission song. As she described to me the kind of song she wanted, the words and music poured into my mind. As son as I hung up the phone, I went to the piano and out it came. It took less than three hours. Anyone who is a songwriter knows that it can take days, months, or even years to write something like that. The Lord obviously already knew what He wanted it to say!!
I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the California Roseville Mission, even though I have been home for four years now, and have a family. I often look back, as many missionaries do, and see things that I could have done better. And I hope beyond all hope that the song will help to do any work that I left undone while I was there.
I know even more now than I did as a missionary that the Savior lives, and that He is the means of our return to a better, brighter, happier place. Part of what will make that place happy is sharing it with the people who we have been sent to find in the little nooks and crannies of the world.
I hope that the Elders and Sisters will continue to enjoy the song. I know I shall do. Thank you for contacting me.
Lisa Deans Wegener "
"My Missionary Purpose "
"Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." - Preach My Gospel D&C 50:14