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Non-Member Comforts Crying LDS Missionary at SLC Airport

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Thanks to LDS S.M.I.L.E. for alerting us to this story.

A young LDS sister missionary struggling and scared at the start of her mission received support from an unlikely source: a non-member named Brianna.

Brianna, founder of Everyday Battles (a website “dedicated to advocating health through strength & conditioning, sustainable habits, imperfect motherhood and unedited transparency”), saw Sister Emmalee Austin crying in the Salt Lake City airport. She shared her experience on social media.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

Tonight, sitting at the airport in Salt Lake City, I met a 19 year old young woman who was in tears when we came to sit near her. Jared and Cade went to fill up their water bottles and I sat alone, listening to this young girl cry.
I had to say something.
I’ve been the young girl crying in the airport.

I said, “I’m really sorry you’re having a hard evening.” And before I could say more she told me how tonight she was leaving for her mission in Guatemala. She won’t see her family for nearly 2 years and she told me she already missed her mom so much.
She was scared.
She was nervous.

I just tried to tell her how strong and brave she is, and how a life of service is an honorable one. Transitions are always hard and in order to feel the reward, we have to feel some hard emotions, first.
We kept chatting and I realized how nervous she was about the airports and solo travel. I tried to give her some reassurance and guidance.

And then I asked her if she would like me to pray with her.I am not Mormon, nor am I “deeply” religious. I was nervous, but I knew she would appreciate that offer, as I watched her flip through her scriptures.
We prayed, and I asked God to protect her, to help her learn from this opportunity and allow her find a whole new version of herself during this exciting chapter.

And then, we made sure she could pre-board with us for some peace of mind.
Emily, I’m so glad we crossed paths. If you were my daughter, my sister or me 10 years ago, I think I would appreciate the well meaning crazy lady who couldn’t let you cry alone this Tuesday night. ?

The post has received over 8,000 likes and over 800 shares. Sister Austin’s mother, Liz, even commented on the post and offered up note to the woman who helped her daughter.

Hi! I am her mom. Thank you so much for comforting my daughter. She was so nervous on traveling by herself. I’m glad you were able to be there for her. God bless you and your family for your kindness.

Brianna also gave Sister Austin a hug and shared the support she received on social media. Click here to read the entire thread and all the comments. It will definitely warm your heart.


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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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