By Stacy Johnson
Kirk and Karen Mosley, members of the Wildwood Park Ward in the Tucson Arizona West Stake, were looking to satisfy their love for travel and adventure as well as their desire to serve. Wanting some direction, Kirk asked his sons for a priesthood blessing, following which, their son, Logan, said he “felt strongly that whatever Kirk was supposed to do, it was going to mean that he would be learning a lot and need to work hard at it.”
After discussing several options, the couple chose to serve in the China’s Teacher Program (CTP), a nonprofit outreach program of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University. The purpose of the program is to provide seasoned U.S. teachers to Chinese universities.
After a rigorous training program from the Kennedy Center, the Mosley’s were off to the University of Electronic Science and Technology in Chengdu, China. They jumped into their assignment with both feet, teaching several graduate classes each semester.
Karen admits, “I’m a teacher. I have years of experience. … It’s exciting and fun for me to be teaching at the university level. Not so for Kirk—he’s a dentist. … He is not comfortable in front of large groups and doesn’t like the spotlight. That first day of classes was quite intimidating.”
However, because of Kirk’s background in dentistry, he was able to help create a hygiene branch within the existing dental office and host what they called Smile Clinics. He trained students to scale tartar and plaque, polish teeth and floss—something not traditionally done in China.
The Branch they attended in Chengdu had approximately 50 members.
Karen makes it clear that they were in China to teach English. “Each week before our meeting, the Branch President reads the restrictions under which we are allowed to meet as foreigners in China. We were strongly counseled to let our friends and family know that we were NOT on a formal mission in China, and that when missionaries DO go to China, it will be through the ‘front door.’”
That being said, one of the highlights was teaching the gospel to Lyncy and Lily. Alhough Lyncy was raised in Chengdu, she was considered a “foreigner” so it was legal to invite her to church; and, as a foreigner, Lyncy could invite her friend, Lily. They both expressed a sincere interest in Christianity.
Karen explains, “They had been to other Chinese Christian churches, but they said that they wanted to find the right church.”
After a few months, both women gained testimonies of the Restored Gospel and desired baptism.
Kirk memorized the baptismal prayer in Mandarin and performed the baptism shortly before he and Karen returned to America.
Karen adds, “I was asked to speak at the baptismal service, and I testified that I don’t think I came to China to teach English—I think the Lord sent me there to meet Lyncy and Lily and share with them the glorious plan of salvation.”
To read more about the Mosley’s experiences teaching English in China, go to www.nonnypoppyadventures.blogspot.com.