Missionary service had already been a part of James and Jerry Condie’s lives and their ancestry. Brother Condie’s father served in Arizona shortly after his marriage. After his missionary service he and his wife had seven children, the middle child being James Condie. James grew up and followed these missionary examples, serving in the East German Mission from 1950-1953. He served in the cities of Berlin, Hannover, Braunschweig, Kiel, and Husum.
And then it came time for Brother and Sister Condie to serve as missionaries together. They were called to serve in the Bangalore, India mission in 2001-2002. They were responsible for supporting up to 16 elders or sisters, by managing bank accounts and distributing weekly allowances, locating and furnishing apartments. They also managed the publicity and programs for a new chapel open house and dedication, counseled with and trained the local leadership, taught music, taught English, organized family home evenings for singles, and taught classes.
Sister Condie says of their time in India, “The branches were led and staffed by local people. They needed help in learning how the programs of the church should be administered. All the church members were converts of less than 10 years, but they knew the gospel!”
The Condies spoke highly of the Indian people. “The Indian people are exceptionally friendly, polite and respectful of Americans. The saints in India have strong testimonies, love the Lord and learn the gospel quickly. They can teach a class or conduct a meeting as well as anyone here. In the branches where we were located, there were convert baptisms almost each week. The recently formed first stake in India was organized in our first assigned city of about 5 million people, Hyderabad and we were excited to have known the new leaders.”
They related one special memory of when they introduced the gospel to a family they met while traveling on a train. They said, “We met a man who said that he was looking for a better way to worship Christ. We introduced him, his wife and two children to the Book of Mormon and the church. He is now a solid member and presides over the Visakhaputnam District of the church on the East coast of India.”
They also were able to enjoy cultural events such as several weddings that had both Christian and Hindu festivities. Other parts of the Indian culture that were a bit nerve-wracking were the auto rickshaw rides. The Condies said that these rides, “weaved in and out of traffic. That led us to say a prayer for our safety and others on the road. We became well acquainted with bargaining with the drivers of the auto rickshaws and taxis as to what our trip would cost. They always charged us more than anyone else. We became accustomed to seeing cattle and goats roaming the streets, and monkeys climbing the walls. We enjoyed the marketplaces and the fresh fruit and vegetables. There is no mango as good as a mango from Hyderabad, India.”
After returning from India the Condies spent a few more years in their Woodbridge home and then made the move to their current home in 2007 where they now attend the Quantico Ward in the Woodbridge Stake. Their legacy of quiet dedicated service goes on and on.
By Camille Kerr
Writing Specialist on the Woodbridge, Virginia Stake Public Affairs Council for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints