MIDLAND, Texas — Sometimes the best present doesn't come wrapped in a shiny package with bows. It's the ones from the heart that touch us the most.
It's easy to picture how a little love can go a long way.
"A lot of us love animals and we're really excited to be here helping out," said Elder Briggs, Mormon missionary.
These young missionaries aren't just offering comfort and a few scratches to these furry bundles of joy. They're offering to do anything to help Fix West Texas.
"They helped us set up our new location, helped us move in. They help with the animals, the cleaning. It's just nice to have them around because they're nice, kind, upbeat young men and women,” said Karen Patterson, President of Fix West Texas.
When they say they're willing to do anything, they mean anything.
"With anything possible we can help out with, like we built these shelves last week for them and helped set everything up for their new facility. Just anything we can possible help out with to help speed things and up and make their lives easier,” Briggs said.
But it wasn't those sweet faces that brought the missionaries here. It was a chance meeting while they were volunteering at the Midland farmers market.
"And they said, 'How many do you need?' and I said as many as you can send, and she said ‘Like 20?’ I was like oh, yes! So for us it was like mana from heaven. I was exactly what we needed,” Patterson said.
These missionaries come from all over the country, and even the world, to serve.
"It feels awesome. It's so good. That's what we're here for. For two years we get sent out to everywhere across the world as missionaries and we just try to help the people here. Spread joy. Spread love,” Briggs said.
"We go all over the world, speak all different kinds of languages, so if you don't speak English it’s all good. We have all types of missionaries, Ukranian, Portugese, Spanish, it's awesome."
It's a calling Elder Briggs had to answer.
"We're just normal people. I was in college, a mechanical engineering degree. I had like a year and a half left, and then I chose to leave all that for two years and come out here and just spread the gospel of Jesus Christ."
"With the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's all about becoming who he was. Jesus just went out and served selflessly so that's what we're trying to emulate,” said Briggs.
Briggs was supposed to go to Brazil but because of COVID, he's here at fix west Texas and he couldn't be happier.
"If you need any kind of service, we've done everything from stain fences and built horse pens, horse corrals and everything. So we do all kinds of things, we're usually wearing white shirts with our black tags on and everything. Just look for us, we're friendly, we don't bite. If you just want service done, we can do that, and if you can just let us share a message about Jesus Christ with you," Briggs said.
It’s a gift Fix West Texas says it couldn't be more grateful for.
"It's been a huge blessing to us," Patterson said.