Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Failure is not falling down, failure is not getting back up

This last week went by fairly smoothly. It was a routine” week in the mission. Luckily, “routine” means meeting new people, spiritual experiences, and growth through trial. I will share one story that happened that illustrates my general view of missionary work.

First off, us as missionaries have a job to do. That job is to invite people to come unto Christ by sharing the restored gospel, so that they have a chance to repent, be baptized, and enter into the kingdom of God. I realized shortly after getting here that we can only do so much, and then it rests with them to accept and act, or not. So, we go out every day, we talk to people in the streets, in their house, waiting for the bus, wherever. We do our best to be obedient so that we can be worthy of the Holy Ghost to guide us in our work. And when we finally find someone who is willing to listen, we teach and testify with that same Spirit. But as it says in Preach My Gospel, even some people who hear the message, and receive an answer as to the veracity of our message through the Holy Ghost may walk away. For whatever reason, they choose not to accept it. That is the hardest part of our Heavenly Father’s plan. No one can be forced. That is the hardest part about missionary work....

But this story isn’t about that side of the work. This is about how agency is also the best part of Heavenly Father’s plan. We had been doing our best all week. Working hard, visiting our investigators and members, doing contacts, praying for help, all the good stuff. But we didn’t find anyone new to teach all week. On Saturday, we went to lunch with a family in our ward se llama los Gaspari. They have been members for over 30 years, but had been inactive for a year or so up until about November. They asked us how the week had gone so far, and we told them. They said, “oh, that” too bad elders. Sometimes the work is just hard. ”Yeah,” we replied. After we finished lunch were sitting there talking and they stopped and said, “Oh by the way, we have a referral for you guys. It’s our next door neighbor, and she will be here in 10 minutes!” We were so surprised and so grateful for them. It turns out that their neighbor had been going to an evangelist church for a while, but felt like it didn’t have what she was looking for. She commented on that to Sister Gaspari, the member, and asked her what she should do. “Well, you know what? You didn’t find what you were looking for in that church because it’s not the true church of Jesus Christ. Luckily, my church is. You should come over on Saturday and listen to two young men who are called to teach people like you who are looking for the truth.” This lady, Amalia, was touched by the Light of Christ inside of her and the Holy Ghost from this Sister. She immediately agreed, eager to find out if we really did have the truth. So on Saturday afternoon, she came over, and we had an AMAZING first lesson where we talked about the Doctrine of Christ, his Atonement, and what it means to have His true church on the earth today. At the end, she said it all felt right and she was eager to go home and read, study, and pray to see if it is really what she is looking for. We on the inside have the advantage of knowing that it is what she is looking for, so we are just going to pray for her, keep working, and wait until she receives her answer. She has one of the purest desires of the truth and her Savior’s love that I have seen so far on the mission. When we asked her what the Atonement of Jesus Christ meant to her in her life, she teared up, and couldn’t talk for a while. Finally, she told us she couldn’t describe it, but she felt inside the importance of being able to repent and be forgiven. “To be clean,” she finally got out. “That is what I want.” We were and are so grateful for that opportunity we had to meet her. The importance of members in missionary work is immense. I have not seen a person change and get baptized yet on my mission that did not have a member as family or a friend. The ones who truly accept our message can see the difference in the lives of their loved ones, and want that. It says in Doctrine and Covenants that many people are looking for the truth, but know not where to find it. But luckily, the members they know do know. That is the beauty of this Gospel. Once you have it, you can bring it to countless numbers through your example, and a little bit of courage to talk to them about the Church. It wasn’t meant this way, but I am adding on to this message a call out to all who are reading this to find ways to share the Gospel (including to those who may already be members, but are struggling.)

I know that this is the work of the Lord. He guides us and works with us every day. I love being a missionary.

Elder Scot Stobbe

No comments:

Post a Comment