Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Missionary Work

Matthew 28:19
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

President Thomas S. Monson has said: “We take most seriously the Savior’s mandate … , ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’” “This … cause … will continue to go forth, changing and blessing lives. … No force in the entire world can stop the work of God.”

Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

D&C 58:64
For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature, with signs following them that believe.

I just wanted to share a story from L. Tom Perry from the missionary broadcast:
"Many of our children are interested in the popular sport of soccer. They rapidly learn to kick a ball through the net, scores a point. At first they don't understand the fine points of the game. They have the same goal: to score a point, yet they're not well organized. They just converge on the ball in mass. In missionary work, many of us fall into the same category. We think we see and understand the ultimate goal, yet we do not see our purpose in it. We do not see the position, so to speak, that we are to play. Ours is the lack of understanding, not desire."

As stated in the Preach My Gospel manual, "Your purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

Obviously that not only applies to missionaries, but to members of the church as well.

In April conference of this year, Elder Neil L. Anderson said, "If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, “not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” And returned missionaries, find your old missionary tag. Don’t wear it, but put it where you can see it. The Lord needs you now more than ever to be an instrument in His hands. All of us have a contribution to make to this miracle."
 I have been reading this book called The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen. The First Chapter is called We Cannot Predict and We Cannot Judge. He talks about how the missionaries came to their home and gave them a chart. They were to make a list of people to share the gospel with. They were to start at the top of their list and prepare them through a 12 step process. They were to invite them over for dinner, and then go to a cultural event together. The sixth, seventh, and 8th steps were to invite them to church, give them a copy of the Book of Mormon, and ask them to take the missionary discussions. The twelfth step was baptism.

The top of their list was Ken and Suzy Gray. They would be the "ideal Mormons". They began to build a friendship with them and invite them over to dinner. They ended up building a great friendship, going to each other's houses for dinner, and doing different things with them. That was exactly what the missionaries said would happen, but sharing the gospel seemed to be a "big job" for them. They were already busy with their callings as Young Men and Young Women leaders in the ward.

They got to the 6th step and invited the Gray's to church. They gray's accepted because Clay and Christine were speaking in sacrament meeting. They had lunch after church, then he offered the Gray's a book of Mormon. Ken replied, "Thanks, but no thanks, we were both raised in the Episcopalian church, and we've really enjoyed attending the Church of England while we've been here."

They were so disappointed, but they followed the instructions given by the missionaries, that if they weren't interested to move on to the next person on the list.

They invited the Bailey's, who was the next couple on the list, to dinner. They followed the same process, and by the sixth step, the Bailey's declined the offer to come to church.

He moved on to the next couple on the list, but one by one, however, everybody who they thought might be interested in the gospel declined the invitation once they got to step six through eight. After spending a lot of time and work, they took the chart off their fridge. They just concluded that they weren't cut out to be member missionaries.

New missionaries were transferred to their ward. The missionaries, not knowing anything of the situation came into their home and unfolded the same chart and asked them to make the same list. The Christensen's told the missionaries that they had tried it before, that it took a lot of time and didn't work.
The missionaries pleaded with them saying, "Don't you have anyone we can visit?" They gave the missionaries the names of the people that they had excluded from their initial list. One of the families were the Taylors. They told the elders that they could knock on the Taylor's door, but it would be a waste of time. The husband had bad feelings about any organized religion of any kind. He was a tough rugby player, and he loved his daily pints of Guinness Ale.

The Elder's returned back about an hour later Jubilant. The Taylors had invited them in, listened to the first discussion, and invited them over for the second. The Christensen's became good friends with the Taylor's as they studied missionary discussions together which they never imaged would happen.

They learned from that experience that you can't simply know in advance who will be interested in hearing the gospel.

In 1 Sam 16:7 it reads "For the Lord Seeth not as a man Seeth; for the man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

 The only way that people will have the opportunity to choose or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ is for us, without judgment, to invite them to follow the Savior.

For relief society in my ward in Cedar City, we did a Book Of Mormon challenge every week. The challenge was that a girl would take a book of Mormon, give it to someone throughout the week, and report on it the next Sunday. Well, one Sunday I raised my hand and accepted the challenge. I just wanted to share with you my experience that I had written down.

At first I didn't know what I got myself into. It was way out of my comfort zone. Most of the people that I knew in Cedar City were in my ward. It required A LOT of prayer. For the first couple of days, nobody came to mind. About the third day in, I had a thought to give it to a girl at my work. I didn't know why I had that feeling. I just started the job, so I didn't know any of them very well. I only worked with three people and none of them were LDS. I didn't want to be hated, and I didn't want work to be awkward, so I kind of just brushed off that feeling.. A couple of more days went by. Friday came and I was panicking.  I only had two more days to give the book of Mormon to somebody and I had nobody to give it to. I prayed about it once again, and I still got this undeniable feeling that I needed to give it to this girl that I worked with.

Then, the stupid little thought came to me, "How are you going to go about giving it to her? You can't just say, here's a Book of Mormon. Ok, bye." I was honestly so nervous and terrified to give it to her. Saturday came and it was my last day to give her the Book of Mormon.. It still didn't know how  I was going to give it to her and I was freaking out... It was about mid-afternoon Saturday when I got a text from her asking me if I would work for her that night. She wanted to spend time with her husband because he was home and she didn't get to spend very much time with him.

I told her no because I had never been trained to close and I could never do it by myself....I really felt bad, though. There were a few Sundays that she took my shift so that I could go to church because she knew it was important to me, but I couldn't work for her so she could do something important to her.

Then....I got the strongest impression to just go in, off the clock, and help her close. That way I could learn how to close, and since there was two of us, she would get off earlier so she could spend a little time with her husband.

Right before I left I prayed that I would have the strength to give her the Book of Mormon and that I would know what to say. I quickly wrote my testimony of the Atonement and Eternal Families in the Book of Mormon and went to work. When I got there, she was so thankful that I was there. We both worked hard and got out quick.

When we were leaving, I just ran to my car and grabbed the Book of Mormon. I gave it to her and just bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the comfort that it gives me. She thanked me for helping her out, and she also thanked me for being willing to share with her something that was important to me.
It wasn't awkward at all. By involving the Lord, I was able to give her this Book of Mormon. I moved to Logan with very short notice after that, so I didn't get a chance to check with her...but If nothing else, I was given the opportunity to serve her, as well as share my testimony of the gospel with her.

In the Preach My Gospel it says, "As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase."

So I guess I just wanted to end with my testimony that I do have a testimony of the Atonement. I know that Christ died for us because He loves us. Because of the Atonement we can be comforted, we can repent, and we can be forgiven. I can't wait to go tell the people of Chicago just that. I know this gospel is true! I know the Book of Mormon is true. It gives me so much comfort and direction when I read it. I have a testimony of our prophet Thomas S. Monson. I know that he is a prophet of God. I know that if we listen to him that we won't regret it, and our lives will be blessed. I just wanted to leave you with these things, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

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