So yesterday we were able to go and teach our former investigator about the Restoration of the gospel. I had tracted into her in August but we hadn't been able to get up with her until last week and set a return appointment. She is a woman of strong faith and attends a non-denominational church and believes there isn't one true church here on the earth. As we were teaching I only used Bible verses to reference to the prophets, the apostasy, Christ's ministry, the restoration, and so on. This is the book that the Southerners are accustomed to, and know well. Our mission President has challenged us to become more familiar with the Bible as we teach so that our investigators can understand and draw similarities more easily between us. That is what I did! You could tell that she was intrigued and very much aware of what we were saying. She asked a few questions here and there and towards the end of the lesson she asked a question that stumped me. She said, "So what you're saying is that the Church of Latter Day Saints is the only right church- and everyone else is wrong?" I wasn't stumped because I didn't have an answer, but I was afraid to A. Make her mad, B. Offend her C. Make her think negatively of us. I answered her and said that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's church restored to the earth again. That didn't appease her...so I said "So yes, this church has the fullness of the gospel in it..." She wasn't mad but she did sit back in her chair and say,"That is what I thought you meant." As we continued speaking she let us know that she didn't agree- but she was cordial about it which I appreciated. Our lesson ended REALLY well and she accepted our challenge to read 3 Nephi 27 before our next visit and said she would study some more.
After we left I was really annoyed with myself. WHY was I scared to profess my knowledge that: YES this is the TRUE church and she NEEDED to experience the happiness it brought because it would change her life?! We are told over and over again to be bold as missionaries. To not fear man. To bear our heartfelt testimony. I felt as though I had failed and didn't chalk up to my potential as a missionary in that lesson. There was more I could have said, done, and shared. The sweet member who came with us, who is new to the gospel as well asked me, "Do you feel like you shared all that you believed?" I said I did, but should have done better. She responded with, "Then you did all you were to do." I am grateful to know that we have tomorrows, second chances, opportunities to try again. Because without Christ's grace, the sacrifice he made, I would be in DEEP trouble. I learned that as a missionary we still have fears and doubts and concerns. But do we focus on that? Or let the Atonement push us through and bring us to the next step of illumination. Line upon line. Precept upon precept.
Something neat that Sister Petersen and I were able to participate in this week was Young Women in Excellence. The girls 12-18 in our ward had an evening to talk about their accomplishments and showcase things that they had done or were a part of for school, YW's, or other activities. The head of the Young women's program asked us to come speak for a few minutes on "Light and being your own sunshine" amidst today's ever changing world. We were HAPPY to do it and it made me reminisce my naive days as a young teen in Young Women's:) HA! But it was so fun. Three of the girls spoke from each class, then us Sister Missionaries, then the Bishop. Seeing the strong youth being raised to stand up for what they believe in really humbles me and wants to make me be a better example. I hope that when I have kids I can implement all the amazing things I have learned from church leaders, as I parent and raise them.
|YW's President ~ Sister Bennett|
I do wish though that more people actually understood what a 'Mormon mission' entailed. Some will say, "Now you have a relaxing weekend!" or "Go on home and enjoy yourself." Or "Go see this movie, show, play etc." Or they say they have a friend who went to ____ said place...and loved the mission they served. If more people understood the sacrifice and the lengths of work we go to just to help other people gain happiness we may be received more readily. But...Christ's ministry wasn't easy. He faced hardships. He endured denial. He went through tragedy. So can I. This is the Lord's work, and it will go forward no matter what.
I know that this is the Lord's church on the earth today. If we truly seek out, really wanting to know if there is truth to be had in today's world, we will find it. And it will be in HIS church.