In my very first post, I explained that my intentions in creating this blog were, in part, to be accountable to my readers for my member missionary efforts.
Since then, however, I have found I sometimes hesitate to share my positive experiences with sharing the gospel. I believe I may have been doing this for two reasons. First, I do not want others to feel discouraged (as I did) if they do not have similar experiences. Second, I do not want to seem as if I am seeking praise. For these reasons, I have of late been describing my missionary experiences in generalities only - such as my most recent post: “It Works!”
Then recently I read about other members who were sharing the gospel and finding wonderful success – and it inspired me! It made me want to keep trying! It made me feel excited and eager to help in the hastening! So, I revisited my recent trend in describing my missionary experiences as vague generalities only - and decided instead to let my readers know what has really happened.
(When you find words or names in blue, you may click on them to see their back story.)
(All names have been changed.)
Sunday morning- I invited Stacey to church. She was not able to attend.
My daughter also invited a friend, Ann, to church, and she came! It was her second week and she has loved it! In fact, she has loved church so much she said she wanted to be baptized. My daughter invited her to hear the missionaries. She will be coming to our home this Sunday afternoon to hear them!
Last Sunday I noticed the box with free Book of Mormons for member missionaries was empty yet again! (Which always makes me happy!) So, because I did not want to wait for a new order of books, Sunday morning I dug around the house for any Book of Mormons which I could find to place in the box. I found 2, dusted them off, and added them to the box. One had my testimony inside the front cover. I hope someone reads it. (The other was slightly worn. I hope its recipient doesn’t mind!)
Sunday evening – We had our missionaries over for dinner, after which they shared a message with us from 1 Nephi, chapter 8. They explained that Lehi called to his family “with a loud voice” to come and partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life. The elders suggested that we should be like Lehi – be brave and bold in our invitations, for they are of utmost importance! I let this new insight sink in. I would draw upon it the next day.
Sunday night – Our mission president, President Alba, was coming to our building to offer a fireside we had set up especially for non-members. He would be talking about the Godhead. I knew it would be incredible and the Spirit would be there in abundance. I desperately wanted many of my friends to come!
I invited Stacey. She could not come. I invited another friend (Debbie). She could not make it. I invited my new friend (Mary). She had plans. I invited a couple my husband and I think very highly of, who also love the Savior. They had to decline.
I felt very sad as my husband and I walked into the fireside alone. But it was wonderful and the Spirit was strong! My testimony of Jesus Christ was strengthened! If only they could have been there.
Monday morning - It has been many months since I had talked to our photographer friend (Sandy), but I had the occasion to contact her again. I asked her if she’d like to grab a bite to eat and catch up. She told me she could not because of a terrible tragedy that had just occurred in her family. She was having a very difficult time.
Just that morning I had read on lds.org that if someone is struggling with the difficult trials of life, perhaps we could share a scripture or a relevant Mormon message with them. I prayed to find a message that would touch her, comfort her, and give her hope - and committed to send it to her. I chose to send her the video, “Families Can Be Together Forever”.
I had invited her to church before, but she said she was not interested. She said she was perfectly happy giving praise to mother nature. So, I wasn’t sure how she would accept this message about the grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ. However, I heard she was moving soon and I wasn’t sure if I would ever have the chance to talk to her again. I remembered what I had learned the previous night from our elders about sharing the gospel bravely and boldly – so I sent the video - with a prayer.
Within a few minutes she sent me a message back saying how much she loved the video and how she felt it was full of “light”. She then asked me if I would consider inviting a representative of our church to speak at an oceanside gathering she was preparing. I was so happy!
Monday afternoon – I asked Stacey if she would like to come to my home this Friday for lunch and some family history research (which she has previously mentioned an interest in) and then a visit with the elders (whom she loves visiting with). She said she would like that very much. (She has visited with the elders three times in the past month, and has been to church once…..and loved it.)
Tuesday – There would be a Relief Society meeting this evening about goal planning and setting priorities. It would be a wonderful event to invite friends to. I said a prayer and asked the first person that came to my mind…Stacey. She was not able to come. I asked Mary. She had other plans. I asked Debbie, but she couldn’t leave her children. All three ladies expressed heartfelt gratitude for the recent invites, regret for having to decline them and hope that they would continue!
So, I went to the meeting alone. The meeting was inspiring and I learned much! But I missed those who might have come. I then remembered someone whom I also should have invited…whom I am quite sure would have come! I also believe she would have loved the fireside last Sunday! I felt so sorry for not having thought of her sooner! But I also felt extra determined to invite her at the next opportunity. I committed to remember her!
Wednesday morning - After prayer, I invited Sandy to see if she would like to hear a message of hope and encouragement from representatives of our church. I also told her I had a gift for her (flowers and a hug.) She did not respond to the invitation to hear the missionaries, but she came over right away for the flowers and hug. She is very special woman, whom I am so grateful to call a friend!
Wednesday evening – I took the missionaries to the high school for a fund-raiser/dinner. We sat and ate with my son and his friends. The missionaries had all the boys at the table laughing about their previous high school antics!
Wednesday night – At mutual, my daughter invited another friend who had come to the activity, Katie, to hear the missionaries along with Anna, this Sunday after church. She accepted!
I am so excited for this Sunday when these 2 precious young women will hear the message of the restoration for the first time! I pray they will feel the Spirit guide and bless them!
Thursday morning - I listened to a recent conference talk for my personal scripture study that morning and felt impressed to share it with Stacey. I sent it to her – with a prayer.
Thursday afternoon – Some dear friends called me with the need to express their discouragement to a listening and sympathetic ear. I invited them over and, since I had just watched the inspiring Mormon Message “Mountains to Climb”, I asked if they would like to view it. They did and it seemed to touch them deeply. We prayed, visited, laughed and cried. I hope they left with their burden slightly lifted. I have been praying for them constantly since then. They are such wonderful people!
Friday - I tried to do only those things which would invite the Spirit, since Stacey was coming over for lunch, family history, and a visit with the elders!
She soon told me, however, that her sweet son was extremely sick and she did not know if she should leave him. I expressed my sympathy and asked how we could best help. Would she like us to come to her house (instead of her coming to mine) for a visit? Would she like to reschedule? Would she like a priesthood blessing for her son? Does she need anything at the store?
She chose to reschedule our activities for next week. I am very much looking forward to it and am earnestly praying for her and her child. She is a wonderful mother!
Saturday – Today.
I spent the early morning hours pondering again, wondering if I should share the details of my member mission, or if it would be best to speak in more general terms. I remembered my previous excitement in hearing of others’ experiences and my recent resolve to blog in more depth. So – I sat down to write.
Tonight I will be blessed to attend the baptism of a little primary child as well as a new convert, whom I am excited to meet!
Tomorrow will be very special.
Two teenage girls. Two prepared missionaries. One message of love and hope!
I am so grateful to my daughter who takes her member mission so seriously, invites so bravely and boldly, and demonstrates such faith! Her friends’ lives may be changed forever because of it.
”For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul” (D&C 4:4)
(Images courtesy of lds.org Media Library)