We have been trying to find a way to motivate the members to get excited about the gospel and inspired to share it with their friends. We have been working with our Senior Couple (an older couple who lives in our Stake who have been called as missionaries), we have talked with Bishops, and we have been working with the Ward Mission Leaders. As you can tell, it is a lot of people to work with and try to get on the same page. We were frustrated because no one seemed to be listening to our ideas. We were losing hope. But that night we knelt in prayer together as a companionship, and we asked our Father in Heaven for His guidance. We had seen that our efforts alone would not be enough. We need His help to make things happen. This is His work, after all. The next day Sister Gietz felt prompted to look through one of the church magazines we had at our apartment. She flipped through it and found an article that spoke of two Sister Missionaries with the same plight. In Preach My Gospel it says, "There are many ways to help the members. For example, help build their faith by teaching them the message of the Restoration and other doctrines of the lessons. Help them feel the Spirit and power of our message. Strengthening their understanding of the doctrine of Christ will do more to increase their trust in you and to build their excitement to do missionary work than anything else you can do." These Sisters spoke of how they applied this instruction, and began meeting with members and helping them to rekindle their testimonies. So we are going to do that! We now have lists of people who would like to have us in their homes. We are so excited to help inspire the members, because without them, we have no one to teach!
Think of it this way. An elementary school teacher does not go door to door, trying to find students to come be a part of her class. Families send their little ones to be taught because they know of the importance of an education. Then they do what they can to supplement and encourage growth in their own homes. This is the same with missionary work. If members will nurture those who are not educated in the gospel, they will have a family they can trust. And we, the missionaries, are the teachers. And our curriculum is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, when the teacher leaves, the student still has people around them to help them gain more knowledge, and to whom they can ask questions. It is so important that we work together, members and missionaries. We all have different duties, but we are all working toward the same goal. Elder L. Tom. Perry said "As I travel throughout the Church I marvel at all the positive things that are occurring. Yet I never feel that we, as a people, are living up to our real potential. My sense is that we do not always work together, that we are still too much interested in aspirations for personal honors and success, and show too little interest in the common goal of building the kingdom of God”.
It is sometimes difficult to be a missionary, especially here in Utah. But then there are members who embrace you and say, "Ah, you are just.... sunshine in my life!"
We were teaching a young girl who lives in some condos near us, but she is really shy and is not sure that she really wants to learn more. She needs community service hours, and so we have invited her to every service activity we are involved in. She may never want to join the church, but the saying "we're all in this together" goes deeper than that. It means that we are all on this Earth together. We're all trying to figure things out for ourselves. And so we do all we can to help each other, to lift, to serve, and to love.
I love you all! And I hope you're smiling!
|Here's a picture of Sister Gietz and I smiling, because we are about to enjoy a delicious milkshake at the famous Burger Bar, which feeds missionaries for free on Wednesdays :)|