Hello hello! This has been a crazy week. I’ll do something a little different this week and I’ll start with the heading. With the permission of this last Tuesday, I had an opportunity to get a visit from my Great Aunt Valerie! It was so good to see her and chat for an hour. She seemed to really hit it off with my companion too! We talked for a bit about what we’re doing here in Spring Lake and what has been going on back home. We didn’t get to spend too much time with her, but the time we had was wonderful! After we were done, we walked her to her car and said our goodbyes. It was refreshing seeing some family and getting an opportunity to communicate face to face.
Though I don’t have as much time as I’d like to write my post this week, there’s so much to talk about. We have a baptism this Saturday for one of our friends, and we put another friend on date this last week. She will be baptized on the last Saturday of the transfer, September 18th. I could not be more excited for her! She has been prepared for this moment and she could not be more excited about learning about the gospel. It was only our third lesson that we invited her to be baptized. We’ve experienced several miracles this week related to our friends. It was very much needed for the harder moments this week.
We had a lesson with a few members this week and it was a bit rough. We were kind of guilt tripped about asking them to meet with us, but we did our best to get to know them and share a quick thought with them.
We also had a friend hard-core Bible-bash us this week. He had some questions for us about the Book of Mormon as he is very knowledgeable in the Bible and didn’t understand how they correlated. We came to the lesson prepared to teach simply to answer his questions he already had and to invite him to pray to know of the truthfulness of what we taught. He didn’t accept any of the answers we provided and bashed the entire lesson despite our attempts to invite him to just ponder and pray about it so he can receive a witness for himself. That unfortunately continued the BB into receiving revelation from Satan’s angels. 😬 At the end of our (I can’t even call it a lesson) session, we asked him if he wanted to meet again next week to try and answer his questions or if he wanted a break. He voted for break a left immediately. I have never seen an older gentleman walk up the stairs with a walker so fast! We love this friend so much and we’ve been praying for him. This was probably one of the harsher experiences I’ve had on my mission with people who do not wish to accept the gospel. But it doesn’t mean we can’t pray for them, love them, and serve them. We don’t have to believe the same things to strive to become Christ-like and to love one another. I’ve seen so many examples of this. Good people are not only found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They are found everywhere!
My purpose as a missionary is to invite people to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. No where in that purpose does it state we are to force people to believe what we do. We invite. We love. We share. This is exactly what we talked about yesterday at church for our fifth Sunday lesson.
We had an opportunity to talk to our ward about member missionary work, or “Love, Share, & Invite.” I really wish I could write about everything we talked about but my time is running out for writing this morning. The section in Gospel Library on the home page titled,”Sharing The Gospel” is a great resource for anyone wanting to share the gospel and not knowing where to start. Our ward here in Spring Lake set a goal for the year to invite 500 people to come and see. Whether that’s inviting them to a BBQ, inviting them to church, sharing a video with them, posting a story on social media about a gospel principle, etc. They don’t have to accept, and it doesn’t have to be “meet with the missionaries and be baptized.” 😆
President Nelson has said gathering Israel is “the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on Earth.”
We do not force people, but rather invite them to come and see. We reach out a hand of love and service. We invite people to serve with us. And in normal and natural ways, invite them to learn.
I know this is an awkward end, but I must go! I hope I could share something good for this week and hope you all are having an amazing week!
Shout out to my amazing friend Tati! It’s her birthday this week. Happy birthday girl! 🎂
Love you all!