20 October 2014
Well, this week was great for some reasons and not great for others. I have been seeing a lot more success in missionary work recently, for example: members have been coming to church a little more consistently, the same members have accepted and are living the commitments we extended to them to study the scriptures daily as a family, we are finding more new investigators, we've gotten back in touch with a wonderful less-active member and her family, we remember to extend commitments intended to help people repent and draw closer to Christ, and an investigator came to church!! These things all make me pretty happy, but at the same time, I think Satan is working pretty hard on me, because I still have a sinking feeling that all our recent success is just superficial, and it won't really make any difference. Things are consistently... not improving for the branch, and the people seem to have lost hope that missionary work will succeed. I'm going to need creativity to do something that's never been done before so that we will see different results than what we've seen for the last few years in Sarawak. I've never thought that I was very good at thinking outside the box, and I'm in an especially low rut for creativity now. I don't want to drown in this feeling, so I just keep working each day, and I try to stretch my mind to do new things.
Okay, I'll talk about our investigator now. I'll call him Ethan. He's the one that elder Christensen met last week. He rode past Ethan's house, and had the impression to stop and knock there. Ethan said that he'd seen them ride by, and heard a voice say that they were coming to talk to him. When they knocked his door, he let them in and accepted a return appointment. When I went there (on exchanges with Elder Christensen), he was very anxious to learn about the restoration. When we opened the Gospel Art Book (my favorite book, aside from the Book of Mormon) to a picture of Joseph Smith, he said, "I've think I've seen his face before! This feels important!" We testified that Joseph Smith is, indeed, very important to everything we believe. As we opened the Restoration pamphlet to the page with a picture of Peter, James and John conferring the Priesthood on Joseph Smith, he said, "that's the feeling I have right now - like someone's putting their hands on my head and giving me a blessing. Is that what the Holy Ghost feels like?" Turns out, he has that feeling a lot, especially when he reads the book of Mormon and comes to church. He's only had the book for about a week, and he's read through Jacob! He's accepted a baptism date in November, and he made a pretty significant sacrifice of time and comfort to come to church for the first time yesterday! I'm so happy for him, and I know that the Lord led him to us and us to him!
Great things (miracles) happen in missionary work all the time, if I'm worthy of them. As much as I say this, it's still hard to remember that, sometimes. I feel so dumb when, bogged down by a hard day, I mentally put restrictions on what the Lord can do. I think, "that probably won't happen," or "If only..." However, I just need to remember that with God, all things are possible. I know it's true, and I will do better at remembering that this week. Get ready to hear about more miracles next Monday!!
Love to you all!