Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Members are the Full-time Missionaries

Slacking older sister speaking: Last week, Steph ran out of time to send a 'main' e-mail because she was swamped with so many private e-mail conversations. However, because of that, I was supposed to post some pictures that she sent me in the mail. I failed. I hope I'll get around to posting those later this week. Stay tuned...

It was kind of ironic that my last email to Betsy was all about member missionary work. So let me start off with what I told her (literally copied and pasted...sorry, laziness of a missionary!):
The biggest misconception everyone and their mother has about missionary work? That we are the full-time missionaries.


We are going to be transferred out eventually, we will not be there to help a person every step of the way. We can befriend somebody and get them to be baptized and come to church, but when we leave, what happens to them? They will have no friends and they will not come back. Period!

The members are the full-time missionaries.

Members should be finding so that the missionaries can be teaching. It's a 1000 times easier to teach someone who knows someone else in the church. They will have an automatic friend and fellowshipper in the ward. A friend who will be there a lot longer than we are.

I never realized how important members are in missionary work. BUT THEY ARE! Holy cow, they are. We may find the "lost sheep," but the ward is the barn, and they will shelter and nourish them.

I just made that analogy up so I know it's really bad.
But anyway, that's what I sent Betsy and sure enough, this happens:

We have been teaching a husband and wife in the ward about the temple, and how to go about getting sealed to each other for all eternity. We teach them every week, and in this last week that we came, the wife, Debbie, briefly mentioned how her friend Brenda all the way from Iowa on a "complete whim" to Oregon to look for work. This woman had no job lined-up or anything, zip, nilch, nada. All she knew about Oregon was that her friend, Debbie lived there. So she came here, and has been visiting Debbie often. Debbie told her friend Brenda about her goal to enter the temple, and Brenda was soooo incredibly interested, she begged to hear more. Debbie went on to tell her about the Book of Mormon, and has even read some stories with her and explained them. Debbie gave her a Book of Mormon, a Gospel Principles book, and several other Church books.

Debbie and Brenda came to the ward BBQ last friday, and Sister Reeder and I sat and talked with Brenda. I asked her, "Sooo. I heard you came here on a total whim!" And she confirmed that and laughed and began to tell us how she knew Debbie, what's she's been talking about with Debbie, yada yada. And then she said, "I've been reading the Book of Mormon, and... I can't explain it...but it filled a hole in my heart that I really didn't know that I was missing." So I asked her again, "Soooo, you say you did come here on a total whim?" And she smiled and said, "you know, I don't think so anymore."

We're teaching her this Wednesday.

I just want to tell you all, missionary work is SIMPLE. It's wonderfully simple and opportunites are all around us. Weekly church activites are not just there to entertain the members, but they are also there to be opportune event to invite a friend. They are the perfect first step to take for someone who is intimidated by going to or learning about the church. There was a story about a ward mission leader that instead of inviting nonmembers over to his house to have a formal sit-down with the missionaries, he'd pose the question: "How do you like your burgers?" This Ward Mission Leader would have BBQs frequently at his house, and he'd invite members and nonmembers and missionaries alike. It was simple. And it was successful.

Just remember, you are placed in the paths of other people purposefully. Heavenly Father knows what and WHO each of us needs. Sometimes, your personailty, no matter how weird/funny/awkward/goofy/quiet/loud/friendly/obnoxious/bold you are, is exactly the kind of personality that they will relate to. But there's only one way to find out: open your mouth!

Until next week!
Hermana Blanchard

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