So, big surprise...I'm low on time. Again. As usual. :) What can I say? Galatians 6:11!
This last week has been pretty crazy. Transfers came and went, and life moved on. We kicked it up a notch, trying our hardest to get people out to General Conference. It sorta worked...sorta. We had one investigator, Nita, try to listen to it on the internet, but there were so many people on at the same time, the internet was struggling. And Honor came to watch with her mom---they just came in between sessions and watched some of the Church news report. She did, however, get to watch a little bit at her aunt's house. That was a MIRACLE! Why? Because the little bit she watched talked about temples and eternal marriage. And what have we been trying to get her and Damian to do? GET MARRIED. Coincidence? I think NOT. :) I've said it before, and I'll say it again---God rocks. ;)
Conference was incredible! I loved every minute of it. I especially loved Elder Holland's talk about the Savior and Elder Perry's talk about member missionary work. Not only do I love listening to Elder Perry in the first place (I even got to meet him once!), but he was truly inspired in his remarks, because I can testify that they are all 100% true. Members have access to people that we as missionaries will never touch if left to our own efforts. We get transferred into an area, and we have to meet, befriend, and teach as many people as possible in the short amount of time we are there. And statistically speaking, there are fewer and fewer 19 year olds going out on missions because there are fewer of them period. And yet, the First Presidency has said that the number of baptisms will increase. How do we bridge that gap? With the MEMBERS.
Jeremiah 16:16 says, "Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." President Eyring, in a talk to the new mission presidents while President Woods was in the MTC, said that this prophecy is being fulfilled TODAY, and how blessed are we to be a part of it! The way I see it, the full time missionaries are like the hunters---we go out every day, and search every mountain, every hill, and every hole in the rocks for people who are ready and willing to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. We go places where most people in their right minds would never go. We are relentless in our zeal, and do this every day for 18 months to 2 years.
The members are the fishers. Fishing takes longer than hunting does (usually). It requires patience and diligence. Trust me, I know---I've been fishing many times, and lots of times, you come home empty-handed. :) But with fishing, you can have more than one line out at a time, and watch all of them. You put "tasty tasty bait," as Elder Kent would say on your hooks, and you wait. What is your bait? It is YOU. It is the joy that is in your lives and eyes because of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the way you treat others and serve others. People are ALWAYS watching you, and those who are truly elect (see D&C 29:7) will want to know more. Fishing isn't just sitting back and waiting, though. You must always be checking your lines, checking the bait. You have to go where the fish are. You have to offer them the bait. You must open your mouths (D&C 33:8-10). The Lord promises to fill our mouths with what the people around us need to hear. Take Him up on that promise!
....oops. I'm done. Well, sorta. I challenge everyone who reads this to "warn their neighbor." (D&C 88:81) It's not hard---simply share a blessing of the gospel that is near and dear to your heart. Everyone can do that, and if they did, think of the joy that would fill our Father's heart and our Savior's heart! Let us all live so that when we see our Lord Jesus Christ again, He will say to us, "Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full." (3 Nephi 17:20)
I love y'all! I know that as we show the Lord we are willing to follow them in all things, He will pour out blessings upon us "that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10) This I promise you as a servant of Christ, and do so in His holy name, amen.
Your Friend in the Faith,
2 Corinthians 4:5
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.