Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through missionary work is a distinguishing characteristic of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many people are familiar with seeing two young men in white, short-sleeved shirts and ties and for some that is all they know of the church. I was once one of those missionaries who (for two years) did virtually nothing but talk with people about Jesus Christ. That itself is another topic by itself that has blessed my life more than I realize.
However, many members of the church struggle to be actively involved in missionary work. Sometimes just the busy-ness of our lives consumes all our time and thoughts that we put it on the back burner. Sometimes we fear that our relationships with friends/acquaintances/coworkers will become awkward after the subject of religion is broached (especially our personal convictions). Other times it just doesn't seem like there is anybody to share it with. I have felt and struggled with all of these challenges.
The fact is it takes two (or three) to tango. Missionary work does not simply happen because someone gets motivated and decides to do it. It first requires that there be someone who is interested in listening to or investigating the Restored Gospel. But that person will rarely take the initiative to contact the missionaries and set up a visit on their own. The second thing needed is a member who can extend a simple invitation to listen to the message, come to a church meeting, or attend a church activity. Finally (third) and most important is that we are blessed with an opportunity to cross paths with such people, or they cross paths with us.
- The first requirement is always fulfilled, i.e. "the field is white already to harvest."
- The second is dependent on our own desire—"If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work."
- The third is a reminder of Who is it that is really leading this "marvelous work."
Well this perfect storm is occurring here in Virginia and we feel blessed to be able to share the gospel. I say blessed because it hasn't come of our efforts alone, but we are happy to be instruments in God's hands. So here is our schedule for the week.
Monday, 9am: Our neighbors are coming over to listen to the missionaries. The missionaries just happened to be teaching them anyways and so we will be getting to know them too at this time.
Wednesday, 8pm: For the past couple of months we have enjoyed religious discussions with two new friends of ours. They are devout Jehovah's Witnesses who tracted into our house while doing their own missionary work and have since become good friends. I asked them if two Mormon missionaries could lead our next discussion and they were more than happy.
Friday, 7:30pm: A friend from work will come over to be taught by the missionaries. He got interested after another coworker came to our house to have the missionary lessons and had a good experience.
I try to write a significant post every other week and chose this topic because it seems to be the thing that we are most involved with right now. Here are some photos from my mission to Portugal that Rachel miraculous saved online for your enjoyment.