It's been a good week here and very busy. I want to focus on a few cool thing that we saw happen. Often as missionaries we have the chance to visit members who are not active, just need a visit, have questions answered, or just a spiritual thought during the week. When working with less active members it feels like you ask them to something like read the scriptures or come to church but unfortunately it rarely happens. This is where patience comes into play. While being patient and waiting and being consistent to challenge them to do certain things this is usually when the miracle comes. This week we saw the consistency, patience and the "wait" pay off with two people we have been visiting. We went to visit a friend and member, Bettembos, and last week was the first week he came to church in a long time. On Monday we ran into him on our P-Day and he said he wanted to come to the FHE at church that night and he did! And guess who was there yesterday again...Bettembos! It made all the effort seem worth it!!! We also visited Alphonese this last week and it's been quite some time since he's come to church and yesterday as we came in from our"Amis" class into sacrament meeting we saw Alphonse sitting there. What a great Sunday surprise!
The other experience I want to share started when we were making calls on Tuesday to fix some rendez-vous with our amis. We called potentials from the area book and had a couple who said they would make time for us. One of these is a man named Fidele. On Saturday our rendez-vous was for 4:00. The clock kept ticking and after about 15 minutes we called and he assured us he was coming. We had another rendez-vous at 5:00 but we continued to wait. At 4:45 he came and had brought his friend, Hyancithe (ya-sont is the pronunciation) who wanted to know more about us. We gave them a tour of the church and the last part is always the baptismal font. It is right next to the primary room with a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ being baptized by John the Baptist. He started to ask how we did our baptisms. As we explained he then asked how long it took. We told him that we would teach him lessons before and then when he is ready he could be baptized and make a covenant with God. After, we sat down for just a minute and he asked if he needed to "sign up" to be baptized or how he could receive the lessons. We told him he just had to want them and then we would teach him and he could be baptized when he was ready. He said, "I want to do that!" Such a cool experience!!!
This morning I was reading a talk by Brother Ridd of the Young Mens General Presidency. It talks about our generation and how we are so used to having what we want now but that we must realize that things take time before we can receive. He says it so much better...
"One of life's early lessons should be that there is great power in the compounding effect
of little things that we do each day. Small and simple things are at work in your life right
now - working either for you or against you. Just as the Lord uses such things to build you
up, Satan uses them to distract you and lead you slowly, almost imperceptibly, off the path.
Our challenge is that when we see a wonderful family, or a financially successful person,
or a spiritual giant, we don't see all the small and simple acts that produced them. We
watch Olympic athletes, but we don't see the years of daily training that made them
champions. We go to the store and buy fresh fruit, but we don't see the planting of the
seeds and the careful cultivation and harvesting. We look at President Monson and
other General Authorities, and we sense their spiritual strength and goodness, but what
we don't see are the simple, daily disciplines repeated over and over again. These things
are easy to do, but they are also easy not to do - especially because the results are not
We live in an instantaneous world. We want to go directly from planting to harvesting.
We are so used to getting instant results - anytime we have to wait for more than a few
seconds for Google to answer our questions, we get irritated - but we forget that these
results are the compounded efforts of generations of work and sacrifice.
Alma gave Helaman counsel that is excellent for us today. Speaking of the Liahona and
the "many other miracles" that guided Lehi's family "day by day" he said:
"Because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous
works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those
marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey...
O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with
our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even
so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.
And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God
I feel like that is one of the greatest things we can learn in our lives and something that is vital in missionary work. We must have the ability to plant, cultivate, then wait, and when the time comes, reap the harvest. Whether the wait be a few weeks or 20 years to see someone finally come to accept the gospel after many seeds have been planted, the time will come if we continue with the small and simple things, and the reward will always be worth the wait!
I hope you all have a great week and remember to never see some small action as a waste of time. We never know what time mixed in with these small and simple things will result in. Thanks you for your letters, emails and prayers. I love you all lots!
|The largest cathedral in all of France|
|This cathedral is huge!|