We worked at a sunflower field this week. You have to be happy when you are surrounded rows and rows of beautiful sunflowers, and you get to ride a tractor.
This week I answered a few questions about serving a mission. I hope this is helpful to anyone who is thinking of serving.
1. Can you tell a difference when you are teaching with the spirit?
Of course there is a huge difference when we teach with the spirit. In D&C 42 it says “And the spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith and if ye recieve not the Spirit ye shall not teach.” I testify of this spcripture. The spirit is absolutely the key to the conversion. If the investigatores dont feel the spirit there is in no way that they will accept our message. Missionaries can feel when they are teaching with the spirit and when they are not. It is so important to be able to channel the spirit into the lesson with questions and adapting the lesson to the needs of the invesigator.
2. How many times a week are you rejected and how do you deal with it?
To give you a little bit of a clue of how many times we are rejected here is a picture of my agenda on a bad day. Circles mean they were set appointments, the X’s through the time means we were rejected, and the check means that we were accepted and we taught something. This is an example of an extreme day when nobody accepted us . Not all days are like this but it is true in the missionyou are rejected A LOT. If we are turned away right up front, i dont feel that bad. Normally we just laugh it off and keep going. However, when we have a recent convert, or less active, or an investigator that we have been teaching for a whie and they reject us it really hurts becuase these people have knowledge and basic understanding of the gospel principals. Even though it is really hard for missionaries to accept rejection we have to realize and remmeber that every person has their free agency. As missionaries if we taught with the spirit and did all that we possibly could and they still decide to reject the gospel we cant do anything more, and we have to move on. Rejection for me has been really hard but the longer I am out the better I have learned to deal with it.
3. What were your biggest concerns as you began serving a mission?
Our personal concerns change throughout the mission. At the begining of my mission my biggest concerns were mainly about adapting to a new culture. Don’t get me worng I was really excited to be in a new country. But honestly I was really nervous to be somewhere where I didnt speak the langauge, and I had no knowledge of the customs. The first few months out were all about adapting to the Peruvian culture as well as the missionary life in general. No music, no tv,and all of the rules were a big adjustment. After a few I adapted to the mission lifestyle and my concerns changed. I was no longer focused on myself but more concerned for the people that I was teaching.
I can remember in the CCM discussing our fears.We went around a circle talking about our biggest concerns and one elder said that his biggest fear was having fears. This really made an impact on every one. God doesnt want us to be worried or fearful. Doubt and fear come from satan. We are here to do the Lords work and if we have fears we arent trusting that God will help us along this journey. In D&C 6. 33 it says “Fear not to do good, my sons for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward. Therefore, fear not, little flock, do good, let earth and hell combine against you for if ye are build upon my rock they cannot prevail.” If anyone has fears before entering the mission field I invite them to get rid of their fears, put your confidence in God and trust that he will help you through whatever trial you encounter. You don’t ever need to be worried. That applies to life in general, not only for the mission field. Fear is something so natural but really it is a weakness that we need to overcome with faith in God.
4. What talents and abilities do you have that have been helpful as you preach the gospel.
The biggest resource any missionary possess is a testimony. If your desires and testimony are in a good place you are set to serve a mission but if you are thinking about other things, if you desire to be doing soemthing else or if you dont have a strong testimony about a gospel principal people will notice. The other day we were teaching an investigator, W. He had recieved lessons years before but never felt the testimony of the elders. When we taught the lesson of the restoration of the Gospel he was left speechless. He commented to us that he believed. In previous lessons he wasnt convinced but our convition and our testionies helped him understand the restoration of the gospel. If you can, FIND YOUR TESTIMONY before you come out. That will be a big help!!