Being a missionary is no easy feat. Often times, it is easy to fall into the trap of measuring our success as missionaries by the number of people who we manage to get another rendezvous with or the number of people that we get to teach that week, however, the statistics do not always show the entire story. This week, my companion and faced some setbacks: many of the people that we had managed to find ended up canceling their appointments, and we it was a little harder this week trying to find people that would allow us to share a message of the restored gospel and Jesus Christ with them when we went “porting” (door=porte en Français; door knocking). Many doors were slammed, and some even became a little frustrated when they heard the word “God.” Although it was a little disappointing, we knew that we were trying our best, inviting people the best that we could to hear the message of the Restored Gospel. Because the message of the restored gospel means so much to me, because of the way it has changed my life, my character and given my family eternal happiness as we have strived to live by the principles that our savior Jesus Christ taught, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad that they would reject a message of happiness. Nevertheless, each person has his own time and readiness. We respect everyone’s agency, or the ability to choose. The ability to choose is the reason why we came to this Earth, to learn to make better choices, so that we can become more like our Father in Heaven. Amidst all this. my faith in the gospel has been greatly strengthened. I know that the message I am sharing can bless everyone immensely.
This week also happened to be the week of our Zone Conference. 3 Zones from the Paris area came together on Friday and had a devotional with our Mission President, President Poznanski, his counselors and his wife. We also had meetings with our Zones and received the new objecives for the coming few months. It was incredible to hear the number of people who had been baptized over the last 2 transfers – 116, a stark constrast to the 40-50 that would usually trend 2 years ago. I knew then that there were many people who were out there, searching for the happiness that the gospel brings. One new goal we have is for every équipe (companionship) to find a family that we can work with towards not only baptism, but towards the temple, before Christmas. The Mission President is really putting his trust in us, and I know that with faith and with continued obedience, we can all accomplish this goal. We were also given a really great reminder as to how we can be better missionaries, to find better and teach more – Parler a Tout le Monde (Talk to Everyone). Because we do not know who will accept our message, we have to talk to everyone. We pray every night to be led, by the Holy Ghost, to the right ville at the right time, but we will not be guided to who we are to talk to specifically all the time. Part of inviting people to hear the gospel is giving everyone the choice to either accept or reject the message. I know that as Elder Hall and I continue to apply the things that we learn, we will find our brothers and sisters who promised we would find in the premortal existence. I know they are out there waiting. The title to my mother’s favorite piano song (the one that she memorized) comes to mind “I’ll find you my friend.”
General Conference was also this week! Conference time is a great time of spiritual upliftment and direction. Interestingly, not one of the speakers is told what to speak on, only a time limit is given. It was incredible to see the direction that was given. Member Missionary Work. The Importance of the Divine Nature of Women, and Loving All of Heavenly Father’s Children are topics that really stuck out to me. I am once again assured that Jesus Christ is at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that there is continual revelation in the world today through the Lord’s prophets and leaders.
Study the talks in greater depth and apply the principles to your life. I received many answers on how to be a better missionary this conference and I know that if you seek with prayerful hearts and listen to the thoughts and impressions that come to your mind on as the talks are shared, you will receive the answers you seek.
Love you all very much. The Church is true, and the Prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson, and all of the Apostles are called of God.
“Seek and ye shall find, Knock and it shall be opened unto you.”