Reflecting on what I should write to all of you at home this morning, a certain theme came to mind – the importance of the of helping others see the good in themselves. Though small and simple, helping others see the goodness that they have forgotten in themselves has the power to change a person’s day, sometimes, even his life.
This week, I had the opportunity to do exchanges with 2 companionships that have been struggling in our zone. As zone leaders, we not only have the privilege of working with the Assistants and the district leaders, but also have the stewardship of helping each of the 24 missionaries in our zone and making sure that each missionary is doing well physically, emotionally and spiritually as well. Missionary work is hard, and because it is something that everyone chooses to do voluntarily out of love, the opposition that missionaries face, with the added stress of being away from home, can discourage even the best of missionaries. I know that it’s happened to me several times on my mission, and the only way to get out of these spiritual and emotional lows is to have an angel come and lift you up – whether the President, your companion and sometimes, missionary leaders.
Why helping others see the good in themselves was a theme that came to mind this morning stemmed from the first exchange I did because it was one of the most confusing situations that I found myself in. The companionship’s area was not doing too well, they had no progressing amis, and whilst they tried to work with members, there were no lessons that they were teaching to new investigators. For weeks, they had no investigators. Even after we committed to have the zone pray for each equipe, they still did not see any success. When I first got to the area, this elder and I had the chance to teach a lesson with a member. I was amazed at how this missionary was able to teach with such simplicity and with such great spiritual power. Then, I was again amazed at the fact that he would talk to the people that he felt impressed to talk to. I thought, surely he must be doing everything right, because there seems to be nothing big holding him back. Well, we began to talk on the way back home and after sharing some experiences from our missions. I then decided to tell him why he was such a good missionary, why I was confused that while he was stellar, he was seeing no success. He then turned to me and said, “Elder Lam, how do you find the faith to find, because I don’t feel like I will ever find anyone that will progress towards baptism.” That was the key – faith. This Elder had lost the faith to continue finding those who were already prepared.
I was just amazed at how, through helping him see how he was already such a great missionary, he was able to identify for himself the problems that he was facing, and then be open enough to discuss the problem, so that we might both arrive at a possible solution. How important it is that we do not seek to judge the negative, but seek to highlight the positive in others. Through shedding a positive spirit on the people around us, we help them help themselves seek to become better. This is a principle that I will continue to apply on my mission and throughout my life.
“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season , how good is it!” – Proverbs 15:23
A kind word goes a long way. Have you done that today?
Our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. I know that with all my heart.
Bon Courage a tous!