Vision of the South:
"Make no small plans: They have no magic to stir men's souls. This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the Church than all other English-speaking missions in the world together. There are great hosts of marvelous Baptists, members of the Church of Christ, Methodists, and Catholics who are honorable people, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love him. As they see their church veering off to the right or to the left of those basic teachings, they will begin to search for truth, and as pivotal teachers come into the Church and have influence, they will begin to search for truth, and as pivotal teachers come into the Church and have influence we will see the time when we will baptize hundreds and thousands, tens of thousands, in your day you will see a million members of the Church in the South. There will be Temples plural in the South States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people. The missionaries love the South. We are making great strides and expect to continue." - President Spencer W. Kimball.
This week was amazing. We now have found three investigators. Ever since I got out in the field, I have felt kind of lost and, in a way, blind. As [my companion] and I have spent the Lord's precious time driving to visit less active members and potential investigators only to find them not interested or not there, tracting through neighborhoods for hours and coming out with no potential investigators, and spending our nights searching through the ward directory for people we can visit, I have gotten more and more discouraged.
I have wondered what I am doing wrong and what I can do to be a better representative of the Lord. I have been searching through the White Handbook for rules that I can obey better and trying to find the courage to open my mouth more. It has been a humbling experience for me. However, in the last week I received some hope, and it feels very good.
Up till now I have been kind of hesitant about opening my heart up to my mission here in Tennessee for fear that it will be broken when I receive my visa and have to leave this place to serve in Brazil. However, I think that my heart is beginning to open and will continue to do so as I diligently strive to continue to find those the Lord has prepared for me. I would rather have my heart broken helping someone come unto Christ than keep it intact and miss the chance to experience the Lord working through me to touch the lives of His children in the South.
I know that the Lord is preparing me to meet and teach some amazing individuals here in the South who I probably knew before I came to this earth and who I promised to find. I have every intention of keeping those promises and, although I may not remember them now, I know that with the help of the Lord, I will be able to.
In the last week I have been pondering the blessings of the Atonement and the blessings of the Sacrament. When you worthily partake of the sacrament each week, because of the Atonement of Christ, you become as pure and clean and perfect as you were the day that worthy Priesthood holder brought you out of the waters of baptism then laid his hands upon your head and bestowed upon you the Gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmed you a member of the Church. What an amazing blessing this is.
President Howard W. Hunter said, "Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others...A great indicator of one's personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others."
Ever since I gained a testimony of the Gospel, I have felt like Lehi in his dream, who partook of the fruit of the tree of life, which filled his soul with exceedingly great joy, and immediately desired that his family do likewise, for he knew the fruit was desirable above all other fruit. As I have been in the mission field for two weeks and invited individuals to come unto Christ, I have recognized that there are some who the Lord has prepared who are like Nephi and Sam and Sariah and willingly and enthusiastically partake of the fruit. It has been really amazing seeing how the Lord has prepared them.
However, there will of course be others, who are like Laman and Lemuel and murmur and reject the fruit. As you come across these people, you may become discouraged and feel like you are not making a difference. However, if you ever feel this week, think of Mormon and Moroni. They were two great Book of Mormon prophets who probably didn't feel like they were making much of a difference among the Lamanites. However, if you look at the fruit of their labors now, you cannot deny that they have changed the world.
Missionary Experiences of the Week:
1. We went caving last P-Day. We got pretty muddy!
2. When we were tracting the other day we knocked on the door of one house and explained who we were to the girl who answered. She told us she was a Christian and already went to church. However, she couldn't remember what church she went to. How sad would it be to not even know what church you belong to?
3. Did you know that ladybugs hibernate? There were ladybugs everywhere on Tuesday! I guess it's time for them to hibernate for the winter, so they're trying to find someplace warm to stay. They were all over the doors as we tracted, so they didn't exactly help our cause, seeing that many people didn't want to open the door when we knocked in fear of letting the ladybugs in. We had to speak through a few glass doors, which is [my companion’s] pet peeve.4. Halloween was canceled due to bad weather, so the Trick-or-Treaters came on November 1st. But [my companion] and I had "Dinner in a Pumpkin" and when the Trick-or-Treaters came we had bonus treats.