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The LDS Missionary Experience . . .
We continue to marvel at the amazing experiences that come to pass through the efforts of the many young people serving in all parts of the world . . . otherwise known as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon Missionaries, LDS Missionaries, Sister Missionaries, Elders) . . .
LDS missionaries receive a charge to teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They are called by priesthood authority, by a member of the living apostles present upon the earth today. They are called as authorized representatives of the Savior, Jesus Christ and are expected to represent him and do his work in all things.
Therefore they can teach with both power and authority . . .
Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. . . . Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. (2 Nephi 2:6,8)
You can’t miss them . . .
They have a very distinct appearance and they are pretty difficult to miss when you see them walking down the street two by two. Our favorite moments, and it happens frequently, we will be driving down the street on our way to a meeting somewhere, and spot two of our wonderful missionaries from the San Pedro Sula East Mission. We try to always carry treats in our car, or bottles of water so we have something to share with them when and wherever we find them! They always have big smiles on their faces, despite the 100 degree plus temperatures, perhaps pouring pouring rain, dusty dirty shoes from walking through the dry and rocky paths and trails of the mission here.
It never fails that they have incredible stories to share from their teaching and testifying of the previous week. We are amazed at all the good works that come to pass through their teaching and examples of service. We have seen so many wonderful families and individuals change their life for the better, quit drinking, stop smoking, become more dedicated mothers and fathers and families, youth prepare to serve their own missions. We love to see the light of Christ that comes into their lives as they change their lives to bring them more in line with the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Challenge of Missionary Work . . .
Missionary work is difficult, filled with daily challenges . . . but the many miracles and wonderful experiences make each painful moment worth while.
Not all missionary stories end happily . . . we can testify that miracles do not convert to a true knowledge of the gospel. Proven gospel principles and irrefutable evidence does not convert one person to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is only through the witness of the Holy Ghost, by those who are seeking to know the truth of all things . . . that one receives that conversion to the gospel deep into their heart. That’s when the beautiful, filled with light transformation begins to take place in the lives of those who come to know their Savior on a personal basis.
Sharing Missionary Experiences
I thought I would share just a few missionary experiences with you all today –
(Just a reminder . . . when you share missionary experiences, be sure not to share names of members, other missionaries, investigators or the locations they are serving. We want to protect the privacy of each of these people that we love so dearly. Try to refer to them with initials, or in some other way to protect their safety (always an issue here in Honduras) and their privacy).
. . . we experienced a great miracle this week! This week, one of our new converts had the opportunity to go to the temple! We were so proud of him . . . when we found him he was addicted to alcohol, and had a smoking habit. He has completely changed his life, and this week he went to the temple with the names of 10 of his ancestors. It is such a great blessing to see how this gospel really changes lives and makes people happy! . . .
. . . this has been a challenging week, and even though we have been working so hard, we have seen very little progress, but we keep talking with everyone and know that Heavenly Father will guide us. We did have a great experience teaching family history to a recent convert. We have been helping him fill our his “My Family” pamphlet, and we are helping him get set up with an account in FamilySearch. We are finding it incredible that this is helping him increase his testimony of the gospel and feel the power of the blessings of the temple . . .
(Bet you never thought your 19 year old missionary would be doing this)
. . . it’s been a little crazy this week. A ward member suffered an emotional attack and locked the family out of the house. The member remained inside distraught, with their youngest daughter, and holding a machete. The bishop asked for our help, to visit the family and see what we could do. We literally ran to the house and spoke to the member through the window. The distraught member was experiencing many great family challenges and didn’t feel able to go on . . . A priesthood blessing was refused, and we prayed mightily for help and guidance as to what to say or do. We felt inspired to share Isaiah’s words in Chapter 53 on the Savior’s suffering on our behalf. And bore a simple testimony that the Savior bore pain and grief and a broken body for exactly this sort of need, and that we CAN rely on Him. After some time, the daughter was allowed to leave the house, and we were so grateful we had taken Elder Neil L. Andersen’s challenge to memorize scripture to heart. It was just what we needed today . . .