This has been an interesting week. There are two miracles, or growing experiences, that I would like to share. The first was Saturday. The day as a whole. There was a stake Relief Society activity most of the day but no one we invited could come. So we went about fulfilling our purpose as missionaries--seeking opportunities to teach. We followed up with about a dozen people. We went through our plans. We went through our back-ups. We went thoroughly through our plans. Very few people home and it was bad timing for the couple who were. "Why couldn't we just go to the activity even though we didn't have anyone going?" was what the morning started out as and even continued into the sweltering afternoon. As we went through our plans, as we searched out souls and sought opportunities to teach, my paradigm shifted to, "What is it that I can learn from this experience? What is the Lord trying to teach me?" By dinner we'd had little "success" but I felt accomplished. I had no regrets. I did all that lied in my power and that was all I could do. If people weren't hope or not interested that is not in my sphere of responsibility. I had no Regrets. I knew the Lord was happy with our efforts. It was The Day of No Regrets.
The miracle of lesson plans. Trish. We prayed. We planned. We role-played and prayed again. We seeked guidance from the Lord and advice from other missionaries. We studied and revised. Then we role-played in the car, again. We stressed over this for days. Not being able to know how or if everything would work. But we moved forward. Last night, the lesson began as more a venting session but as we desired with every fiber of our being to help her--and even prepared to drop everything we'd planned--the Spirit clearly prompted us what to say, what invitations to extend, and how to discern her needs. This led to us sharing everything we'd prepared and much much more. I have never testified so much in a lesson. I was a little shocked at what I shared, not expecting half of it to come out of my mouth. I am happy it did though. I put everything on the table. Trish may not know or understand everything perfectly, or even want to...I don't know. But after last night, she does know that I know 1) That trials are essential to this life and that it is only through our Savior that we will endure them well and learn the lessons He is trying to teach us and 2) The Book of Mormon has power to fortify and to strengthen, and that it has become a daily necessity for me. For me, this became The Lesson of No Regrets.
Elder Callister, of the Presidency of the Seventy, spoke to our stake yesterday. A man of "perfect understanding" regarding the process and necessity of The Great Apostasy, or period of time when the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not on the earth. He gave 9 reasons or proofs of how we know there was/would be an apostasy. A couple I would mention that stood out to me:
1. The doctrine of eternal marriage was lost. The Bible begins with marriage between a man and a woman Jesus testifies of it: And Jesus answered and said unto them...But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Mark 10:5-9)
For those who will allow the Spirit to testify to them, they will know that this is an essential doctrine instituted from the beginning of time. They will know that it is an essential part of Heavenly Father plan and purpose to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).
2. The prophets prophesied of it. Acording to Elder Callister there are over 70 biblical references to the apostasy. It was and is part of The Plan. The Lord was not ignorant of the time when many of the teachings of Jesus would be lost and His authority removed. It happend in the past and it happened once more. Was brings me the greatest joy is that Jesus Christ has assured us this will never happen again. His Church, His Authority, His Teaching--The Gospel--are here to stay. With that assurance that His work will "go forth boldly, nobly, and independant," let us not be afraid to bring other unto Him. This is the end of the harvest. Now is the time for US to go forth "boldly, nobly, and independant" of daily challenges, fears, and opposition, as the pioneers did.
I am so thankful for the privilege and opportunity to be a missionary. I may not be perfect...I know I'm not :) I know however, through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, my efforts will be enough. As I exercise and give proof or evidence of my faith that the Lord will fulfill His promises. He always does.