October 6, 2014
Thank you for the wonderful letter you wrote. I especially love what Kirsten wrote this past week...I think I have been having similar feelings lately!
This week was difficult for me, but I truly gained a testimony of the last part of chapter 1 in PMG, “A Successful Missionary.” I think at the beginning of my mission, I imagined myself at the end as being a missionary with power and authority who knows exactly what she is doing and has success as a result of increased faith and sensitivity to the Spirit. Yes, my faith and testimony of the gospel have increased but I am at the end of my mission and I still feel as lost and helpless at times as I did in the beginning. This transfer was an interesting one for me. I thought for sure I would stay in my other area until the end. We had investigators on date for baptism and things were going well. But I was transferred. I remember praying after getting the transfer call and expressing my feelings to my Heavenly Father. A sweet peace came over my heart as I felt there was truly a purpose for me being transferred.
I, with my limited mind and vision, thought the reason I was here was to find a prepared person or baptize an elect family, and I was excited. I got to the area and saw it was struggling a little bit because the sister before me was sick and they had to stay in the house lots of days. But that didn’t stop us. We went to work. I absolutely love my companion, because she wants to work hard like I do. We went out every day and talked to so many people. We saw miracles. We found new people to teach. I fell in love with my area and with the members here who are so willing to work. I had to glue my shoes multiple times because of how much we walked. But here we are at the beginning of the last week and still nothing happened. This week was especially hard. We had one investigator on date, but it fell through. We had exchanges and they were stressful. Things didn’t happen as we wanted them to.
For a while I wanted to feel down. I wanted to feel frustrated at the lack of results that I thought I would see at the end of my mission. I remembered my investigators in my other area got baptized and I questioned why I was here.
But I read "A Successful Missionary" and my vision grew. I realized maybe I am here to help my companion who had a hard time last transfer. Maybe I am here to build up a teaching pool right now so that other missionaries can have success in the future. Maybe I am here to help the less-active family I love so much. Maybe I am here for my own personal growth and testimony. I don’t know the purpose right now...but the most beautiful thing is that’s ok! PMG says:
Your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people and to help them become faithful members of the Church who enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost.
Avoid comparing yourself to other missionaries and measuring the outward results of your efforts against theirs. Remember that people have agency to choose whether to accept your message. Your responsibility is to teach clearly and powerfully so they can make a correct choice. Some may not accept your message even when they have received a spiritual witness that it is true. You will be saddened because you love them and desire their salvation. You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith. If you lower your expectations, your effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit.
You can know you have been a successful missionary when you:
• Feel the Spirit testify to people through you.
• Love people and desire their salvation.
• Obey with exactness.
• Live so that you can receive and know how to follow the Spirit, who will show you where to go, what to do, and what to say.
• Develop Christlike attributes.
• Work effectively every day, do your very best to bring souls to Christ, and seek earnestly to learn and improve.
• Help build up the Church (the ward) wherever you are assigned to work.
• Warn people of the consequences of sin. Invite them to make and keep commitments.
• Teach and serve other missionaries.
• Go about doing good and serving people at every opportunity, whether or not they accept your message.
When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.
This beautiful message brought me so much comfort and joy. I will continue working hard and having faith and trust in the Lord during my last week as a missionary. I learned the biggest triumph I can have right now is to be obedient and hard-working until the very, very end.
I know at times I have a lack of faith and vision, but I know every trial and experience during my mission was necessary for my personal growth and salvation. I know this gospel is true. I know God’s plan is perfect. I know He is happy with the service I have rendered and I am excited to wear myself out proclaiming the gospel this week!!
Love you all!! Thanks for the support!
p.s. Wasn’t conference so wonderful?? It was a great experience to watch it all in Portuguese...yes I missed lots of things and sometimes I laughed only because other people were laughing when in reality I had no idea what was going on. But I loved it!! So many great and inspiring talks. It really gives you a good perspective of how worldwide our church really is.