"And it came to pass that they did go forth, and began to preach the word of God unto the people, entering into their synagogues, and into their houses; yea, and even they did preach the word in their streets" (Alma 32:1). As simple as that verse is, it's so powerful! Alma and his brethren were incredible missionaries. And they did the same thing we do. They preached the gospel to everyone. Wherever they were. On the streets, in their homes, you name it! They realized that teaching wasn't just reserved for a sit-down lesson in a solid investigator's house, but rather an all-day event. Something they were called to do all day, every day. They invited everyone to come unto Christ, for "there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ" (Mosiah 3:17). They had such a drive to do this, that they saw so much success. They literally demolished the areas they were assigned to, in a good way. What made them such good missionaries, though?
At least for Alma, it was that he realized the magnitude of his calling as a missionary. He says, "I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy" (Alma 29:9). It all comes down to that. Realizing that we are all just instruments in the hands of God. He is the one Hastening His Work. We are His servants. But that doesn't take away our own personal responsibility to do all that we can to "keep pace with His Hastening", to labor diligently, to cry repentance to all we can. Everything in the gospel is a choice!
This week, I had the privilege of attending Mission Leadership Council. President Burt is inspired. He talked a lot about hard work, diligence, faith, etc. And the bottom line of it all is to do as Lehi advised his sons to do, to "come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust" (2 Nephi 1:23). Last week was good. But Elder Marchand and I knew we could have done so much better. This week, we worked as hard as we could to invite everyone to come unto Christ, to reach our standards of excellence as a mission. It was hard at times, but God literally blessed us so much as we were able to just be diligent and go out and cry repentance to everyone. It all started with a choice we had to make first, though, to work. To go out there and show true faith. Anyone can say they want a miracle, that they hope for one. It takes something else to expect a miracle and go out and find one, leaning on the Lord for strength and working so hard to earn that strength. We had 5 people come out to church this week! It was incredible! We found an amazing family whom we are teaching now. The wife, Stephanie, is LOVING the Book of Mormon. She's reading it so much and hanging on to every word. they're good people that just want to change to provide a better life for their two-year old daughter. I know that as long as they do the things that He has commanded, that they will see this blessing for their family.
Our other investigators: Angela, Suki, Cecile, and Curtis, are doing so well. We have found some solid people we're teaching, and we're just going to continue until we have found all who our Heavenly Father wants us to find, teach, and baptize! Something I've noticed a lot recently is that the stronger opposition gets, the closer you are to a miracle. The adversary wants us to give up, to throw in the towel, and he is active in this fight. We are all enlisted. There is no more neutral ground. So let's all do everything we can do make sure that we are on the Lord's side! Because He can provide us with the strength we need to withstand the temptations and discouragements that are being thrown at us from all sides.
I know that the Savior lives, and that He loves each and every one of us perfectly, that His Father, our Father in Heaven, loves us as well. He is so passionate. We are His children! This is His work, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Yes, we are at war. But we already know who's going to win. So put on a jersey and start running!
I love this gospel. It is truly the only way to find happiness and joy in this life and the world to come.
P.S.: I was in New West this weekend, talkin' to everyone, and there was a huge nerd convention there! North West Fan Fest! It was literally a dream come true! I got to talk to Deadpool, Spiderman, the Ghostbusters, the Winter Soldier, and tons of anime people....and be on purpose!!! Haha. God knows His missionaries, and where they can be effective. ;)
Who Ya Gonna Call? The missionaries! Duh!
Elder Marchand G-Q cover pose.
E-mailin'. 'Nuff said.