Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
There were times throughout the week in which I felt very exhausted and tired... but as I thought about this scripture, it gave me a reminder of why I am a missionary. I want everyone I meet to have the Gospel. I can't force it on anyone... but I know the blessing that will come if they choose to listen. I have seen many lives changed and filled with hope after they felt the influence of the Holy Ghost. We had an amazing experience this week that I would like to share.
As we prepared for MLC this week we decided that as a mission... the disconnect between our High number of new investigators being found and the low number of baptisms is because of our teaching skills. As we counseled with President Wilson it became very clear that the power in which the Restoration was being taught in the first contact needed some improvement. We prepared a training on teaching for understanding in the very first contact. I was a little unsure if this was the exact route we needed to go... Heavenly Father will always give us a confirmation if something is true... so I decided if that was the case then he would reassure me.
A couple weeks ago while on exchange I saw a lady climbing some stairs to her apartment... she was too far away to chase down... so instead I yelled to her. She looked over at us and recognized us immediately. She said that she had met with missionaries with her family 5 or 6 years ago when she was living in Myrtle Creek Oregon. My immediate thought was... how cool would that be if Tanner was the one who taught them. She told us to stop by in a week. This week we went by their house and knocked on their apartment door. She opened the door and the first words out of her mouth were "ohhh... well... I don 't know how to put this nicely... but we are not interested at all in your church" When someone says that right off the bat... it is pretty easy to give up on them... but the first words out of my mouth were... "Have you read the Book of Mormon?" That immediately brought out her concern... she answered No and told us her real problem was that she couldn't believe in Joseph Smith and that she had never felt "filled" when she heard about our church. We asked her if she would allow us to share a 10 minute message and we promised her that she would feel that our message was true. She let us in and to our surprise, her husband and son sat on the couch to listen as well. We began to share the message of the Restoration and immediately we could tell they had many many questions.. We answered a couple of them and then told them that all of their questions would be answered with our message. We taught one of the most powerful lesson on my mission. The spirit was so strong that S** was in tears, her husband M** expressed feelings of the spirit, and chance told us he wanted to go on a mission. They asked if we could please make time for them and come back:) "Well... I guess we can squeeze you in;)" haha
In our MLC I was able to testify with Confidence that when we teach for understanding with the spirit... People will understand the Restoration... If the Restoration is truly understood then people will read the book of mormon, come to church, and will plead to be baptized. It was an awesome meeting:)
The second meeting with the D** family was just as good. We took Brother K** with us (He is my favorite... he is an amazing teacher) Right from the start M** opened up to us and expressed some of his problems. We testified that the Atonement is there to help us where we are at... not to help us once we are perfect. In his own words he said "Before you guys came I felt like I had a 4 ton Elephant on my shoulders... within 15 minutes I felt that burden lifted just from talking with you guys." He definitely has some huge obstacles to climb... but I wish you could have seen his face when we talked about baptism and being given a clean slate:)
I love being a missionary and can't believe how time slips away. This coming week is transfers so we will be on the go non stop for the first few days:)
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love Elder Crandall