Missionary work is radical. In the same sense that the Lord made the raw meat in the wilderness sweet to the taste of Lehi and his family, the Lord makes spaghetti sweet for his missionaries. After nearly 2 years of doing the exact same thing week after week, I only get more satisfaction in doing it.
Once on my mission, someone that I contacted said something very interesting. He said, "Even if no one listens to you, the world mocks you, your message is rejected, don't be discouraged, everything that you do serves at something greater than you. You BREATH peace."
This week most of our miracles were accomplished because of the faith of members. For example, remember Yannick, the super cool business professor, smart, funny, good-looking. We taught him again with his former student, our Elders Quorum President. The rendez-vous was a testimony to me that the Spirit truly can change our hearts. He, and he only, can teach us truth. At the start of the rdv, Yannick had evidently read some anti-mormon material on the net between the two visits. He came in with the attitude that he knew Joseph Smith was a fraud, that he had the whole system figured out and that he was going to teach us something. We were patient. We listened to him. We let him speak. There was no conviction behind his words, he was just confused and spitting out the things ideas that he gathered. We showed the Joseph Smith film, in which there is a quote staying "I do not blame anyone for not believing me, if I had not lived what I lived, I would not believe it myself". The member who was with us bore a sincere testimony of the Book of Mormon. We shared our testimonies as well. Little by little the spirit worked on the heartstrings of his heart as he understood the things that we were telling him. By the end of the rdv he was completely recommitted to relying on God, the source of all truth, praying and reading the Book of Mormon. That evening we got a text from him that said, "I read, I prayed, I was very tired, I didn't feel the warmth in my heart, but I do not dispair, I am going to redouble my prayers and finish by getting an answer. It is beautiful to believe in God and to have faith." Later on the week he said, "I've been praying, but I haven't heard anything yet, but I love it. I've also been watching videos of the Church of Jesus Christ done by the great bishop in Salt Lake ( :) )" He then asked for another chapter to read in the Book of Mormon. I know that he will receive his answer in the Lord's time and in his manner. Faith, real intention and sincerity are the only requirements.
Last night, we were with a wonderful recent convert who is preparing for a mission. We were supposed to teach Leo, but he had fallen sick and could not see us. The member we were with received the inspiration that we needed to go and visit someone who Elder Smith and I had taught with him nearly 3 months ago. This was someone who called me after our first lesson with her and told me that she was no longer interested and asked if she could give me back the Book of Mormon. I told her to keep onto it, that it was our gift. Despite the circumstances, we followed the member's inspiration and went to this woman's appartment. I told her on doorbell call phone that we were in the neighborhood, we'd thought of her and that we'd like to share a short message with her. We were very surprised when she let us in. Her attitude towards opposed that of the last time I had spoken to her. She was very warm and she offered something to drink. She was happy to start our message with a prayer. She listened very opening to the things that we had to say. At the end of our message she said the closing prayer. A very sincere prayer thanking God for sending us to her that evening. She had commited to read a passage that we left her from the Book of Mormon. She also invited us to come back over this weekend. I am grateful that we decided to follow this member's spiritual prompting.
I'm starting to recognize and appreciate the lengths that our Heavenly Father went to to make this mortal journey, based on how we choose to use it, an incredibly enriching, delightful and happy experience. Life is wonderful. I testify of the love our Heavenly Father. He loves us. Even when we don't deserve it, he loves us. The light, strength and power that comes from this love is amazing. He manifested his love by sending his beloved son, Jesus to us. He showed us how to love. He breathed peace. He did the greatest act of love for imaginable (or rather unimaginable). For these truths I am grateful. Let this love guide us to obedience in our daily life!