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"How Great Shall Be Your Joy"

Sometimes I still struggle with the fact that I did not get to serve a mission, especially since the age has been lowered and sister missionaries now are more common and viewed more positively. When I start feeling jealous or inferior, I remind myself that I don't need a name tag to be a missionary and that the emphasis is on members being the fishers now. But how to start? High school presented plenty of opportunities to share and defend the gospel, and I even gave a Book of Mormon to a friend. Then while attending BYU and living in Mesa/Gilbert, it was harder to find and interact with nonmembers. But now here in Phoenix, the field is white and ready to harvest!

A couple weeks ago I finally met my downstairs neighbors, a mom and her 10-year-old son from the Chicago area. We've been hanging out ever since. Monday evening they were over here and we got talking about what Mormons believe. It led to me giving the mom a Book of Mormon and discussing the gospel until 9:30 p.m. She shared that she felt peace at that moment and the Spirit in our home every time she comes. She was so excited, and I was excited that she was excited. She said she felt like this is what she was missing in her life.

I could not believe my ears! Although my close friends have always been respectful of my beliefs and willing to listen, and the friend I gave the Book of Mormon to accepted it, I have never received the kind of response my neighbor displayed. I was so ecstatic and nervous--and lost at times because I felt so out of practice. She reignited the fire within me. Even before this golden missionary moment, her closeness to the Spirit and desire to follow God's will and trust Him completely inspired me to work more on my own spirituality and relationship with Christ.

Yesterday we discussed the Atonement. My simple explanation taken from Alma 7:11-13 gave her the comforting answers she was looking for. I told her about fast and testimony meetings and she asked if she could come to the next one. I asked her if she wanted to meet with the missionaries and she agreed, though she doesn't understand why it's necessary since she said I was doing just fine teaching her. She thanked me for giving her this great treasure (a "nugget" in her own words).

Today she shared with me that she told her out-of-state boyfriend about what happened and he reacted positively. I was afraid he would tell her to stop talking to me or something, but apparently, before now, neither had heard anything about Mormons beyond the name!

I feel like a real missionary. I am so excited and happy, as described in D&C 18:15. I wonder if this is how the missionaries feel when they teach investigators and if the feeling wears off as time goes on or gets more intense. I am so happy to be part of this woman's spiritual journey, even if it doesn't lead to baptism. She has proven to be a blessing in my life as well. We already have a great friendship!

Challenge: Don't let fear or insecurity keep you from sharing the most precious gift you can offer Heavenly Father's children. You don't have to be a formal missionary to be an instrument in the Lord's hands!


DAD said…
you are a missionary
Anonymous said…
Dear Cheski,
I like the article you posted about missionary work and how we need to save peoples' lives. The phrase "the field is white and ready to harvest" reminds me of how important missionary work is, and that we need to do it before it is too late. There are people ready to hear and accept the gospel, but are waiting diligently for us to be "fishers of men", or to grab them from the darkest abyss. You are always a good example to me and I admire you very much.

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