This last week wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't bad also. We were spending lots of time on finding. I set a goal to invite EVERYONE to be baptized; of course, I wouldn't extend the invitation if the person didn't even let us talk for more than 5 seconds. But I extended the invitation to everyone that we got to teach some restored truths. It is simple that we need to extend the invitation if we want to help someone prepare for baptism because people don't usually make changes unless they are invited to do so. For a very long time, I was afraid of inviting people to be baptized. I guess I just didn't want to hear a "NO". But now I understand that we need to have faith that people will say YES when we invite them to be baptized. Even if people say no, we can still keep teaching them because most of the times they say no because they don't understand the principle of baptism or the Priesthood authority to do so. And you never know what people will say until you ask.
We had a new investigator named Steve (name changed). He is a referral from Brother C., a member of our ward. Brother C. had been having gospel related conversations with Steve and had given him a Book of Mormon. Finally, Steve said that he would be willing to meet with the missionaries. Last Wednesday, we went to have dinner with Brother and Sister C. and Steve. Steve told us that he got interested in learning about what we believed because he had seen how much the gospel had blessed his friend's life. Steve really admired Brother C. that he lived the gospel and was willing to share it with him. We don't need to have a name tag to be missionaries. Live the gospel. Pray for opportunity to talk about the gospel with your friends and neighbors. Study the word of God daily so that you will be prepared to answer questions. Strengthen your testimony of the restored gospel. Don't ever underestimate the power of bearing your testimony.
We read 1 Nephi 8, Lehi's dream, with Lee. Lee is an incredible lady. Her husband is a member, but she is not. It's just a matter of time. I'm sure someday she will get baptized. I had read Lehi's dream many times before, but this time I finally was able to apply in to my own life. Lehi describes that many people have obtained the path to eternal life, but as they are walking to the tree of life (represents eternal life), a mist of darkness arises and many people lose their way. However, people who are clinging to the rod of iron (represents the word of God) and are pressing forward are able to make it to the tree and to partake of the fruit. The story doesn't end there. There is great and spacious building on the other side, and people in that building are pointing their fingers towards those who have partaken of the fruit. Some people feel ashamed and fall away. I was blessed to be born in the Church and was baptized when I was 8. Nevertheless, I wasn't clinging to the iron rod. During my teenage years, I cared way too much about what the other people thought about me; as a result, I let go of the iron rod. Thankfully, Heavenly Father has helped me to come back to the right path. "Hold to the rod, the iron rod; 'Tis strong, and bright, and true. The iron rod is the word of God; 'Twill safely guide us through (Hymn 274; The Iron Rod). I know that we can travel back to our Heavenly Father's presence in safety if we continue to feast upon the word of God daily.
We tracted into a less-active member two days ago. He grew up in Utah and was raised in the Church. However, he hasn't been active for about 15 years now (He fell away when he was a teenager). He doesn't have anything against the church and couldn't really explain why he hadn't been active. I didn't understand why people would get baptized but fell away later in their lives until I experienced that myself. I didn't officially turn less-active because I have always been going to church, but my heart was less-active when I was a teenager. I went to church simply because I didn't know how to tell my mom that I didn't want to attend church anymore. For a long time, I felt ashamed that I was so closed to falling away even though I was raised in the gospel by goodly parents. But now I have lots of charity towards those who are less-active because I know that they will come back. It would be ideal if none of us would fall away, but I'm also a firm believer that people can and will come back.
Have a good week everyone. Next week is transfer, so I won't be emailing until Tuesday afternoon.