This week I was able to experience what it is like to have immense amounts of success from a numbers standpoint as a missionary, but unfortunately a lack of success in actually helping the people that Elder Grasinger and I are teaching and working with to progress. Now although it might sound as though I am more focused on the numbers than the people that I am trying to invite to come unto Christ, I do care more about the people and that quality of the work than just obtaining the numbers. But my mind does work very much in numbers and so it makes keeping track of them extremely easy for me without having to put much thought or effort into it. This past week Elder Grasinger and I got more lessons than either of us had ever taught in a week, and talked to more people than either of us have ever talked to in a week. I’m not going to share the numbers that we got, but from a numbers stand point, we look like we did enough work to cover for 3 sets of missionaries. And yet from a spiritual standpoint, we only did as much work as the next set of missionaries. My Mission President has stressed the importance of numbers a lot in my Mission, but he has also stressed how much he could care less about keeping track of them if they did not represent the souls of people that we were trying to bring unto Christ. He tells us to think as every individual number as someone that we can view in pure white temple clothing since that is our ultimate goal in the end. So when I bring up numbers now, think of it as a person with the potential to be dressed in white standing before the Temple. I often have to remind myself, privately to remember that the quality of each number is far greater than the quantity. The quality lessons are the ones that I look forward to because those are the lessons that strengthen my own testimony and the ones that deeply affect the people that I am teaching since a qualities lesson is one that is overwhelmed by the Spirit. Those quality lessons are the ones that cause people to the develop the desire to change themselves, and another one of the glorious privileges that missionaries have out here to is to watch people turn their entire lives around. So from my own perspective, I feel that I was only able to teach 8 quality lessons this week which is a fraction of the amount of lessons that I taught in total. 2 of the lessons were so spiritual and amazing that I added both of them to my list of Spiritual Shockwaves. So again, it was a good week, but not because of the quantity of numbers, but the quality.
- Elder Grasinger and I went over the house of Brian Hernandez and taught his 2 older sisters first while we waited for him to get home. This is the Brian that I got baptized 3 transfers ago. At first we just all talked while we waited for Brian to get home but it ended up taking 30 minutes, so by that point I decided that we should just teach them something since one of his sisters is a less-active and the other is a previously dropped investigator that I have worked with in the past. We showed them the Refiner’s Fire video and then went one to explain 3 of the analogies that can be taken from the video. The analogies were about Newton’s 1st law being translated into a gospel sense where by our capacity for sadness is equal to our capacity for joy, meaning the more trials we go through, the greater the joy that we can experience. And that analogy perfectly led into the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how he has experienced more pain and sorry then any mortal being could ever have the capacity to experience thus making his capacity for joy infinitely greater than any of ours. And love is a form of joy and we know that the Love that Christ has for us is only comparable to another member of the God Head’s Love for us. And the final point of the video was how the black smith in the video was a representation of God and how he molds, forges, and refines each of us into a more perfected and beautiful human being that becomes worthy of the potential that we have and worthy to stand before God at the last day just like how the metal in the video was beaten into the form of a beautiful rose. Sharing the Refiner’s Fire video and expounding upon the principles that it conveys is one of my favorite lessons to give people out side of the main 5 discussions.
- Elder Grasinger and I stopped by a less-active that I used to visit with 3 transfers ago in this area and when she opened the door to us, she was on the verge of tears and obviously trying her hardest to hold them back. This woman is someone that my companionship and the Hermanas here have both been teaching since the Hermanas can comfort her better than Elders can and since the Hermanas have asked us to visit her as well to invite the spirit more powerfully into her home and also because she knows me better than anyone else out of the 4 of us.
So we spent the first 45 minutes there just talking to her and giving her time to recuperate her emotions. After being there for nearly an hour, there was a moment of silence where no one knew what to say and so I decided to take that opportunity to move in with a Spiritual thought since it was getting late and we needed to get going. We shared the Mormon Message “Lift” which is one of the newer ones that was recently released this year. It talks about Service and how it can heal the soul since turning outward as Christ did is the perfect medicine to heal the sadness and sorrow within the soul while physical infirmities often force an individual to turn inward instead since they need to focus on taking care of themselves in order to become physically healthy again. This woman is pregnant right now and her current emotional status is very negative which can cause negative impacts on the baby which is becoming apparent as she has been having to go to the hospital frequently to check on the baby for unknown reasons probably caused by her current levels of sadness. So when we showed her this video and I began to expound the principles within it, I decided to start by addressing how obvious her sadness was to us and what some of the consequences could be if she doesn’t do something to change it. It was a little straightforward how I brought it up but I felt that that was how it needed to be stated. We then shared with her many examples of how people in the scriptures have been made happier through their service to others, especially Jesus Christ who’s entire life consisted of service to others and how happy he was as a human being how great his love was for everyone. Up to this point she still hadn’t said a word and was just in tears again now because of how strong the apparent presence of the Spirit was amongst us. The major source of her sadness is from her marriage right now and lack of trust in many of her family members so we committed her to trying her hardest to get past that lack of trust for a little bit and trying to do service to everyone in her family and promised her that as she would do that, her sadness would would depart and relationship with everyone in her family would begin to improve. She accepted that and thanked us for coming over that night and invited us back to come again in a few days.
I just love teaching lessons that so powerfully influence people to change and become better and that testify to them the truthfulness of the Gospel and this Church. I’m hoping to have the privilege of having another great week again like last week and that everyone back at home will have an uplifting week as well.
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville