Monday, June 6, 2011

#92 - "All Now Rejoice"

Dear Friends and Family, Family and Friends, June 6, 2011

     We've been in the rainy season lately. It's like Oregon weather every day. When it pours, other missionaries go in. Elder Ni. and I have decided, that is the time to show our testimonies. Plus, it helps every time before we set off into the storm that Elder Ni. yells "It's HERO TIME!"
     This week has been one giant learning experience. My companion and I are really putting the pedal to the medal, averaging around 35 lessons a week since we started. One giant problem though... no one is coming to church! It was a great experience for me, though. I'm glad to be serving with Elder Ni.. He really is a buoy when I otherwise would be falling to pieces. Let me explain before I get overly dramatic. I am not upset because poor numbers may reflect a poor missionary. This is not a matter of glory anymore. Frankly, I'm about to finish, and Elder Farnbach's legacy on the Ghana Accra mission will probably float away in a matter of months. But it pains me to struggle so because I know that what we teach is the key to and source of eternal happiness, and if no one is listening, they are only hurting themselves.
     At the same time, Elder Ni. rightly pointed out that, while we may not be having a lot of external measurable success, the Lord has a purpose for all of this, and it is best if we just continue to work towards that purpose. "This might just be the rest of your mission" he said, "but if you learn the lesson from it, it is not wasted." What a blessing to a stress-case like me!
     We did have many times this week where we felt led by the Spirit. To get to our main area from our apartment, we pass a little back-road. That day, I felt led to knock on a giant compound house that I have passed a dozen times. When we came to the door, a university student answered. "Wait a minute... are you Latter-Day Saints?"
"Yes. Yes we are."
"I was just assigned to do a presentation on you for a class. One minute." He went back into his room to bring out his printed-out notes.
Now, normally I get a little uneasy when someone studies us from the Internet, but it's usually nothing new. After asking a few questions about the Book of Mormon, the First Vision, and of course, Polygamy, we noticed that the topic kept coming back to constant revelation.
"Everything in the Church, from the calling of leadership to the practices on Sunday is led by Revelation," we said. The weirdest question was "How do you know who to teach?" The answer was "Let's read about Nephi and Laban. 'I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand whither I should go'". It was weird, but then the Spirit filled in the gaps when we asked to have another appointment. "This is the only day I was going to be here," he said.
"Interesting how this is the day, then, I felt impressed to knock on your door," I said. This story really sums up my week. We didn't get a return appointment. In the narrow, this lesson accomplished nothing. But we answered a prompting and did what God asked us to do. Whether or not that means another baptism for us is not the point. We do not get the results we want doing the Lord's work. We get the results He wants. I wish I could understand and see that better, but every time I get discouraged, it is because I forget that point.
     The next day, still distraught at our recent dry-spell, I was singing to my self on my bike ride. For some strange reason, I got all choked up at the words, "All now rejoice, the long night is o'er." I had not felt particularly emotional any other time that day. But the Lord was telling me that, even if I wasn't having the success I wanted, the magnitude of the message I deliver should be enough to make me happy. How grateful I am, to live in a time where the light of the Gospel is on the earth. I love my Heavenly Father, and want to do His will.
Elder W. Farnbach

1 comment:

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