I learned so much this week that I felt like I needed to write. I am going to just focus on one thing though: having the faith to find.
In the mission we teach a decent amount, but more than anything we are finding more people to teach. We talk to people we already know, reach out to people we have met with in the past, knock doors, use social media, etc. It can be super exhausting when you are working super hard but aren't finding very many new people to teach.
Something that came to mind was the scripture in James 2:17 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." I feel like so often in the church we talk about how we have to put in the work for our faith to bring miracles, and this is very true. However, if we reverse it and say that work without faith is also dead, what does that mean?
Well I am coming to find that as missionaries we work really hard but sometimes we aren't as great at the faith part. We have complete faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and his ability to change people, but we lack the faith that anyone will ever want to change through Jesus Christ. The thing is that we will go out from door to door trying to tell people about our message for hours on end, but not have the expectation or faith that God will put someone in our path. So why would he? And then we lose our motivation because we didn't find anyone. If we don't expect him to, how can he expect us to teach with power, authority, and faith to the people that are so ready.
However, when we have the faith to find and we put in the work needed, miracles come at us from all directions. As I have practiced this I have seen the hand of God in my life more than ever before.
One experience this week shows exactly this. Sister Allphin and I were exhausted, the time change really got us, and all of our friends that had committed to coming to church didn't end up showing up. We weren't having a bad day, but we were exhausted. As every lesson that we had planned for the day fell through, we decided that tracting (knocking from door to door) would be the best use of our time. We pumped ourselves up to go and we started knocking doors. Within 30 minutes we had found 2 new people to teach and we had full confidence that God would continue to provide. We prayed specifically to be led to someone in that complex that was looking to make changes in their lives. We only had about 15 minutes left before we had to be at another appointment, but instead of stopping there and taking a quick break (which would have been really easy) we decided that we would start the next building. We knew that we were not done and that God had someone else that he needed us to come across. We got to the very last door and Makaylah opened the door. She immediately asked if we were LDS and we responded that we are missionaries for the church. We asked if she was a member of the church and she said "no, but I have talked to missionaries in the past. We lost contact when I moved, but I want to be baptized." She proceeded to tell us about the experiences she had in the past and the spirit she felt. She even said "you missionaries are hard to find" (which is so bizarre to me because we talk to everyone, leave cards everywhere, and are actively promoting what we do all the time) Before we could ask anything else, she gave us her phone number and work schedule, scheduled a return appointment, asked about a Bible or Book of Mormon study class (institute), and asked for a pamphlet to read before we came back! And the best thing ever is that our Relief Society President lives right next to her complex! This was such a miracle to us of having the faith to find.
This concept has been so clear in our social media finding too! There are a lot of missionaries that do not like to use social media because they feel like it doesn't work. I will be honest I was one of them... but through my present calling I have found the faith to find through social media and now my companion and I are finding several new people to teach every week through social media that are so ready for the gospel. These are people that we never would have found without putting in the effort to find them on social media and having that faith that the Lord would guide us to them.
Miracles require work, but they also require faith. Any miracle in the scripture exemplifies this. The prophets of old knew that they had to do their part and have full confidence that God would do his. Our God is a God of miracles and he is dying to give them to us. I cannot say all this without a warning though. Every miracle that I have received has come after the adversary has tried to get me down. Satan knows that this gospel is true and that it can bless so many people. He does not want that. He wants us all to be miserable. When we found Makaylah, we were super close to calling it and giving up, but because we put in the work and exercised our faith we were able to find her. Another amazing example of this is the first vision of Joseph Smith! (If you don't know what this is email me and I would love to talk you more about it!) Satan is very real and powerful, but God is realer and way more powerful. So trust him, put in the work, have confidence in the God of miracles, and then step back and see what miracles he will provide you. I promise he always provides them!
I love you all so much! Have faith this week and trust that God will do his part.
This week rain made me happy!