So I realize that the Holidays are a fantastic time for missionaries and a terrible time for missionaries. Fantastic because there are so many opportunities for missionary work and sharing the Gospel and it becomes a lot easier to talk to strangers about Jesus Christ. Terrible because everyone is running around and about and is extremely busy with just about everything and so it is hard to get into people’s doors.
On Wednesday, we had an appointment with one of our investigators Kim… and she cancelled saying that she had a dentist appointment. On Wednesday night, we also had an appointment to meet with the Chadwick’s and “Share The Gift.” That got cancelled and got moved to Thursday night… which then also got cancelled and got moved to Friday night… which then got cancelled and moved to the week of December 15th. And we had a lesson with a family we are just now starting to teach that was set for last night… and they cancelled and said they could either meet this Wednesday or wait until Sunday. Soooo yeah, that’s been pretty disappointing.
Saturday evening was the Seville Ward Christmas Party (which the Chadwick’s were helping set up, which is a big reason why they kept cancelling) and so we went to that. It went pretty well and we got to make our rounds of talking to a lot of different people and talking about “He Is The Gift.” There were a few there that were not members, which were good. I also got to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas, which was probably the highlight of the night! Then later after the party, we tried stopping by the Reader’s, who are a family we taught one lesson to and all the others got cancelled and we stop by and they usually don’t answer the door. Well, we stop by Saturday evening at about 8PM and they answer the door! We talk for a little bit and they said they wouldn’t be able to continue with the lessons until the first week of January. So then we asked about us coming over and sharing a brief message on Christmas with the whole family, and we got one set up for December 16th. So that was good!
As you can probably tell, all of our missionary efforts thus far are pretty much focused all on “He Is The Gift” and sharing that with everyone. The Brethren are spending a lot of money on this. Buying out billboards in Times Square and the YouTube banner is not cheap. And I think about it and no other church would ever spend that much in a simple 2-3 minute video like this. Why is that? Well, there is the story in Matthew 26 when Christ was anointed by extremely expensive ointment. Judas Iscariot rebukes the woman who anointed him and said that it could have been sold and given to the poor and that it was a waste. Christ then responds by saying that she did a good work and essentially that Christ is our most important focus. It is the same here. Some may say that it is a waste of money for the church to be going all-out on a simple 2-3 minute video on Christmas and on the Savior… but the church recognizes that the wealth of the world are nothing compared to the heavenly wealth that we should seek and that ensuring that the Gift of Jesus Christ is shared to all the world is far more important than anything else. So just a friendly reminder that “He Is The Gift” is something that the church is taking very, very seriously, and that we need to make sure it reaches its full potential.
Sharing the “He Is The Gift” on our side has been going good. Haven’t seen too many results yet, but I think if we continue to diligently get at it, great things will come from this. This area has a LOT of potential, we have great ward mission leaders and great bishops in all of our wards, we have lots of investigators that we could be teaching if the lessons would stop cancelling, we’ve got lots of potentials, it’s just a matter of getting in the door of those we’re trying to contact. I really think it’s just a matter of time if we keep it up. We have been seeing a LOT of decked out houses this past week, which is pretty cool! In the Seville ward in particular, there’s a huge gated community which is pretty much all just big rich houses, so of course they go all-out on Christmas decorations. So that has been fun.
So it’s been a bit of a crummy week in many cases, but I’m still having fun. Honestly, that’s just what I’m trying to focus on right now more than anything else is just having fun. Yes, there’s the crummy parts of missionary work like the disappointments, the cancellations, other missionaries and missionary leaders hogging down your throats for stats and chastising you and making you feel like you’re not good enough during almost every zone meeting and district meeting in the most unchristlike manner ever… but I’m just sick and tired of having to deal with that. So I’m going to worry about the wards that I cover, the people I am teaching, doing the best I can, having fun as I’m doing it and that is it. Nothing else really matters as long as I am doing those things. And by focusing on that, I find myself a much happier person. There were many times when I have dreaded the mission… for pretty much four and a half months straight. But after going through probably my toughest time in the mission and – probably life in general so far – in September I was put in a good area with a good companion where we just went out and had fun and did mission work… which is really what I wanted before I got to the field. Just to go out there, have fun, and see miracles! And I have been able to see that. The mission is a good thing. I’ve got only about a year left… and after seeing Elder McGonigal go home, that served as a reminder to “enjoy to the end.”
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas time this month and that amongst all the gift shopping and everything, we all remember that the most important gift is the Savior Jesus Christ. Hope you all have a wonderful time!