"W" got baptized and confirmed this week!!! It was a miracle! There was some excitement about having to find earplugs at the last second and wondering if they had to be white but it totally worked out! We are busy, busy with honestly almost too much to keep track of. We have seen a lot of blessings recently and it's easy to get caught up in all that goes on and look beyond the mark.
This week I studied a lot about the Holy Ghost and then about the history of the Bible, ruffling through the Bible dictionary to understand better. And by the way, let me just say that there is nothing better than learning as you speak. There was a particular instance yesterday where I got asked a question I had never thought about before (this happens a LOT. I hear things and I'm either like "how in the world did you get that?" or like "WHY HAVE I NEVER WONDERED THAT??" Just goes to show that there is so much left to learn and you are never done learning the gospel). So anyway I got this question and my companions look at me like "we're not giving this a shot and we know you have theories about all these things so go for it." So I did. And I totally learned so much as I spoke because the Spirit answered this lady's question and I got to sit back and observe. I love witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy as we walk around and talk to people. I took no thought before hand and it truly did come out the way it was supposed to.
This stream of consciousness leads me also to thoughts of negativity. I have a challenge for each of you. Next time before you go to sacrament meeting or church or an activity, pray for the gift of discernment to know who you can lift or fellowship when you are there. People come and walk into church all the time, people who are struggling with burdens we can't fully understand. People who haven't walked into a church in decades. I invite some of them to do that. And there is nothing worse than having that person, who has been promised God's love shown to them by others at church, sit alone and not be welcomed, not be spoken to, not be offered a hand up.
There is never a good reason to speak negatively about anyone. Ever. Yes, it's unfortunate that people sometimes deny themselves the blessings of the temple or of eternal families because someone said something offensive or looked at them sideways, but it's even more sad to me that any of that would happen in the first place. Look and love so that they may look and live. Seek OUT who at church is a visitor or hasn't been there in a while. Find them. Welcome them. Love them. Understand them. Because that's all people want, to be understood and to feel loved.
But it's more than that. It's not about what you say. It's about who you are, and if who you are is worthy of who you're meant to be. It's the same with missionaries as it is with members of the church. You're either a salesman or a disciple of Christ and, just as in everything else, there's really no middle ground. The difference comes in underlying motive and true desire, but the manifestation of that desire is in attitude above all else. There just isn't a reason to treat other people badly, to look down on them, to be mean or hurtful or unkind or belittling or unwelcoming. That makes you a salesman. A disciple, on the other hand, is all about being active. Being loving. Being real. WANTING to serve. Be that disciple!
I love my missionary job. Not much more to it.