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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Why You Should Work More With The Missionaries

To those who know my wife and I well or speak or work with us on a regular basis, it's no mystery that we ABSOLUTELY LOVE being around missionaries.  The mantle a dedicated missionary carries in their calling can't usually be matched anywhere aside from ordained judges in Israel and General Authorities - and obviously Christ Himself.  Elder Kikuchi did a mission conference with us when I was serving here in the then Canada Toronto West Mission.  He talked about the need for missionaries to have daily contact with their investigators and made the following visual:

He compared the peaks to visits from the missionaries in investigators homes and represents the strength of the Spirit there.  When the missionaries leave that Spirit often leaves with them and that wonderful feeling slowly diminishes and even leaves over time.  The object of our missionary work, he taught, is to make it so that they can learn to keep the proverbial line of the graph at the top and continually getting even higher by building their own testimonies of truth and relationship with the Savior independent of missionaries.

We both have been members of the church for many years and have experience with how to both keep the Holy Ghost in our home and how to drive it out.  I'd say we are at least able to keep that line decently high in our home more often than not, but for the last several years we have been seeking to make that line not just stay high consistently, but continually raise the boundary of how high we can go.

This is where missionaries come in.  Their purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ as the Spirit directs.
Every member of the Lord's church should work more with missionaries because the more we are around them the more we are encouraged to raise our standard of being.  Missionaries invite us to strengthen our relationship with God as our Father, to study the scriptures instead of just read them, to get way outside of our comfort zone and invite everyone to join us in our journey to become Christlike.  They invite us to push the boundaries of our comfort zone with spiritual things and make our desires more in alignment with the Father's.

Stagnancy and apathy are two of the biggest killers of faith and I can say from personal experience that it's actually quite liberating when we invite changes in our perspective and motives instead of being afraid of such.  I remember the part in the movie Ratatouille where Remy's dad shows him the shop window with all of the rat traps and poisons and he tells Remy that that's nature.  That's just way it is and it won't change.  Remy replies with "change IS nature, dad".  When I finally realized that, not because of the movie, it was like a huge wall in front of me, speaking of spiritual progression, was knocked down and I didn't even know it was there until it came down.  I still have many challenges to overcome, but I know that working with missionaries and zealously being engaged in missionary work on a regular basis helps me to change in ways I never would have thought possible.  It has increased my love and awareness of the reality of the power of Christ's Atonement, the love of God, manifest through it, and the Plan of Happiness He has given us.  It has provided me with an amazing understanding of my own eternal, individual identity as a son of God.

Why else should we all be working more with the missionaries?

The missionaries are on full time service mode.  Do you need your home painted? Ask the missionaries to help.  Feeling depressed? Talk to the missionaries.  Too nervous to share the gospel with that one friend? Ask the missionaries to talk to them or give you ideas.  Would you like someone else to join you in a special fast for someone?  Missionaries LOVE fasting for special blessings for others.  Having a hard time understanding the scriptures?  Ask the missionaries for help.  They study them in depth for two hours a day.  Would you like someone to sing you a song?  Missionaries know the power of good music and would love to help you.  Does your yard need help but you just don't have the time or energy to do it?  Fill up the missionaries day with a service project.  Do you want to get out there and serve more yourself but are not sure where to start?  Let the missionaries know and I guarantee you they always have something you can do to help them.  Do you love just hearing good news about something?  Good things are happening all the time to missionaries.  Go ask them what is going well in their work or in the lives of those they teach.  Do you need consoling?  Missionaries teach about comfort and peace through Jesus Christ all the time.  Ask them to help you feel better.

President Monson has said "Unless we lose ourselves in the service of others, there is little purpose to our own lives." Giving the missionaries more ways to serve and minister or serving and ministering with them can be the ultimate Balm of Gilead in time of need or the ultimate source of power to help keep spiritual highs from dissipating or diluting over time.

There is still one more reason why I believe we should be working more with the missionaries.

I believe in the spiritual power from God we get for Jesus sake by making and keeping covenants.  Linda K. Burton's comments in October 2013 talk about the protection we get from our Savior by keeping covenants  we have made with Him.  One of those covenants is to be a witness of Him and His love to all the world, meaning, as least to me, to everyone - EVERYONE. The blessings He has promised us in return for doing this, the blessings He has given my wife and I are, without a doubt, worth the effort; worth the struggle; worth going way out of our comfort zone; worth being seen by others as fanatic, weird, deluded and more.  It's worth it because feeling His love and the power of His Atonement at work in our lives and seeing it in the lives of others gives us a level of joy we can't possibly describe with mortal language.

The fruits of keeping covenants are divine protection, power, healing, identity and change through Jesus Christ.  I have personally found that keeping this covenant has and will forever bring the deepest, truest peace, love and happiness available to the human spirit in all eternity because it magnifies the Spirit of the Lord in our hearts and the hearts of others.

If you want to come to know the Savior better and feel His love more, do more missionary work and when in doubt, work with the missionaries.