One of the great joys of serving a mission is meeting the saints and hearing them share stories of how they became members of the church. In our part of the world it is still common to hear them talk about their pioneer heritage. We are blessed to have such a heritage and Pioneer Day is a wonderful tradition in the church.
Even more impressive is when I hear members talk of how they learned of the gospel through a member. As we ponder on ways we can be more effective as full-time missionaries my heart is moved to reflect on the comments Elder Ballard made in the April 2014 conference.
“…I feel I should follow up on what I delivered last general conference when I encouraged members to pray to be led to at least one person to whom they could extend an invitation to learn about the restored gospel…. Many Church members have shared with me some special experiences as a consequence of their asking the Lord for missionary opportunities.
One returned missionary, for example, specifically prayed to be led to “the one” he could reach. The name of a former college classmate came into his mind. He reached out to her over Facebook, and he learned that she had been praying for purpose and meaning in her life. He followed up just at the time she was searching for the truth, and in December she was baptized.
… may I suggest that we can all be more consistently involved in missionary work by replacing our fear with real faith, inviting someone at least once a quarter—or four times every year—to be taught by the full-time missionaries. They are prepared to teach by the Spirit, with sincere and heartfelt inspiration from the Lord.
… As President Thomas S. Monson has said, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him.”
Brothers and Sisters knowing who you are, why you have been sent to earth and knowing just a little about the wondrous blessing of eternal life is so common among us that we often fail to fully appreciate how much that knowledge enriches our life. This is blessing a loving Heavenly Father wishes all his children to have.
As a mission presidency we encourage you to pray, ponder and then act on Elder Ballard’s challenge. In doing so your life will be blessed regardless of the response you get; and, we are confident some meaningful number of God’s children will eagerly accept your invitation and join with you in meeting with the full-time missionaries.
Colorado Denver South Mission.