We had some cool experiences this week. We were walking by a less active member's house and we saw that their driveway wasn't shoveled. We wanted to shovel it but we didn't have a shovel. So we kept going and knocked on some other doors. We met this guy that wasn't that interested but he said his neighbor just moved in so we could try her. So we did. First thing she said to us was, "Are you Mormons?... Yeah you can come and teach me?... But I might not be converted!". It was sweet! Plus she let us borrow her shovels so we went and shoveled the driveway. We also met someone else this week as she was getting out of her car. She said she had been thinking about joining a church lately so she is willing to have us come teach her.
A new finding tool we have started trying is what we call survey tracting. Knock on a door and ask if we can get their opinion on 4 questions. People usually like preaching rather than being preached to so it works out. Right now our questions are:
1. Does God's Plan require a church? We haven't asked very many people yet but we have yet to have someone who says yes. Most people up here believe churches are good but they don't think they are necessary. Its a great way to connect with people about the apostasy.
(we are thinking about adding a follow up question. Where does the idea of church come from?) Duh the bible! But then they're confused because why do churches matter? Everyone knows they're man made. Then we tell them. God does have a church. It does matter. There is 1 not a million. It was on the earth then it left. Man made their own. Then it came back.
2. Define a family: The plan for this one was to get people to say whether or not they supported gay marriage. But we're gonna have to rephrase the question. Super big issue. People like their opinions to be heard.
3. Do you do Genealogical research? Our family history center is awesome!
4. What's the craziest thing you've heard about Mormons? My favorite one. It gives us a chance to get rid of anti right away. Usually its the anti that people have heard that keep them from even giving us a chance.
I love talking about the gospel. It is super fun being surrounded by people who are totally being affected by the apostasy, "wandering from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro looking for the words of the Lord, and shall not find it" Its pretty exhilarating to know that I have the answers to their questions. They have good reason to be loosing confidence in organized religion. I love helping people connect the dots. It's pretty tricky though getting past all of their misconceptions, embarrassments for talking to us, pride and enlightening them with doctrine. Its also very humbling that I am the one with the knowledge. Its a perfect situation God has set up for both the Missionaries and the nonmembers. Because there is opposition it makes us all truly come to understand and be grateful for the truth. As a missionary my understanding of the doctrine has improved dramatically as I have tried to help others understand. I'm also so grateful that I have the truth as I witness the confusion in the world. For investigators they come to love the gospel and understand it as they get answers to concerns by study and by prayer.
Getting more people into the church is not the only reason God has us do missionary work. He wants us to do it so we can grow. If you aren't doing missionary work you are missing out. If you aren't sure how to do missionary work or feel discouraged, you are not alone. From my observation the majority of church members feel this way. I've learned that missionary work is much to difficult to do on your own. You need support. If you want to do more missionary work build some support for yourself. This could be your home teacher, your Ward Mission Leader, family council, the missionaries. Ask questions, share miracles and disappointments, take suggestions and teach others, make and share goals. When you do this you will experience the gospel in a totally new way. Don't wait for missionary work to find you, instead go find missionary work.
You can start anywhere. You don't have to be baptizing people all the time to be doing missionary work. And you don't have to spent tons of time. Spend the amount of time God wants you to spend doing it. If you start where you are and start making and fulfilling goals eventually you will become a powerful missionary like Peter who ministered to thousands.
-Elder (Andre) Johnson