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Is God Reluctant To Give Missionaries Contacts?


Duncan

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I was reminiscing with a mission pal and he made reference to why did we have to sacrifice to get potential contacts and like yeah why did we, is God reluctant to give us people to teach. I recall having to "go the extra mile" and our mission had Wilford Woodruff Weeks or Spencer W. Kimball months where we were instructed to give up certain things, get up earlier, go out earlier, no mail reading till p-day type stuff. I don't resent doing that but why did we have to do all that extra mile stuff to get new people to teach, is God reluctant to give us people? Wasn't already being on a mission good enough or something of a sign to God that we were there to find, teach,baptize and baptize? if he wanted us to have more people to teach I wonder if it weren't a better idea to learn how to be better teachers or getting instructions or finding people in new ways rather then not reading your mail on p-day or only eating once a day at 3 instead of taking the time out to eat at lunch and a dinner appointment. What se ye?

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I was reminiscing with a mission pal and he made reference to why did we have to sacrifice to get potential contacts and like yeah why did we, is God reluctant to give us people to teach. I recall having to "go the extra mile" and our mission had Wilford Woodruff Weeks or Spencer W. Kimball months where we were instructed to give up certain things, get up earlier, go out earlier, no mail reading till p-day type stuff. I don't resent doing that but why did we have to do all that extra mile stuff to get new people to teach, is God reluctant to give us people? Wasn't already being on a mission good enough or something of a sign to God that we were there to find, teach,baptize and baptize? if he wanted us to have more people to teach I wonder if it weren't a better idea to learn how to be better teachers or getting instructions or finding people in new ways rather then not reading your mail on p-day or only eating once a day at 3 instead of taking the time out to eat at lunch and a dinner appointment. What se ye?

Perhaps it was to prepare you to be better teachers by the Spirit rather than as a reward or punishment system.

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I think this subject goes through every missionaries mind. And to be honest I think the point of going the extra mile is for us, as a missionary, to be more in tune to perhaps find people to teach. But ultimately, if there is no one ready for baptism, then there wont be any baptism - people still have free agency to choose. My first companion and I didnt tract much, the most I could ever get him to work was about 2 to 4 hours and he was done and off the to mall we would go! LOL. A few companions later, with a lot of extra study, prayers and longer hours, and I was getting insights that I never expected. There were a lot more teaching moments where people were more responsive to what we were staying. There were also some pretty incredible priesthood moments as well (which I wont go into here).

I dug up a story below from my mission documents which may apply ....

As I get older, I want to share some of my mission stories. One story comes to mind of when I served my mission for the LDS church. I started out by serving in Australia, but was transferred to South Dakota after having knee surgery. I started my South Dakota mission in Hot Springs. It was a beautiful area and we already had people to teach from previous missionaries' work. They were known as what we called in the mission, professional investigators. They had been taking the missionary discussion for nearly 5 years! As the junior companion, I yielded to Elder R's experience. As we taught, it was clear that the lack of commitment based on their part stemmed from a lack of spiritual recognition. If they felt the spirit, they didn't know what it was, or what to do when they felt it. When Elder R would teach, when appropriate, and when I felt the Holy Ghost, I would say, “Do you feel that? Thats the Holy Ghost letting you know that Elder R is teaching you the correct thing. Then Elder R would continue to the next concept.

A few weeks later Elder R approached me and asked if I wanted to go to Wyoming. I asked Elder R if that was out of the mission. He said yes, but not too far! He said he had 'saved' some miles on our car, and we could go there, to a family he knows, without any problem. So, one day we took our little Plymouth Horizon on a missionary road trip.

We got to our destination, met his family friends and had a wonderful dinner. We traveled back through the plains of South Dakota and had our mission boundaries in sight – A view of the approaching Black Hills Mountains marked that boundary. I was relieved! We were going to make it. The miles were calculated, and nobody would know.

As we came within two miles of the border, the car, which I was driving, our tried and true Plymouth Horizon quit. It simply stopped. I coasted over to the shoulder. Elder R looked at me, and I at him. I could see the Panic in his eyes. After all, HE, was the senior companion! It was his fault not mine! LOL. Those thoughts were quickly replaced with some guilt of my own. I decided to open the hood, and see if there was anything obviously amiss. No steam or oil leaks. Hmmmm. So I walked to the back of the car, leaned up against it, and started a silent prayer. I was interrupted by the sound of the passenger door opening and closing, Elder R joined me, and my prayer became verbal. I asked the Lord to forgive us for not recognizing the promptings of the spirit and also traveling outside of our mission boundaries. We thought it was harmless, and it was, but still we needed to recognize the rules. I also apologized for our temporary lack of commitment. I prayed for the family we were teaching, that we might give them whatever we were missing ourselves. I closed the prayer. A warm feeling came over me and I immediately walked to the front driver door to open it, get in and start the car. It indeed started. I said to Elder R, “Get it before he changes his mind!”

When we returned, we challenged the family to baptism. And, a short time later they all were baptised! In life there are rules, and in the church there are rules. May the spirit guide us in navigating them so that we do not offend who we are.

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I was reminiscing with a mission pal

Going the extra mile (from our perspective, that is; perhaps it's a mere token from God's perspective) is sometimes what we need to do to prepare ourselves to recognize those whom God has sent us, and teach them by the same Spirit. Even the more righteous Nephites had to repent, become converted and be healed (3 Nephi 9:13).

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Going the extra mile (from our perspective, that is; perhaps it's a mere token from God's perspective) is sometimes what we need to do to prepare ourselves to recognize those whom God has sent us, and teach them by the same Spirit. Even the more righteous Nephites had to repent, become converted and be healed (3 Nephi 9:13).

Why does God send so few?

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I was reminiscing with a mission pal and he made reference to why did we have to sacrifice to get potential contacts and like yeah why did we, is God reluctant to give us people to teach. I recall having to "go the extra mile" and our mission had Wilford Woodruff Weeks or Spencer W. Kimball months where we were instructed to give up certain things, get up earlier, go out earlier, no mail reading till p-day type stuff. I don't resent doing that but why did we have to do all that extra mile stuff to get new people to teach, is God reluctant to give us people? Wasn't already being on a mission good enough or something of a sign to God that we were there to find, teach,baptize and baptize? if he wanted us to have more people to teach I wonder if it weren't a better idea to learn how to be better teachers or getting instructions or finding people in new ways rather then not reading your mail on p-day or only eating once a day at 3 instead of taking the time out to eat at lunch and a dinner appointment. What se ye?

I think God is reluctant to trust us with His children if we do not have the spirit of the Lord with us, if we are not humble enough, if we do not have enough faith. I think we can be faithful, we can be living right and still not be fully prepared to teach with the spirit... especially when we are 19 years old (and sometimes even much older) I find if we are not in the correct frame of mind and not have the spirit close enough we often do not communicate "spirit to spirit" and while we may have the discussion memorized and be intellectually prepared, if we are not spiritually prepared then we cannot teach with power. The following account of the sons of Mosiah could be a good example of the need for sacrifice and much effort to be able to measure up to the task at hand:

(Alma 17:2-5)"Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God. And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him. Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit."
I do not think you get the spirit of prophecy and revelation for simply asking for it, it takes great effort on our part. To me that is the meaning of being a "disciple" if we are unable to discipline ourselves how can we possibly teach others with the convincing power of God?
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What i learned from my mission is that God cares just as much about the spiritual development of the missionary as he does about the spiritual development of the investigator. The worth of the missionary's soul is of no less worth to Him than anyone elses. If all God cared about was gaining converts, He would appear at noon day and tell everyone which church was His and what people needed to do to gain eternal life. In my experience though, He's after the bigger picture.

This life isn't just about doing (gaining baptisms or converts), it's about becoming (like Christ). I think it's a secondary blessing that sacrificing with a pure heart can lead to more investigators. I don't think it's a reward for the sacrifice but a consequence of being closer to Christ and the spirit and therefore being a better witness of His love and the gospel plan.

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Why does God send so few?

He sent us all to earth with the Light of Christ and to me that’s 99% of the process. If the results are not as high as what one might expect, it might be because He usually works through people to establish missionary contacts. Referrals come from members, self-referred media calls, and the missionaries themselves. Anyone involved at any step of the contact has to be inclined to make the connection. Members and missionaries are more inclined when they have the Spirit as a constant companion. Non-member investigators are more inclined when they have the Light of Christ or feel the power of the Holy Ghost.

For example, just the other day the lady at the dry cleaner said she got the feeling I was “set apart to help people” (I presume this is an evangelical term); I explained what I do for a living but that I help people anyway through the priesthood, explained how that works in our Church, gave her a Book of Mormon with contact information, and I will follow up later.

I’m sure the principle of “many are called but few are chosen” has a role in this on a certain level, such as when so many don’t see or act on the opportunities the Lord gives us. It may sometimes seem or feel like He isn’t involved or sending us blessings, but He is and we just need to accept them.

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Wasn't already being on a mission good enough or something of a sign to God that we were there to find, teach,baptize and baptize?

It's a good start, but you have to be ready to teach. I don't know how it is now, but my time was before the bar was raised so then I think a significant number of missionaries in my mission were not prepared to teach, either in knowledge or worthiness to have the Spirit or willingness to obey the mission rules. It always seemed to take a year for most to be ready. I'll bet it still takes some time, even with the bar raised.

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What i learned from my mission is that God cares just as much about the spiritual development of the missionary as he does about the spiritual development of the investigator. The worth of the missionary's soul is of no less worth to Him than anyone elses. If all God cared about was gaining converts, He would appear at noon day and tell everyone which church was His and what people needed to do to gain eternal life. In my experience though, He's after the bigger picture.

This life isn't just about doing (gaining baptisms or converts), it's about becoming (like Christ). I think it's a secondary blessing that sacrificing with a pure heart can lead to more investigators. I don't think it's a reward for the sacrifice but a consequence of being closer to Christ and the spirit and therefore being a better witness of His love and the gospel plan.

I like that! I recall reading Elder Oak's book on The Pure in Heart in the Mission and it coincides with what you are saying

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It's a good start, but you have to be ready to teach. I don't know how it is now, but my time was before the bar was raised so then I think a significant number of missionaries in my mission were not prepared to teach, either in knowledge or worthiness to have the Spirit or willingness to obey the mission rules. It always seemed to take a year for most to be ready. I'll bet it still takes some time, even with the bar raised.

I too went out before they raised the bar, honestly I am glad they did and the stigma for not going out now is less then it used to be. I wish I had seen my self as a teacher as a missionary and was more prepared to teach rather then finding anyone to baptize and get the number and the DL to leave you alone-One area I was in I honestly thought that everything I was doing was just so I could get my DL off my back and not for anyone's betterment and then a few months later I came across Elder Oak's book.

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It's a good start, but you have to be ready to teach. I don't know how it is now, but my time was before the bar was raised so then I think a significant number of missionaries in my mission were not prepared to teach, either in knowledge or worthiness to have the Spirit or willingness to obey the mission rules. It always seemed to take a year for most to be ready. I'll bet it still takes some time, even with the bar raised.
I too went out before they raised the bar, honestly I am glad they did and the stigma for not going out now is less then it used to be. I wish I had seen my self as a teacher as a missionary and was more prepared to teach rather then finding anyone to baptize and get the number and the DL to leave you alone-One area I was in I honestly thought that everything I was doing was just so I could get my DL off my back and not for anyone's betterment and then a few months later I came across Elder Oak's book.

I didn't have much success until about a year out. By then I was very good at teaching and answering questions and objections. But I also didn't have a companion who was really willing to do the work until then.

I did the DL ZL thing. We suprise visited a pair of missionaries still in bed at noon and playing nintendo. Each had only a couple of months to go and neither had had any baptisms their whole mission. We recommitted them to do the work perfectly by the rules for their last few months, at least so they could feel better about their missions when they returned and reported and we promised them a baptism if they did. We split with them a lot to help them out. They got their baptism just before going home.

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I didn't have much success until about a year out. By then I was very good at teaching and answering questions and objections. But I also didn't have a companion who was really willing to do the work until then.

I did the DL ZL thing. We suprise visited a pair of missionaries still in bed at noon and playing nintendo. Each had only a couple of months to go and neither had had any baptisms their whole mission. We recommitted them to do the work perfectly by the rules for their last few months, at least so they could feel better about their missions when they returned and reported and we promised them a baptism if they did. We split with them a lot to help them out. They got their baptism just before going home.

That is awesome!

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That's a pretty epic story Messenger 0.o =D.

Well I dont know about Epic, but every missionary should have a few really good events worth telling. I have a few more left. I think most missionaries either forget the events or dont retell them. What do you think?

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Well I dont know about Epic, but every missionary should have a few really good events worth telling. I have a few more left. I think most missionaries either forget the events or dont retell them. What do you think?

Hehe, I don't know... I haven't gone on my mission yet XD. Your experience and others have sure convinced me to keep a journal for recording miracles and events and other cool things that happen during it though =).

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Hehe, I don't know... I haven't gone on my mission yet XD. Your experience and others have sure convinced me to keep a journal for recording miracles and events and other cool things that happen during it though =).

Definitely keep a journal! Every day in fact, even if it is a small entry for they still bring back to remembrance the day.

And when you are older, we want to see it published since you will be an amazing and epic missionary!

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Hehe, I don't know... I haven't gone on my mission yet XD. Your experience and others have sure convinced me to keep a journal for recording miracles and events and other cool things that happen during it though =).

My mission in Australia could be characterized by 85% sheer trudgery, laced with 10% awe inspiring moments and 5% sheer panic! The 5% being a passenger with an American companion driving (or at least trying) on the left side of the road. Sometime I'll have to tell you the story of when my companion had a tissy fit and crashed into a tanker truck full of jet fuel.

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My mission in Australia could be characterized by 85% sheer trudgery, laced with 10% awe inspiring moments and 5% sheer panic! The 5% being a passenger with an American companion driving (or at least trying) on the left side of the road. Sometime I'll have to tell you the story of when my companion had a tissy fit and crashed into a tanker truck full of jet fuel.

Lol, that sounds... exhilerating :P XD.

Best Wishes,

TAO

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Elder Holland won my undying gratitude when he nixed our AP's proposal for getting up each day at 4, returning home only at 21:00, and fasting 3 times a week or so. Said AP was banking on an apostolic seal of approval for his plan, so he rather disingeniously asked, "I heard some elders in our mission (namely, himself) wanted to do this (the above-mentioned things), it sounds like a good idea right?"

"Absolutely not!" Torpedoed right out of the water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Elder Holland won my undying gratitude when he nixed our AP's proposal for getting up each day at 4, returning home only at 21:00, and fasting 3 times a week or so. Said AP was banking on an apostolic seal of approval for his plan, so he rather disingeniously asked, "I heard some elders in our mission (namely, himself) wanted to do this (the above-mentioned things), it sounds like a good idea right?"

"Absolutely not!" Torpedoed right out of the water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On my mission we would call that the "rocks in the shoes" theory. If I put rocks in my shoes i will be suffering, then God can bless me more. It is a common notion in most religions that if you suffer, plead, beg and generally "humble" yourself God will bless you more. Personally I do not like a God who treats his children in such a way. Sounds very petty to me. I would not treat my children that way. Making them beg and stand at attention every time they needed my help. I would prefer a God who is just straight up and answers my questions when I ask them.

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On my mission we would call that the "rocks in the shoes" theory. If I put rocks in my shoes i will be suffering, then God can bless me more. It is a common notion in most religions that if you suffer, plead, beg and generally "humble" yourself God will bless you more. Personally I do not like a God who treats his children in such a way. Sounds very petty to me. I would not treat my children that way. Making them beg and stand at attention every time they needed my help. I would prefer a God who is just straight up and answers my questions when I ask them.

There is unnecessary suffering...suffering just for the sake of suffering and there is suffering whose end result is learning something of value. I prefer a God that allows the second to happen so that I can progress and grow and not remain an idiot forever in my life.

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On my mission we would call that the "rocks in the shoes" theory. If I put rocks in my shoes i will be suffering, then God can bless me more. It is a common notion in most religions that if you suffer, plead, beg and generally "humble" yourself God will bless you more. Personally I do not like a God who treats his children in such a way. Sounds very petty to me. I would not treat my children that way. Making them beg and stand at attention every time they needed my help. I would prefer a God who is just straight up and answers my questions when I ask them.

Well said! I served a mission and was dangerously obedient. I outperformed many of my peers. I had great mission Presidents, but ultimately came to the conclusion, "God loved me and appreciated my hard work" while "the Church cared little and I could never do enough to satisfy them." Well Elder great baptism but remember how great shall be your joy if you bring many baptisms. One never seemed to be good enough, one tally down many more to go. I have been put off Church structured missionary work ever since.

Biz

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