So this week was awesome! First week with only two of us in a companionship--it took some time to get used to the absence of Sister May but we are getting the swing of things now.
This week Living Legends, a group from BYU that does epic cultural performances--mostly Polynesian and South/Central American and Native American/Indian. It was so cool. We got to go to a fireside that they put on for the youth; they bore testimonies and sang songs in many languages. There was a couple Native Americans, Zuni and Navajo, who spoke to us which was cool because there were a ton of Navajos there. They were excited to get to speak to "their people" and one of the Navajos told a joke about his people. He said, "What do you call a Navajo with no lips? pointless" because Navajos point/give directions by moving their lips, so everyone busted up laughing. It was really funny!
Thennight we got to go to the concert they put on. It was a ton of cultural dances and songs, and it was way good. They are so talented! One guy, who is Zuni and grew up on the rez, did this awesome performance with rings about the size of hula-hoops--he picked up like 20 or something and made shapes and stuff out of it. I think that it is a really old Native American performance/celebration; anyway, it was awesome.
This week we have been trying to create a vision for our wards here. Like many prophets in the scriptures, we wanted to have a vision for what the Lord wants for his people here. We prayed about it and one day I was reading in the Book of Mormon about Zion and the more I studied about Zion, I realized that building up Zion includes being friends with everyone. As members of the church, we need to be making friends with nonmembers, less actives, and even members (we should be friends with all the members in our wards). We should constantly be expanding our sphere of influence and reaching everyone that is already in that sphere.
In our wards, we are trying to help the members catch the wave of missionary work by praying for opportunities, inviting their friends by using Mormon.org profiles/family history/activities/church/etc depending on their interests., and then following up if they agree. And if they ask questions, to help them to meet with the missionaries.
I was reading the talk by Elder Nelson called "Catch the Wave" and he said, "Your exemplary lives will attract the interest of your friends and neighbors. Be ready to give an answer to those who ask you why you live as you do...When such questions come, you might respond by saying, "Let's ask the missionaries! They can help us! And if you desire I will be at your side as the missionaries respond and teach you."
I realized that members need to be helping missionaries get people to teach. Members should be the ones that fill up the calendars of the missionaries; they should be the ones that are finding and the missionaries should be the ones that teach.
If people reject us or say that they are already happy/fine with their religion or what they have, we have been encouraging them to seek more. Why settle for the blessings that we already have?
Moroniteaches us to "come unto Christ and lay hold upon every good gift." We can seek more by seizing every gift and blessing that God wants to give us. He has given us living prophets and the Book of Mormon, so why not seek for more blessings. If this message of the Restoration is true, then it will bless your life and your families' indefinitely.
Then if people continue to reject the gospel, we never stop. We should never give up on people. We need to always try to cultivate the seeds that we planted. Always follow-up on invitations and re-commit them if needed.
Missionary work is so cool and such a blessing. I know that through the Atonement, we can be better missionaries every single day. It's so awesome!
I love you all so much!