Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Missionary Next Door

This week seems like it has been quite long, in a good way! Lots of things happened.This week I got a new companion--Sister Hammond! She is awesome. She'd from Mt Pelier, Idaho. We get along really well, and we have taught a few lessons (Relief Society too) and we have done well switching off. We also have been seeing some more success with working with the members; we have had more people come to our Book of Mormon study class and the members in 3rd ward are excited about the missionary potluck on Friday. We really want to give the members opportunities to give their friends a social conversion (opportunities to INVITE) so then they will have multiple opportunities to have a spiritual conversion.
Sister Hammond and I listened to this EPIC talk called "Missionary Next Door" by Diana Hoelscher--highly recommend everyone to listen to it/read it. I'm sure you can look it up on Google or something. I will give some highlights because it is pretty life-changing:
--Reason we do missionary work: We love the message. It's Lehi's dream to the max. We tasted of the fruit and it was delicious to us and we want to share it. We do missionary work not because we should but because we want to.
--Her dad received a blessing from Gordon B Hinckley when he got set apart for a stake calling. In the blessing, Hinckley told him that if he made missionary work the center of his family, none of his children would go astray.
--Her parents had family councils where they made a rule: every single Sunday we are going to have a non-member at church with us. And for as long as she could remember, they did.
--Time to vent: reasons why sharing the gospel is hard- fear, nervous, rejection, embarrassed, don't know what to say, peer pressure, offending ppl, look like a religious fanatic, look pushy, preachy, looking down on them, not time now (I will do my missionary work when I am on a mission), who do I share it with?
--Totally legitimate fears. Not things that might happen; things that do happen. probably will happen.
--However, 2 types of conversion:
1. Spiritual: repent. feel Spirit. pray about church/BofM/Joseph Smith/prophet/Jesus Christ. come to church. keep commitments.
2. Social: have a FRIEND. feel welcomed/loved/invited. feel noticed. have someone to sit by.
--Which one would make you more nervous: telling someone to pray about the BofM or inviting them to Youth Conference? which one would offend them more: teaching Law of Chastity or teaching where your ward building is? which one takes more time: teaching them about the Word of Wisdom of inviting them to a ward chili cook-off?
--Spiritual conversion is way harder; it has the fears attached to it
--However, there is a delegation for these 2 types of conversions. Members provided opportunities for the social conversion; and missionaries are set apart/endowed to be able to help people to have the spiritual conversion; the whole world is praying for them so they can do that part successfully.
--Deal she made with members when she was on a full-time mission: "If you bring them, I'll ask them. If they hate me, I don't care because I'm getting transferred." So when they would come to activities with friends, she would go up to them and say "I don't think I've ever met you before. Are you a member of our church? You're not. Well, do you think you would like to learn a little bit more about this church? We have a few lessons that take about an hour, and if you want to we can go over to your friend's house and I could share them with you and if you don't like it when you don't have to sign up again." And if they say no she'd tell the members that when she walked away they could say "She's crazy. I don't even know her. I don't even know who invited her here." Anything to save your friendship because that is important.
--Important to have a strong social conversion so we can provide them with opportunities to have a spiritual conversion if they're interested.
--Her family wanted to be a part of this social conversion. (they had 31 ppl baptized and 50 took the discussions). They were a normal family shooting for an extraordinary eternity. This is how they did it:
1. only hung church pictures on the walls of their home and when people asked about them, they had to answer the questions the right way, they were being polite.
2. dinner with missionaries and non-members. her dad had the elders invited the elders to share their experience of when they decided to serve a full-time mission=>the Spirit was so strong; those are very personal experiences. then after dinner, dad invited the missionaries to share a 5 min quick 1st discussion with  just the basic beliefs of the church and they would kneel in prayer
3. friends can't sleep over on Saturday night unless they come to church
4. mutual-bring a friend. "I don't want to go because my best friends aren't there." her mom: "Well you got to go so why don't you bring someone that you like."
5. firesides-bring a friend
6. homemaking-bring a friend
7. ward activities- bring a friend. they are in the church and for once peer pressure is working with them. they would feel rude if they didn't just listen for a second. 
8. family prayer when non-members or less actives are over and invite them to participate. kneel. dad or brother prayed because in most churches it is rare to hear a man pray. she said she never had a family prayer where her friend did not ask a question about the church after
9. can't have friends over on Sundays unless watch a church video
10. couldn't date non-members unless they took discussions. didn't have to get baptized though because you can't take away a person's agency. 
"to understand me better, I would like you to take these lessons about my church. You don't have to join but it would help you to know why I am the way I am."
11. have missionaries over when non-members are over. missionaries ask: "are you a member of our church?" no. "what church do you go to/are you active in a church?" no "would you like to learn a little bit more about our church?" uhhhh *member: "it'd be fun." missionary: "we will be here on thursday and if you want you can come and listen.." uhhh *member: "I bet my mom would make treats." :) success.
--rule: tell the missionaries when you are bringing a non-member to church or activities. call them and invite them to ask them to take the discussions.
I also listened to Glenn Beck's conversion story this week... EPIC.
Friday, the Duces gave us chocolates and the Landrins gave us Flowers <3 We also had a great Book of Mormon study class so I was happy :)

On Sunday, I sat in 3rd ward sacrament meeting and I was so overcome with joy. Our recent convert Tim was passing the sacrament. Sylvia, an investigator who had never come to church in 3rd ward before--she went to Kaibeto and it was really hard for her and her husband to understand ward boundaries, sat next to me. I looked around and saw all the less actives and other investigators/non-members with the members. The bishopric had announced our missionary potluck and was really excited about it. I also know that in both wards there is so much work to do. I want to help both wards to want to hasten the work. I am hopeful that visiting the members and teaching them how to give their friends a social conversion will open up many opportunities to let them have a spiritual conversion.

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