Monday, May 12, 2008

The Spirit of Missionary Work

Mother's Day is always a wonderful day. My children all spoiled me with poems, cards, candy, and hugs. They were so cute. My honey also spoiled me with yummy dark chocolate, red licorice, and a beautiful card.

A very fun part of the day was when my missionary called. He'd said he'd call right after church so we all rushed home. (I'd told my kids that if they didn't go directly to the car after church, they'd be walking home). We all hovered over the phone, anticipating the call.

As soon as it rang I grabbed it, knowing by the caller ID that it was my baby boy. And, it was. It's been over 5 months since we last spoke and the sound of his voice brought tears to my eyes.

We spoke at length about so many things. Each of his siblings had a turn to chat with him, too.

He talked about the work in Italy. His mission doesn't have a high baptism rate. Some missionaries seem to get hung up on numbers, but he's learned that teaching people the gospel cannot be measured by a number. He's found a family that was baptized 10 years ago but slipped into inactivity soon after. He was thrilled to see the father of this family bless the sacrament for the first time in almost 10 years. He was so happy that members of the family stayed for all three meetings yesterday and some of their friends are investigating. My son said he feels like this is why he was sent to Italy, to find this one specific family and bring them back to the gospel. Before his mission, we had talked about how there would be people that only he could touch and that's why it was so important for him to keep himself worthy to serve a mission, so he could find those waiting just for him.

Sometimes, when we talk of missionary work, we concentrate so hard on finding those who aren't members, we miss the members that have slipped into inactivity. When it comes to missionary work, anyone who isn't enjoying the blessings of the gospel, member or nonmember, needs to come unto Christ.

Some missions have huge numbers of baptisms and others have small numbers, if any. Those missionaries who are serving with all of their hearts are doing the work of the Lord whether baptisms occur during their missions or not. Some seeds are planted for others to harvest and, sometimes, seeds planted long ago are harvested.

The true spirit of missionary work is to teach people of Christ. It's wonderful to hear my son share his testimony and his experiences in the mission field. He has the spirit of missionary work and I am so grateful for his dedication and willingness to serve. I'm also thankful I could speak with my baby boy yesterday.

Return to the neighborhood.

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