From: Jessica McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Meat Packing and Carpet Men
Date: July 1, 2013 10:05:25 AM MDT
Greetings from Andover one more time…
Missionary work is a little silly. Just when you start to feel comfortable, the mission pulls a fast one and guess what…You’re transferred! Iyiyi. They’re calling an early transfer involving 3 sister companionships in our mission, ours being one of them. Sister Beuchert will stay in Andover and I will be leaving to Dodge City tomorrow afternoon.
Here’s what I know about Dodge City: One of the things it’s most famous for is it’s giant meat-packing plant. I’m not sure what kind of meat, but probably the kind you would expect to find in an oscar meyer weiner… haha just kidding, I really have no idea. It is also known for it’s overall “wild, wild west” feel. Aaaaand, that’s basically all I know. They’ve told me my new companion is a hard worker, so that’s really all I could wish for. I’ve attached a map of the new mission, just incase you’re curious.
We had no idea this transfer was coming. I felt that God had been preparing me to leave Andover the next transfer, but I wasn’t expecting to leave a week and a half early. We had all kinds of amazing appointments coming up this week, so the new sister here is in for a treat! Sister Beuchert and I have had quite the amazing almost-three months. And she’s doing so great, she gets to train herself for the last week. That’s the best compliment a trainer can get. I am so grateful for the time I’ve had in Andover to meet and teach in the past 6 months.
But on the bright side, I’ll get to meat and teach lots of people in Dodge too…ahem…I mean meet. 😉
So. Down to business:
We met the new mission president yesterday. He. is. AWESOME. I’m so excited. He actually surprised us and came to our ward. Unfortunately, none of our investigators that we were planning on came to church 😦 Roy had a flat tire, John slept in until 2:30 (he works the night shift), and when we went to pick up Josh, he was too nervous to go. Another investigator was out of town, one had surgery, etc. etc. etc. So baaaaasically, we did all we could, but Sunday was just not the day for investigators at church. On the other hand, one of the less active families we’ve been working with the whole time I’ve been here came with their entire family yesterday, and we had 3 other less active members attend as well. So the sheep were in the fold. I repeat. The sheep are in the fold. 🙂
Next item of business. I sang in church yesterday 🙂 It was miraculous that I was able to do that two days before I’m transferred out of my “birthplace”. I called Sister Rassmussen on Saturday, hoping to sing on the 7th, and then I realized that the 7th was Fast Sunday while I was on the phone with her, so I said, “Actually…Could I sing tomorrow? I have a song that’s really easy to play, and you’re amazing, so…would you play for me?” Haha. She said yes. So I got to sing one more time for my ward (and the mission president, which I wasn’t planning on) before I head out to my next area of the harvest.
Earlier last week, while riding our bikes, we passed a couple people on the street. That’s the main point of my story: we passed them. While thinking about it later, I realized I was missing so many opportunities to talk to God’s children, because they are ALL around us. So I made a conscious effort to talk to everyone we saw on the street while going from place to place. We were able to talk to so many more people. In fact, we only knocked on one door this whole week, and she turned out to be a new investigator. By simply street contacting, we found another service opportunity, invited people to the family history center, gave out copies of the book of mormon, and taught about the restoration. Tayson, the Harrison’s oldest son, and I invited the carpet man to church when he came over to fix the carpet in one of the rooms of our home. I even gave a restoration pamphlet to our server when we were out to dinner with a family in our ward. I realized this week that I’m a good missionary, but I could be so much better if I would talk to everyone I saw. So my goal was to do whatever I needed to so that at night I would be able to answer the affirmative to the question, “Have I talked to everyone I possibly could today about the gospel of Jesus Christ?” It’s kindof fun to see how many people you can possibly talk to without knocking on a door. Missionary work does not and should not have to be merely tracting, especially in the summertime. Because people are around us everywhere outside, our time and work is cut in half because we don’t have to knock on their door.
This same principle can and must be applied to all our personal lives, not just missionary work. How can we fulfill our callings as members of Christ’s church to help others around us come closer to Christ? Do we truly have charity in our hearts? The bible dictionary defines charity as “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ. It is never used to denote alms or deeds or benevolence, although it may be a promoting motive.” In other words, we seek to help others not because we have to, but because we are true disciples of Jesus Christ and desire to have his love for others in our hearts.
“Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need? Have I cheered up the sad, making someone feel glad? If not, I have failed indeed. So wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love.” (Hymn 223)
Alma 32:27 exhorts us to “awake and arouse [our] faculties.” President Hinckley expands on this council by saying, “Far more of us need to awake and arouse or faculties to an awareness of the great everlasting truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us can do a little better than we have been doing. We can be a little more kind. We can be a little more merciful. We can be a little more forgiving. We can put behind us our weaknesses of the past, and go forth with new energy and increased resolution to improve the world about us, in our homes, in our places of employment, in our social activities. We have work to do, you and I, so very much of it. Let us roll up our sleeves and get at it, with a new commitment, putting our trust in the Lord.” (“We Have a Work to Do” April 1995)
Ahhh. The work of the Lord is exhilarating, isn’t it? There is no need to be overwhelmed, because God has a plan for each of his children. Let us just rejoice in the exciting fact that we get to get our hands a little dirty to work in the soil that we and others around us have been planted in to bring forth much fruit. “He that is faithful, the same shall be kept and blessed with much fruit.” (D&C 52:34)
May the work of the Lord continue in all of our lives! Have you invited your carpet man to church today?