The Elder Poe Report
So this is the beginning of week two of my third transfer now and things are still going great if taking a little time to pick up. I have had several interesting lessons learned this week, but basically the entire week can be recapped as follows. Stop by someone who isn’t home, tract, repeat until 8:30ish. Elder Fiefia and I are “shotgunning” the area, it means that neither of us has ever been in it before, and due to that we have been spending most of the week trying to find new people to teach, trying to get appointments set up with the people that the previous missionaries were teaching, and getting into the homes of less active members.
This leads me to one of the first lessons that I learned this week, the importance of record keeping. For those who haven’t served on a mission each area has what is called an area book, basically a big ole honking binder that has information about people that the previous missionaries have been working with as well as names and contact information for people in the ward you need to keep in contact with and several other important pieces of information. If a missionary does not keep this up to date and accurate it can cause very severe problems for the missionaries that come in next as they have no reference for who to contact for what, or how those they are working with are progressing along, meaning that people will fall through the cracks and not have an opportunity to receive the fullness of the Gospel. In addition this week I was reading the part of the Book of Mormon where the people of Nephi flee the land of their fathers and come across the people of Zarahemla, because the Nephites had kept a record of their fathers, and had the plates of brass they were able to preserve the writings and teachings of the prophets and consequently were not left to dwindle in unbelief, whereas the Nephites because they had preserved and handed down the records were able to continue to have additional light and knowledge and receive instruction from God concerning the things that they should do. The point of all of this is that we should record the knowledge and information we get in our study of the scriptures and other spiritual experiences we have in life so that we can remember the tender mercies of the Lord in our life as well so that our children will one day be able to see our faith and our diligence in serving the Lord and will be able to have their own testimonies be strengthened by ours.
Another slightly more humorous experience that occurred was at a large fair that occurred in our area this week. As a missionary I love fairs because that means a lot of people all in one location that are generally less defensive than they are in their home and are expecting to get handed free stuff, all of which adds up to a wonderful opportunity to share the good news of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a lot of people. Unfortunately when we got there we talked to several people and then some police officers showed up and told us that it was actually technically a “private” event and the ladn we were on had been rented and that we weren’t allowed to proselyte at the fair. Being good law abiding citizens we did leave, and proceeded to contact around the fair, however as soon as we stepped foot off the fairgrounds it started to rain, not heavy but enough to be annoying. I won’t say that it happened because they cast out the Lord’s servants but I also don’t believe in coincidences so take it at what you will.
Other than that one important thing I learned was how a vital component of missionary work is patience. Like I said this week was not an incredibly productive one in terms of teaching people and helping people receive the Gospel, and there was a large amount of time spent doing not so pleasant tracting, however I had faith in the Lord that as long as we are diligent in doing His will he will promise to bless us and grant unto us the desires of our hearts. As a result although little was accomplished last week by a miracle we have gotten half a dozen appointments set up for this week within the last couple of days of the week. With that I know that when we place our faith and trust in the Lord He will always make sure that it works out in the end. In fact my mother gave me one of my favorite sayings of all times “It will all work out in the end, and if it hasn’t worked out it isn’t the end” this is ultimately the most important thing is if we live our lives in accordance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ because if we do, it will work out.
One other experience I feel prompted to share is something that happened in my quarterly interview with my mission president this week. Lately I have been feeling like I have been struggling with some problems of self doubt and feeling like I am not being a good missionary because there are many areas which I could need to improve significantly on as a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a missionary, but in my interview President Vellinga told me that Heavenly Father loves me, and that he is proud of me and what I am doing. I know that God cannot lie and this brought an overwhelming sense of peace to me and has helped me become more confident in myself and what I can do with the Lord’s help, it also brings to mind something Elder Holland said this most recent general conference. “So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with” This really helps me realize that God doesn’t want a perfect people overnight, he will mold us and help us learn in the way that will be best for us, our only responsibility is only to try to be obedient and be more like Christ and we will become joint heirs with Christ possessor of all the Father has.
I know that God lives, I know that Jesus Christ is at the head of the Church that bears His name, and that every part of it from the prophet at the head to the president of the every deacons quorum receives and is guided by revelation that comes directly from Him. This is His work he leads, guides and hastens it, (especially through the ICS department) and there will come a day when all those who have been faithful unto Him will receive all the blessings of Eternal Life.
What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth shall pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
The Report of Elder Hunter D. Poe