As many of you know my year mark is on the 23rd.... I'm not looking forward to it. I love this work too much and to see that I'm halfway done with it saddens me but life moves on. I have reset goals for myself ....it's not anymore about a " TO DO LIST"; I'm making a "TO BE LIST." A "to be" list isn't temporary; I can't check it off after a day or week or month. A "to be" list is supposed to last forever and to have continuous effort.
I came up with S.I.T. for my district meeting last week. Our goal is for members of the church to apply S.I.T and it will help them with the work of salvation; it will help them talk to others about the Gospel and it will help those who are members but have fallen away.
I like to make things simple so I thought of this. If members are 1st SINCERE. If they truly care for that person and wants them to be blessed just like they have been with this Gospel then they need to care for that person. They should want them to have joy and peace; to really want to know about their life, their hobbies, and their family.
2nd is INVITE. We should invite them to our homes for a family activity, or to dinner when the missionaries are there or to fun church activities, a child's baptism, etc. If we don't invite them they won't and can't change. The Savior always invites us; it's our choice if we want His blessings and to listen.
3rd is TEACH. At this point and time we should as members truly know and feel a connection with this person. The relationship is sincere, you have invited them to something that they would enjoy and now you teach them a simple truth as the Spirit directs. Maybe, for example, they said they are having problems with their marriage. Well, be sincere; let them open up and tell you and ask them questions to show you truly are attentive to their needs. After that you might say something that helps us is Family Home Evening (for example). One might tell them that they do it every Monday and it has helped our marriage because we spend time together as spouses as well as with our children... it is the happiest times we have and all anger and stress and problems leave....Would your family like to come to our house for it next Monday?? Then, after their response, you teach. Say how much the Gospel or Jesus Christ and the teachings of the church has helped you. Bear testimony on the importance of families and teach slightly of the opportunity all families have of being sealed together forever. Then maybe add that on that night you are having missionaries from your church coming to share a message and that they would love to help teach these important things that will bless your marriage and family.
This concept is SIMPLE everyone! As members if you remember S.I.T. a situation like the example one I did will happen and you will be contributing to the Lord's hastening the work!! Don't be scared... be honest.
After I wrote and taught this concept I then received revelation on the same acronym about the blessings that come from it and the benefit we have as missionaries if we teach this simply to our members . We will then see...
Those 3 things are the hardest things in missionary work to me. Its hard getting people to come to church diligently every week, and to take the sacrament. It's hard for people to commit to be baptized by immersion in Christ's true church under His authority. And last it's hard to help new members and less active members make it to the temple to make the sacred covenants to the Lord in His holy house.
Now, each and everyone of these very large obstacles will not go away if our members apply S.I.T.. They will still be there but the desire, the help, the support, and the faith will be greatly increased. They will have a friend, or family who cares about them sincerely, who have been kind enough to invite them to activities that will bring them great joy and have taught them truth to answers they have always searched for.
I promise if every member applies this and strips themselves of fear and truly wants to help build God's kingdom they will see the blessings of helping people who were lost, forgotten, or in darkness come and feel welcomed and remembered and in light. You will see those you help come and partake of the sacrament, be baptized by immersion and then enter into heaven on earth... the temple. These blessings are promised to us if we TRY!
My miracle this week was I was in a home with two members who we keep trying to invite to church but they won't come. Well, their son-in-law always is there. He's a big guy who is always cracking jokes and has a smile on his face (which is really rare here on the res). Anyways, I've always prayed that we could somehow teach him the restoration of Jesus Christ's church... His one church. A few days ago he came out and said I've got 3 questions for you guys that NO ONE can ever answer me truthfully on... (1) Doesn't it say in the Bible not to drink alcohol or strong drink?? How come I see preachers here drinking all the time?? Well, we answered this and told him about the word of wisdom. Next: (2) Why should someone pay a preacher to pray for them or to bless them?? Did Jesus ever do that in the Bible or anyone else? We answered that and told Him that no one should ever ask for money like that. Last one: (3) This is the toughest one. This one no one really has any idea about! Did God and the Lord just love the people in Jerusalem? What about my ancestors the Indians? Were they good in Jerusalem and my people evil so God didn't care about them?? I WAS FREAKING OUT! hahaha I got up, and jumped, and said, "Patrick I have an answer that I've been waiting to give you and you just asked for it. I will tell you exactly what the Lord thought about your people." He answered so many prayers. I've wanted for so long to tell him these things and it was a miracle he had asked! SO great! He was inspired by God! We will see next week more of his thoughts.
Also, we had 80 people at sacrament meeting and a lot of people stayed for their classes and they were all PACKED full! We got great numbers last week... we just need to keep it up for the next few weeks.
At church we have an investigator who's supposed to get baptized this Thursday but hadn't shown up to church and it was about 15 min into church and he hadn't shown. Well, I was worried and stepped out and tried calling him. No answer. I told our ward mission leader he isn't here and he needs to come if he's going to get baptized this week. He said well maybe he's just not committed enough yet to come. I felt that it was true but something inside of me said, no, he is committed, but just needs some help. So I grabbed another member and left my companion (who was blessing the sacrament with a priest) and jumped in my truck and drove a mile up to his house and told him he was at the wrong place. He asked the time and said, "Shoot! I lost the time! Can you drive me?" I told him to jump in and we went to church! ha! I broke 3 big rules right there in 5 min but I live at times the higher law. Yes, I broke rules, but now this man will be following Christ by being baptized and will receive eternal life. I do not regret this decision one bit. Like I always say... make it happen. Sometimes we need to take it into our own hands to get the job done, but only with the spirit guiding us!
Last thing... I finished the Book Of Mormon for the 2nd time. I went through and highlighted all about Christ in it in different colors for different parts like His attributes, doctrine, His words, comfort scriptures, etc. My testimony has grown so very, very much in our Savior and His love for the people in the Americas so long ago. I'm privileged to have read at the end of the book the promise to the posterity of the Lamanites (who are the Native Americans) and to see that I am that gentile bringing this record to them and teaching of Christ's true gospel. Prophecy is fulfilled!
I love this work. I love this Gospel. I love my name tag. I never want to go home but I know I will someday... but my name tag, my love for the gospel and missionary work will never fade; it will be branded on my heart forever!
Your brother in Christ... Elder Taylor