This week, we received a list of all the members in our ward during our Zone Meeting. When we had our mission tour last we we were promised by Elder Costa that we would have a baptism for every person we rescued and brought back into the church. So my companions and I are working really hard to visit EVERY MEMBER. (that's over 200 addresses!) Sadly there are way more names I do not recognize than names of people I have met. We are finding that lots of the addresses do not exist anymore, or are wrong, or that people have moved. We are finding new investigators in the process and finding the sheep that have wandered from the flock.
I had a neat experience this week. We were looking for the house number 300 on a specific street. As we were looking we passed a house in the 400 range. As we passed, I felt a strong prompting to go back and knock at the door. So, stopping my companions, I suggested we go back. They followed me and a lady came out then I clapped at the gate. When I introduced myself she went on to explain that she was a member and was baptized in 2008 and that her son is married and a strong member of another ward in the city.
She explained that she admires the work of missionaries and knows the gospel is true. She said she left the church because, after the missionaries had done sooo much for her and her family, and when they were transferred, that no one in the ward helped them, and that she felt abandoned by the people.
This broke my heart to hear. She said she felt bad for the missionaries because they tried so hard but had to leave. Now her pride has taken over and she refuse to go back because of what had happened and doesn't want to give it a second chance. This was very sad to hear. Later, after we left, we kept looking for number 300. It ended up that number 300 didn't exist on the street... When we looked at the name, we realized that... is was the same name as the member we had just met.
The Lord had guided us to her door. Why? Because she is a daughter of God, just as every other sister in the church. She has a purpose and a plan in her life. Heavenly Father wants her to return. He loves her. And we are his servants here doing his work. We have plans to go back and visit her and help her to feel the love of Savior again. How many people are there in our wards who are like this Sister? Feeling abandoned.
She said that her home teachers and visiting teachers never visited her. I feel very strongly that the call of President Monson for the members to come together with the missionaries is true and greatly needed. New Members need love and support. We need to help their faith continue to grow so that thay can become strong, firm members of the church.
I have been asked to speak on missionary work this upcoming Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. I have been praying and studying the talks of the this past General Conference in October. I invite you all to re-read or re-listen to these talks and make a family missionary goal.
Actually please make 2 Goals. :) 1) to help someone new in the church and 2) to rescue a less or inactive in need. Look at your ward directory and see who lives on your street.
I promise that the Lord will bless your efforts and that you will be blessing the lives of many and they will thank you one day for helping them feel they love of our Savior and the happiness the gospel brings to our lives.
I love you all and pray you are well and happy. I am praying for you! Thank you for your examples and support. Have a wonderful miracle filled week!
Love, Sister Edwards