Looking back on my week, we have had a huge focus on receiving revelation through church attendance! During district meeting, we talked about different ways to help people come to church. For people who are comfortable where they are, a focus on the restoration, the sacrament, and service are super important. One of the ideas someone shared really stuck out to me though. They said for people who are just too lazy to come, share the story of Christ telling His apostles, “couldest not thou watch one hour?” We should never forget that the Savior suffered all things for us. He does not ask much of us. In the end, His way leads to greater peace and happiness than anything else!
I just want to share this notable miracle from Wednesday with you, which gave me a lot of hope! We were scheduled to meet with a sister in the ward who was baptized 3 years ago. I won’t go into detail of all the things she is going through right now because it is a lot. We were having such a hard time finding a 3rd male because it was scheduled at a time when most people are working. We even contacted most of the priest quorum which we thought against because we knew this situation would probably require someone with more maturity. Finally, we texted her to tell her of our failure and she said it would be OK to meet later in the day. We recontacted all the people we originally hoped to get for this lesson including her home teachers, but they still couldn’t make it. The Spirit quietly nudged us to call a brother in the ward who didn’t have a noticeable calling and who we hadn’t reached out to much in a while. He quickly told us he would be happy to come! As he picked us up, he told us he was just coming from a party to celebrate his recent promotion, but didn’t mind leaving early anyway because he didn’t care to be around a bunch of drunk people. He turned out to be a miracle sent from heaven in that lesson because his conversion experience was exactly what she needed to hear! We also realized that he will be a useful resource in the future! He made a pretty profound spiritual analogy too; he said he likes to go to the gym, but feels self-conscious about all the buff guys there. He realized they weren’t really looking at him; they were looking at their own muscles! He said his experience at the gym is similar to that of many recent converts and less active members or even seemingly strong members who come to church and feel judged when really, “Everyone’s just looking at their own spiritual muscles.”
I hope we can all learn something from that! Whether we are the spiritual machos or we are just getting started. We can be such an influence for good in others rather than unwittingly discouraging them, and we can grow so much when we follow Elder Choi’s counsel in this past general conference and “Don’t look around, look up!”
That analogy hopefully will also help us to build ward trust here as well. We have communicated with the sisters and ward mission leader, and realized that with so many families moving in and out for the military, it can be hard to make this ward feel like a family. There are certain cliques within the ward while others might get left out of the loop. We are working hard to find a solution and even worked with a family in the ward to organize a “new member social” this Friday! We would like to have more activities, but this would go against the stakes mandate to allow families to have more family time.
That’s about it for my week! Scripture of the week: D&C 128:22.
Looking forward to a baptism this Saturday for Steve! It will by the first I’ve been a part of in my mission! (Even though previous missionaries did all the work :).
Thank you all for your prayers and just for being awesome!
Elder Samuel Runyan
The pictures included are of our sad cooking skills and exchange pictures (Elder Gardiner forgot his suit so we borrowed one from the church closet. He is rocking the “High Priest Look” 🙂