My companion declared today to be National Missionary Day. Y'all gotta wear a white shirt and tie, go a whole day without hugging a member of the opposite gender, and carry your scriptures in a dorky case on your arm. And then, someone has to throw an egg in your face. Afterwards, we'll give you a popsicle of your favorite flavor.
This is the single best summation of missionary work you will ever get. (If you want to celebrate it Texas style, go stand outside in front of a space heater while a baptist or JW argues with you).
Missionary work is exactly like getting an egg in your face and then eating a yummy popsicle. This past week was sort of the.... epitome of that.
EGG IN THE FACE: Our most promising investigator dropped us.
She sent us a text at 3 in the morning, saying that she's decided to not join the Mormon faith and that we should never contact her again. After some serious prayers and studying it out in our brains, we sent her a text, testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel and our love for her. We then tried to go about our day, doing the work, fighting the good fight, as if nothing had happened.
Except she decided to text us some "unsolicited advice." Based off of what she texted us later that day, we think she was anti-ed. Anti-Mormon Lit, first of all, is entirely fabricated by people who CLEARLY haven't actually studied our beliefs. If they had, they would know how devilish and hollow Anti is. We get an awful lot of Anti out here in Fort Worth. I think it's one of the hardest parts about being a missionary is loving somebody that hates you that much because of lies that they've heard.
It's a far more heart-wrenching experience to watch someone's spirituality die. I'd rather watch the EKG flatline... If you read Mosiah 28:3 or p. 195 of Preach My Gospel... you'll know why.
One of the reasons I love being in the mission is that I don't have to watch the destruction of some of my closest friends. (It's a very shallow and selfish reason, so it's not the one that gets me through the days.) When you love someone so much you'd do anything for them, watching them be incredibly stupid and betray the truths they know is like... watching someone being burned at stake.
Please, my friends, I exhort you with the capacity of sister: If you feel like your life is not where it should be, if you're hurting, CALL THE MISSIONARIES; THEY CAN HELP.
BEST DARN POPSICLE IN THE WORLD: The Broadcast!! (Interjection from Janet to those who don't know what she's talking about: the church leaders had a mission conference and broadcasted so that anyone who wanted to watch could. It was really very moving and profound and exciting.)
HOW ABOUT THAT BROADCAST!? If you haven't seen it, go watch it online. Actually, everybody, go do it now. Even if you were there in the Marriott centre, do it again. The missionary work is progressing!! It's boldly going where no Mormon has gone before!! HOW DOES THAT NOT GET YOU EXCITED?! It's awesome for me to see the work progress, especially in my own family-- my cousin entered the MTC this past week!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, SISTER SHERRATT!!!!! It's really cool to be doing the work yourself and knowing that you're helping... but to know that it's a family effort... watch out, world, we gonna find you ;)
President Uchtdorf said that "people will look back on this time to see what we did" during such a monumental moment in history. Well. What will you be found doing? I will assuredly be found with my boots on, gloves off, still standing after round 3. It's not enough to pin the tag on your shirt every morning: brand it into your life. Our probationary period is far too short for us to not be anxiously engaged in such a cause. HOW GREAT IS MY CALLING!!!!
I'd just like to close with something I came across in my personal studies. Psalms 46 is a pretty good chapter out of the Bible. There's a lot of encouraging things in there. It gave me the knowledge that the same God whose voice can melt the earth (it literally says that-- "he uttered and the earth melted") loves me. He knows me by name He knows all of us by name. He created me and He LOVES me. Unconditionally. Whatever did I do to deserve that.
But my favorite verse (and favorite scripture for the week) has been verse 5: "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her."
It's been a rough week. But a darn good one. Missionary work is all work and no play and I knew that. I did not come out here to goof off and kill some time while I wait for a husband or career to catch up with me. I came out here, gritting my teeth and rolling up my sleeves. The day may come when the courage of men(read: sister missionaries) fail-- but it is not this day. There is no excuse for sitting down when such a work is going on around us.
Alright, I think I've been nerdy enough for one email. The church is true, the work will move forward, "and I must obey."
Make it a good week!
Love, Sister Gunson