Family and friends, we missionaries need your help. a very unfortunate thing happened this week as well as a few weeks ago, and It needs to stop. The missionaries are on the Lords team, if you are not on our team then you are on the opposing team, and there is enough in this world going against us.
2 weeks ago we had a lesson with Julie, we were following up with her on how she liked church and she said it was great, and then her countenance changed. She told us that the member who drove her to church told her that she didn't agree with how the missionaries always invite people to baptism so soon. She then talked about how there are so many things that people have to change first before they are baptized, and so much to learn, and that the missionaries push baptism on people way too fast. Julie was crushed. She said "I was really excited to get baptized. am I not good enough?" My heart broke. We had to do some damage control. To all you members out there, Yes we do invite people to be baptized right away, but we do not do it first without the guidance of the holy ghost. I can promise you that we have never once invited someone without being moved upon by the holy ghost, and whether they choose to accept it or not is their choice but we MUST invite. Missionaries are set apart to be able to recognize when the time is right to invite someone to be baptized. To someone in the church it may seem too soon, but they have no idea when that time is truly right for them. As missionaries we are given that stewardship to know when the time is right, and then to help them to prepare for that day even if they are so far from it that it looks impossible. The gospel Changes people, it softens heart, and the impossible happens. If our members are on our team they will trust us when we invite someone to be baptized. We are being obedient to the promptings that we get, and we are being obedient to our mission president who was called by a prophet of god to know how to lead the missionaries in this area. We are not in control here, the Lord is. I can assure you that we do not invite people to be baptized unless moved by the spirit to do so. When we invite people to be baptized we are inviting them to make their very first step towards eternal life. Do not underestimate the power that can come through inviting people to follow the example of Christ.
We were able to get Julie exited again, but we went in there to a heart broken girl. Julie has gone through so much in her 24 years of life, and for her to know that we could actually help her to find peace and joy through her trails and through her pain was liberating for her. Baptism opened a whole new world for her. Julie was so vibrant about this path that she was on, only to get it crushed by the comment of a member who underestimated the abilities of the spirit to convert. It doesn't matter how young, slow of speech, or annoying a missionary is either. That missionary was called of god and has been given gifts specific to his calling as a missionary when he or she was set apart.
Sorry if this email seems to be heavy, but this has happened twice in the last few weeks. If you do this. Stop. You know who you are. If you feel the need to express that you don't agree with a member inviting someone to baptism so quick instead stop yourself and express your testimony of the power of baptism. Testify.
I do have to get going. Hope this next week is full of the spirit and tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father.
I love you all.
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