This week in our Weekly Planning Session we decided we weren't getting anywhere. That it didn't matter all of the efforts that we might exert ourselves in however long we are here in this area because once we leave, our efforts go with us. We had been doing everything ourselves, and it wasn't getting us anywhere.
The change of the Mission President has been rough. For all reasons different than I had thought. I thought that he would come in with his own style and change everything right at the start to have everything his way. But, it has not been that way, but rather taking everything and changing where he (President Morales) sees fit. President Morales is a young and very understanding President. He has a lot of confidence in us as missionaries. And so we have to take that confidence and get it among the members that we work with.
The key to missionary work in this day and age is that the missionaries work side by side with the members. Let me be clear, because I think some may have a clouded view of what the mission is really like. Remember my Christmas calls? Yeah, the internet is like that and so we didn't hear the announcement that missionaries were allowed to use Internet and FaceBook and all the goods the day it happened, but rather heard it a few weeks later when some members had watched it again. Also, that transition is with the guidance of your mission President, and not effective immediately. So, no, I don't use FaceBook yet, and I don't sit in the Church all day. Rather, we keep doing what we have always done, yes, we contact. We knock doors, just not every door. I "knock" a door (I say knock because you just yell here cause everyone has gates--but my Carmen hoot comes in handy) any time there is a kid playing outside, or someone just chilling in a chair. We just don't knock houses where it looks like no one is home--for the most part. The new missionary work statistics say that 600+/1000 references from members are baptisms and roughly 10/1000 contacts are baptisms. So, that makes you think, more baptisms, right? But how many references have you given to the missionaries this last week? If they have had time to knock 60 doors before you have given a reference, you have failed. But, its true, I baptized every reference from Bishop Chablé in Mercedes. But take a moment to think about what you have done for missionary work lately.
But, I like to take Moroni's words, that honestly you have to cleanse the basic unit to build up. That would start with me, then my companionship, then our organization of missionary work (ward mission leader and ward missionaries), then ward council, then the ward, the stake, the state, the country, the world-wide Church. If, by chance, you have forgotten one of these steps, once again, you have failed. The sad part is that most of us these days fails before we can make it past the first step--yourself.
So, I'll tell you a story. You don't just become a missionary. With a name tag or a member missionary or whatever you are thinking you don't just become one one day. It takes work. You cannot help someone else if you do not know how to help yourself.
A few years ago, I put myself in a situation like this. I would let myself down to raise others up. I saw it as an act of humility on my part. But God does not ask us to give up our own salvation to try to help others find theirs. If you are in a situation doing things that you shouldn't because you are trying to help others from falling worse, you are being sorely deceived. Get out now.
I intended to relate this scripture to my work here, but I fear that others may have needed it to speak to them. Help yourself, so that you may help others. I have always been inspired by the Coast Guard's slogan (as I heard in a movie, so who knows) "So others may live". That is the kind of self-sacrifice that I would hope all of you and I would have. But you do not get to be a part of this spiritual army saying that you'll do some good when it comes along. You have to manage what is given to you and get into the storm. Fighting this battle, and making it through requires personal action and progress.
I pray that God blesses each and every one of you as you show your love to Him through your righteous actions