"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Lack of Interest

Due to various circumstances, we were not able to pass by with Aristeo or really any other intvestigator much this week. We had interviews with President Morales which took up almost an entire day although he had very little questions for me or my companion. We sat and watched as several companionships took quite a bit of time in the office with him. So, we waited our turn, as we listened to Sister Morales speak about all the various rules we needed to remember. Then it was our turn, we both passed first and he asked how we felt being companions, asked Elder Hernandez to step outside and he asked me all the worthiness questions in about 30 seconds. I stepped outside a few moments later and one of the Assistants to the President, who was on the plane with me here, said, "Wow, you repented fast." Haha. But, a few moments later and my companion had gone through his interview just as fast. So, I assume we don't have many problems and we will finish how we are.

That's good because a couple of weeks ago we got attacked by dogs at 9 PM. I knew it was coming so I took a big stick going in, but while we were there our youth convert took it to play air guitar and forgot to bring it with him on the way out. So, him and Elder Hernandez rushed back and I put myself as a bear and roared. Didn't work too much, and right as too dogs were about to bite me, Elder Hernandez threw water at them. Imagine that, I didn't even get mad at him for getting me wet!

Anyway, due to the lack of time we were able to put in with Aristeo, he was affected greatly by no one and everyone. He said he had a "lack of interest" in the Book of Mormon.

Interest -- the feeling of a person whose attention, concern, or curiosity is particularly engaged by something.

Trying to stay as patient as possible, inside I was screaming, "Lack of interest, what do you mean a lack of interest! You were the one that wanted the book in the first place!" But, as we kept our cool we were able to realize that he had just forgotten his interest becuase he was the only one who had it. Being surrounded by people who don't share your beliefs can be costly on your own testimony, especially as you have your own doubts. We were able to establish that he knew that it was important but that he just didn't know how important, or why it was so important. So, we helped him on that one as well in 2 Nephi 29, as teaching the Book of Mormon is also one of my favorite principles to repeatedly teach. The next day we went back and his life had changed once again. "No, I was wrong, it is important," he said.

All this to an outside viewer could make a person say, "Just make up your mind already!" But what made the change? What made him accept, reject, and then accept again? How could someone change so much. The answer is that, he read! He reads anything we specifically assign him, and he reads it well! But when we tried to get him to read from the beginning, he "lost interest". So, we are working towards the day that he can gain the courage to take control of the situation, but his marital situation makes it near impossible for us to continue much farther.

A similar situation happened a few weeks ago when we had another convert. She had been attending Church on and off for 3 years. As she started she was not married until about 5 months ago. I had taught her before with Elder Smiley, but she didn't want much to do with us. One day we decided to stop by and talk. We challenged her to get baptized again. She accepted. I couldn't believe it. We put a date for a week. She accepted. I couldn't believe it. We prepared her for a week. She kept saying yes. I couldn't believe it. She passed her interview. I couldn't believe it. Elder Hernandez baptized her. I couldn't believe it. She got confirmed. I couldn't believe it. She came to church again. I couldn't believe it.

It has taught me once more that in my two years I have not converted anyone. I have simply been placed in the places I have and done the best I could to help the people I should to continue on with their righteous desires. It sounds almost, in an odd but real way, that I have done nothing for these past 2 years, because I haven't. Were they wasted? I would say no. Because I have learned so much more of what I have to do and who I need to be. If I hadn't been in the places I have been, could it be that all these people would have made the choices they have? I would say, no. I wouldn't trade what I have learned for any other experience. I have had a front row seat to see the hand of God in the lives of others as well as my own.

Could your example change the interests of another? I would say yes. As I said in my farewell talk in La Place, Louisiana, "Many people are willing to change the world, but few are willing to change themselves."

Are you?

Be more Christ-like.

Elder Andrews


This excerpt from the Missionary Handbook will help explain a bit about Assistants to the President, baptismal interviews, and the like.
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