First and foremost, the Lord provides. Elder Jeppson and I have proved to work well together. Between each other’s teaching style, things work out really well. I’m learn quite a bit from him, not the least of which is how to be a better missionary and missionary leader.
More and more, I’m constantly reminded that this isn’t my work–it’s the Lord’s work. HE is the one working with people and we are the tools in his hand. My job isn’t to convert people. The Lord is just sending us around to gather those he has prepared. And that’s why my best motivator is to glorify God. The fruits of a missionary’s labors will vary from missionary to missionary and from mission to mission. So my motivation isn’t the fruits, it’s simply that I want to glorify God in everything I do. And lemme say, it’s much more motivating and–ironically enough–more fruitful. Life’s good! I’ve been blessed with a good 13 months in the mission. 🙂
Sean is a man that Elder Jeppson taught when he served in this same area at the very beginning of his mission. Back in the day, he was a Broadway dancer. That’s right. Now, he’s 63 and struggling with some health issues. We called him earlier this week and asked if we could come by; he was more than happy to have us over. We visited him a couple days later and Elder Jeppson and Sean updated each other on the last year and a half. We transitioned into a lesson about the Restoration and the Spirit was present. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon, and he agreed. We gave him an assignment with some questions to answer from his assignment (we’ve found this helps people get the most out of their reading). Then we invited him to baptism on May 27th and he agreed! Through the entire lesson, he kept speaking so highly of “Mormons” and how much he really appreciated the church. He also said he wants to come closer to Christ. We’re super excited for him! He’s going through some medical things this week, so we’ll be praying for the best. He asked us to come over this Thursday or Friday, so we’ll hear how things go then.
We are teaching another incredible woman. She has been talking to a member from another state and has got to hear a pretty good portion of his testimony. We came in contact when she requested a Book of Mormon through Mormon.org and Salt Lake told us to deliver it to her. The first time we met, she said that she’d been feeling these deep, peaceful feelings as her friend talked about the Plan of Salvation and how families can be together forever. We’ve seen her once since then, and it’s become very obvious that she has a very close connection with the Spirit. She has been receiving witnesses from the Spirit and personal revelation. It’s amazing to see that you can see a change in demeanor when someone is familiar with the influence of the Spirit. She came to church this Sunday and while it’s definitely a lot at first, she thanked us afterwards for inviting her and said that the last lesson even touched on one of her questions.
A few days ago, we felt prompted to look up a referral we received WAY up north but when we got there, the person said that it was a prank and one of his friends sent his name into Mormon.org. So…..we went back to our car and said a prayer. We knew we were in the area for a reason. We were looking through the names of people the missionaries used to visit in the area when a man knocked on our window. We rolled it down and he said, “Are you Mormons?” And then he invited us inside and we taught him the Restoration. We’re going back this next week and we’re hoping for the best. Cool side note, he did the flowers for the presidential inauguration. Yep, he’s a florist and he does a pretty good job at it. 🙂
I love being here in New York.
Little bit about Elder Jeppson: he’s a golfer. His best score is 70, which is really, really good. Actually, his birthday is Tuesday, so he’s going golfing for P-day (he offered to pay for me, and while that’d be super fun, it would take FOREVER for me to finish up, haha). He’s from South Jordan. He’s also going home in July, so I’m most likely sending him home. 🙂
He is awesome. I am having the more enjoyable time I’ve ever had on the mission. We can joke around, we teach well together, we both want to work, we’re learning from each other. It is great! I love it.