Monday, September 22, 2014

Life as a Missionary - by Elder Orton

Life as a missionary
We had been on our mission a short time when we came to know and love a couple who had recently moved into our area.  He was a member of the church and she was not.  He had become less active and they had moved to this area to get away from their past and start anew.
They came in contact with a member of the ward and were introduced to the missionaries.  They received the lessons and we were able to help the young elders and encourage this couple as they learned the gospel, made friends in the ward and accepted the things they were learning.  We were able to take them to the Washington DC temple during the Christmas season to see the lights and tour the visitors’ center.  They enjoyed it so very much.
She was baptized and seemed to enjoy studying all about the gospel and the church.  She loved the ward members and tried to help in any way she could.  They seldom missed any meeting or activity in the ward.
Then one day they announced that they would not be coming anymore to “our church” and that they were going back to their old church and friends.  She gave back all of the books, magazines and literature that she had accumulated about the church.
We were very disappointed and tried to talk to them but we couldn’t convince them.
We felt like we had failed. 
Then last Sunday as Sister Orton was studying the lesson from Joseph Fielding Smith about “Sealing power and Temple Blessings”, I heard her exclaim, “I got it”.  I wondered what she “got”.
Over the past six months or so of working with this couple, the sister had a strong desire to do family history.  They would come to our apartment after church, have dinner with us and then she and Sister Orton would work on her family history for hours.  This was almost a weekly thing.  We even took them to the temple so they could do baptisms for the names they had researched.
A total of 52 people were baptized and their work is being done for them now as a result of what was done.  That will be a total of 204 ordinances!
How can that be failure?
We know that some of these people were watching over her and guiding her to be able to get this work done.

We also know that there is a bigger picture to what we do other than what we see.

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