Friday, August 16, 2013

You don't have to be friends to ask...

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Sometimes we are called, "Mormons".
I had the blessing to be a missionary in Guatemala for 18 months as a full time missionary.  I fell in love with the people, and language, and culture, and everything Spanish.  A couple of days ago, one of my piano students asked me, "are you part Hispanic?".  My response, "no, but I'd like to be!"

A missionary's life isn't easy.  Imagine, no TV, radio, internet, newspapers or magazines, personal time etc. for 24 months for the men, and 18 months for the women.  Living in strange areas (or countries) for 4-6 months, then moving on to a new area.  Living 24/7 with a companion who you may love, or who you may have to learn how to love.  Doors slammed, rejection, long hours, I could go on and on, but it's a hard life.

And a beautiful life.  Spending every single day for 24 or 18 months talking about, and teaching people about Jesus Christ.  Seeing lives change as the people you teach feel the Holy Ghost, and recognize the truths that you've been teaching them.  It truly is an awesome experience.

And then, you go home, where your family (and life) await you.  Suddenly you have to focus on your own problems, not everyone else's.

I know, I know, - you may be asking, "what's the point? where is this going?"

Here's where.  I just had an awesome missionary experience this morning.  AWESOME.

I went to a meeting this last week with all of the missionaries and leaders in our area.  Someone who spoke, said, "you don't have to be friends with people to ask if they'd like to hear what you believe".  That is the only thing that I really remember from that meeting, because I sort of stopped in my tracks and really ruminated on it.  Wait, what?  How do I ask complete strangers?  It was easy as a missionary, people were intrigued by my nametag and Americanness.  Middle aged housewife - maybe not so much now... Huh?

We found some bug remains (carpenter ants it turns out) in a wall when we removed an outlet plate for painting.  I called the bug people, and this morning, had an appointment with the bug lady. .

When I woke up today, I had the thought, "I need to ask her if she would like to learn what I believe".  Then I thought, huh?  How is this going to work?

She came.  She did her job, then was inclined to chat.  She started talking about her granddaughter, and taking her to church.  I am not friends with her, but I stated, "I'm a Mormon, would you like to hear what I believe?"  She said yes, and asked some very specific questions, and we had a fantastic conversation.  She asked where the closest church to her is, and I gave her a map and directions.  I truly felt like I needed to share with her, and she was so very grateful that I'd asked.  She's trying out different churches right now, trying to figure out what she believes, and as we spoke, she felt something, she felt the Holy Ghost confirming that the things we were talking about were true. It was really cool.  Not an everyday experience, but one I hope I'll remember.

I forget to share what I believe sometimes, and worry sometimes that someone will be offended if I do share my beliefs with them.  Today I learned two things.
1. I don't have to be friends with someone to invite them to hear what I believe.  Shocking, but true.
2. It's quite possible that the person I speak with, may be looking and praying, and it may be an answer to someone else's prayers.  God will use use us, if we will let Him.  I know that.

So, if you know me, (or don't) and want to know about the things I believe to be true, message me, or go to or   - consider it an invitation!


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