I enjoy reading and sharing these letters of inspiration each week. It helps me to remember to wear my missionary name tag on my heart…
“I ponder on the Scriptures at times when Jesus Christ performed miracles that not only increases our faith, but teaches us our responsibility as missionaries. I recall the miracle when He goes to the home of the ruler of the synagogue and raises his 12 year old daughter from the dead:
“And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straightly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.” (Mark 5:39-43)
When she was raised, he told the others to give her something to eat. It appears to me that this young girl was hungry that she had an appetite for food. We, as missionaries, go through understanding, and learning, even the glimpses of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and our appetite for wanting to know more becomes stronger. I think about this young girl who after being raised from the dead, to being alive, and how as missionaries, when we feel the power and the testimony of Jesus Christ, we become alive too. Our appetite for wanting to know more then becomes stronger. I was talking to the leaders of this mission and reminded them how before their missions they weren’t paying attention to the Gospel in Sunday School, Seminary, Young Men and Young Women as much as they should have. You were distracted with other things (world, friends, ourselves) and you really didn’t take advantage of learning the doctrines that were being taught.
Now we as missionaries have a much stronger hunger and desire to understand and to know more about these truths. The evidence of our conversion is our increased appetite to know more and to learn more concerning Jesus Christ, therefore our personal studies and companionship studies become more precious to us and more important to us and we can’t wait to get to them so we can find out even further “light and knowledge”. Our investigators are the same way. Once they receive and feel the power and testimony of Jesus Christ, their desire and appetite to know more becomes stronger, the evidence of that is obvious. They come from a type of spiritual death, compared to the girl that Jesus raised from the dead, to a new life and desire to understand more what Jesus Christ is about. They become hungry and we become the source of the food that will help satisfy their hunger.
When Christ taught his disciples “The Sermon on the Mount” He said:
“ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
We are the agents called of Christ, His representatives, to help fill those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness”. Many are praying to find this spiritual food that we can provide:
“My companion and I knelt down and asked God to help us find someone who has been praying for us, someone who is ready for the gospel and needs to be baptized. And then we went to work. We harvested different houses with little to no success. We were able to leave blessings in homes, but we knew that we were supposed to find someone else. By the end of our harvest, we were pretty discouraged because we didn’t find who we asked for. We got into the car and started to leave when we saw this woman walking her dog in the distance. We drove over to her immediately and asked if we could leave the prayer. She told us how surprised she was because she had just moved 3 days ago from another area and was very scared to be here. She said that she prays everyday but that day she prayed to receive peace somehow. This was when we showed up. She believes in God, but has never been baptized before. She told us that she wants to be baptized and she really wants to learn more. We are so excited to teach her and prepare her for baptism.”
Many are praying to be filled with “Light”:
“Another huge miracle we saw was with a lady that came to church on Sunday and is set with a hard baptismal date for this upcoming Sunday. It all came about yesterday as we were teaching her. A lady walked past and asked about us. We got her information and told her we would stop by later to pray for her because we were teaching our investigator with a baptismal date. But then our investigator jumped up and said, ‘Elders, we need to go pray for her now!’ She then led us down the stairs and we prayed for the lady. After we finished the prayer our investigator began to testify. She talked about how we are one of the greatest things God has sent to her. How she was in darkness, she prayed for God to send her someone, and then we came. She then began to testify of church and baptism and invited the lady to come to church. By the end of the lesson the lady was set with a date and for church, as well our investigator was even more solidified as she bore her testimony.”
Many are praying to be filled with the knowledge of God:
“We biked a ton and I was sweating like crazy. Prior … I was praying and asking the Lord to please give us a miracle to start off our day on the right foot. On our way out I saw a couple walking down the street heading towards us. We rode passed them. As we were a distance away I was prompted to go back and contact that couple. I looked back and were a good distance away from them. I stopped and called out to my companion, ‘Elder lets go back and contact that couple!’ So we did. We introduced ourselves as Representatives of Jesus Christ and the girl stopped us mid sentence and said, ‘Really? Because I’ve been praying to God to show me that He’s truly there. Now I know he’s real and that he lives!’ I then dropped the bomb immediately right off the bat with a solid invitation to be baptized, ‘So will the both of you show God your love and appreciation by following the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?’ They replied ‘We will with all our hearts! Can we do it tomorrow?’”
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is teaching the apostles and told them about his being hungry and naked and in prison. When they asked Christ “when did we see thee hungry and naked?” He teaches:
… Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Mathew 25:40)
We are spiritual providers for those who are hungry, those who have an appetite, those who are in need to be satisfied spiritually. We are the source of that food which will give them life, strength, sustenance, and purpose. We not only fill ourselves and them, but we fill the Savior as well. When Peter in the New Testament saw the lame man on the steps of the temple begging for alms, he realized that this man was more than just physically hungry:
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:6-8)
Peter is sharing with this man food and riches, but not in a physical form, he was providing it in spiritual form based on faith, testimony, Spirit, power and authority. We in many ways are providing that same sustenance to our investigators. Things that they are hungry for, things that they are in need, that will fill them and give them eternal life. This food that we are sharing with others is the doctrines of salvation, it’s the truth of Jesus Christ, and it’s His Gospel. When we have received relief with His food, then we must help others to relieve their appetites with this food as well. There will be many times where we will be having a feast together with our investigators. That spiritual feast will fill both of us, and will give satisfaction spiritually of the appetite that we have that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can satisfy.
The evidences of those that are still hungry for the world are those that do not repent, do not care to change, and do not want to hear and understand more of what God wants them to know. Those that are hungry and are truly showing forth evidences of repentance are those that are hungry for more inspiration, truth, teachings, and understanding of the Gospel. Evidence of those who truly want to repent will be those that are hungry for more truth and doctrines and want to change.