Right now I'm sitting at the computer at the library and looking around at all the people that are here reading or are on the computers and I keep thinking I need to talk to them! I think the missionary thing is starting to kick in ;). Talking to people about the gospel is getting easier and easier everyday and for that I'm thankful. But I'm finding myself not being able to talk to people about anything else! So at a door this week we tracked out a man. He came to the door and it was my turn to contact the man and I started by introducing myself and told him about the church we were representing and all of a sudden he crosses his hands out in front of him to cut me off. We were having fun that day with our contacts, which I don't know if that is always good, but when he did that in my head I yelled, "safe" and after that thought , I almost started laughing because I have not seen anyone make the safe sign to me yet. We had about a 5 minute conversation on how the college basketball polls keep going up and down and how the Texas Longhorn's men's basketball team lost and how when it rains it pours for poor Texas because the Baylor girls lost also. Elder Bezona and I sympathized with the poor man and after we had talked and became almost comfortable we asked him if we could come back and share with him what we feel so strongly about and he replied with a quick and sharp, "no." This one contact taught me many things and now that I reflect on these things it makes me sad. Satan works so hard on people to the point that they can't even recognize truth. These people here have great values and beliefs but not the full restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The adversary builds walls for us as missionaries that we must break down when we make contact with these people. I have heard now that it takes an individual 7 serious encounters with the missionaries before they will begin to accept the church. Seven sit down meetings not just contacts but real meetings where the missionaries can invite the Spirit and have the person feel it before they can open their heart. There are of course many people who are the exceptions who will accept the gospel quickly and the others will never invite or allow missionaries into their homes. I feel so sad and so much responsibility for these people in Texas and I have never felt more love for my brothers and sisters then I do out here. It is not what people say, it is not what people think about us, or them slamming the door, it is the idea of never seeing them again. I have had a constant thought since I have felt this more personal responsibility for these people; it is when we were living with our Heavenly Father in the spirit world before we came down to this mortal existence. I think our Heavenly Father had some parting words for us before we left just like an earthly Father would have for their sons and daughters that leave home, as my dad had with me before I left for my mission. I think our Heavenly Father gives us a hug and tells us he loves us and will miss us like most Fathers would say, but the way that his "good-bye" is different is that I am sure that he reassures his children, our brothers and sisters who will not be born into a family that has the gospel of Jesus Christ, that he will send someone to rescue them. They are my brothers and sisters and I love them and I want to live with them again and rejoice with them in the kingdom of our Father. I just want everyone to come back and I know that not everyone will and THAT is what causes me the most sadness. Our Heavenly Father has put his children in my hands, I am part of the rescue team. and for me to not open my mouth or to feel too embarrassed to tell someone who I am and who I represent because of my fear and lack of testimony is selfish. My Heavenly Father has sent me to the doors of these families to give them a rescue line, it doesn't matter necessarily what I say but it is because I'm there, bringing the spirit. The verses I am coming to love more and more are found in the
Doctrine and Covenants section 18:
15And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your be joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
How great shall be your joy? I don't know that fully yet but I have had glimpses of that joy. I know Elder Bezona and I will "labor all [our] days," and for the opportunity to do that is a great one!
Sorry this is not a very long email. I will write more about my investigators next week.
Love, Elder Brown