There are some weeks where I'm better at being a missionary than others. There's days and weeks where its easy to talk to everyone, your companionship works in unity, you're working hard to achieve your goals and you see the hand of the Lord a lot in the work. There are other days and weeks (fewer and hopefully far between) where it's easy to get distracted, to loose the focus and be less and fall short of the highly effective servants of the Lord we're striving to be.
This week was one of the latter, unfortunately, and I feel like I've been stagnating a little. I'm not progressing and growing in the way I hope to, and I'm not helping others progress and come closer to Christ either. Looking back on the past week has caused me to reflect more on my purpose as a missionary and to rededicate myself as the full time missionary I'm trying to be. My purpose is to, "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." It should be fairly simple, right? If something I'm doing helps me do that, keep doing it. If it doesn't, then stop! Preach My Gospel even gives us ways to judge if something fulfills that purpose or not by some of the goals we set. So why is it hard to do that sometimes?
In relation to fulfilling my missionary purpose, I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of our life on earth. We're here to learn and grow and become more like Christ. "This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God." However, how easy is it to get distracted from this clear purpose in the bustle of every day life? It's easy to just think about the next thing we have to do, or the next place we have to be instead of remembering the commandment given to love God and our neighbor. To forget to involve God and look for His influence in our lives.
We met this guy in Target earlier today and had a wonderful conversation with him about God and his role in our lives and the way we ought to live. We talked about church and missionary work, and he said, "Well, they're 2 different things. You go to church to fill yourself up, and missionary work is about pouring yourself out." I found his comment not only very poetic, but highly instructive. I haven't been pouring myself out as much as I ought to. My sacrifice and consecration has not been complete enough to merit all the help I want and need to succeed in this great work I'm supposed to be engaged in. So I'm trying to rededicate myself and renew my focus on sharing the message of the restoration and all the incredible blessings that come as we embrace that message.
There were a lot of good things that happened this week though. In addition to me refocusing on my missionary purpose, we got to talk to a couple wonderful couples more about the gospel and hopefully we'll continue meeting with them. And I learned how to roof houses on friday! It was super fun! One of the Elders in our ward did construction before his mission and had roofed a lot before, so we went and helped one of the members of our ward repair his roof and had a lot of fun clambering over the roof and ripping staples and nailing down shingles. I love you all! Take some time and think about the ways we can fulfill our purpose in life.