Last week we were cleaning windows for a service project and the windows in the shade were cold enough that when we sprayed the outside with glass cleaner the liquid froze onto the glass. I could only think of what my little brother Jordan would say.
For those of you who know Jordan- you'll have seen him do this before.
Also "Happy Birthday" to my older brother John this week, and My step dad Craig right around the corner!
We have a term in the Washington Kennewick Mission- and I do not know how many missions use it- we call a finding situation an OYM for "Open your mouth". When we go about finding people who are ready and willing to hear learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ we knock doors, we talk to people in the street and we share with them a little bit of what we teach- just a few sentences, whatever fits their needs and the situation. We try to refer to the fact that Christ's Church has been brought back to the Earth today because that is the unique message that we have to share. We try to set goals for how many people we can talk to every day, so we know how we can stretch ourselves and reach as many people as possible.
People are not numbers. Obviously. People are individuals, cherished of Christ. See Doctrine andCovenants 18:10-16. Because we love Christ and our Heavenly Father, we want to help them with their goals. See Moses 1:39. We have the privilege of working as instruments in the hands of the Savior as we reach out and bring them to Him. We spiritually carry them on our shoulders. As a representatives of Jesus Christ, our voices are His voice, and we extend to others the call that has been extended to us. Christ has called us to follow Him and because of the joy that we feel in His service, we pass that call along. It comes as we open our mouths.
This week I spent some time studying Charity. My favorite chapters of scripture on the topic include Moroni 7 and 1 John 3. I encourage you to read them. Charity is the pure love of Christ. It is the motivation behind Missionary work. I feel that as we experience Christ's love for us we naturally desire to extend it to others. As missionaries we work hard, but that does not mean that we are doing our best. I felt as I studied that as I learn about Christ's love and the power of His Grace to change and lift us, my focus moves outward from "How hard can I work?" to "How many people are being affected by my work?" That is what Christ cares about. He cares about His children. In the Gospel of John chapter 3, we read that God sent His son to save the world. Not just a few. The world. "All those that believe on His name" is a changeable number. Christ wants to save every person, not just a few. He wants us to reach as many people as we possible can because each is equally and infinitely valuable to Him. Of course, this requires me to give all that I can. To "...serve Him with allof my heart, might, mind, and strength" is my purpose and my goal - not blindly, but with a purpose. To open my mouth to every person that I can, with my limited mortal abilities, so that Christ has has the opportunity to express His love for His children through me.
Could Christ do this without us? Yes. He is the master teacher. He is perfect and powerful. He is the best of all missionaries! And He in His wisdom and mercy sends out His army of willing (and oh so imperfect) volunteers. He allows us to labor in His vineyard - to take part in His work and to have this opportunity to taste of His love for His children. Alone, I know that we would fail. It is only because He sends His Spirit with us to do the real teaching. All we do is treasure up His word and open our mouths. The Spirit is the link that connects those we teach with God. It is what they really hear.
We set goals to open our mouths and speak to as many people as possible so that we can keep our eyes on our purpose. We try to focus our efforts on helping Christ's love and mercy reach as many people as possible in our weakness and His strength.
I am grateful for this opportunity to be a part of His work. (No matter how many people slam the door in my face). We are never alone. Christ is with us. He carries us.
Keep the faith.
Sister Caroline Faulkner