Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Missionary

I've had some friends ask me to describe what a missionary life is like. We have to wake up by 6:30 every morning, but here in Hawaii everyone wakes up earlier because birds start chirping around 5:30 and they're super loud.

We exercise for a half hour and then shower, eat breakfast, etc. At 8:00am we start our personal study and 9:00 am is companionship study. I NEVER studied my scriptures before the mission unless it was for a class at school. Now that I have the chance to do it everyday, I realize how much I was missing out on. The scriptures have so much knowledge and cool teachings in them. The more I study from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the more I know that this church is true. If this isn't the true church, then nothing in the scriptures could be true. It's neat to discover this for myself.

After studying, we start proselyting. Sometimes we'll have teaching appointments. We spend about an hour a day - sometimes more, sometimes less - knocking on doors. We have a list of "potential investigators" in our area book. These people have mostly been contacted by previous missionaries in the area by tracting or meeting them on the street. No progress was made (they never were contacted again, couldn't get in touch with them, etc) so they're recorded for future missionaries to try and teach them. They're all people who've shown interest. So each day we try to contact potential investigators and set up appointments with them. We also visit recent converts and less-active members to help strengthen their membership in the church. Wherever we go and whoever we talk to, we always ask for referrals.

Every night we have dinner with ward member. Everything is SO EXPENSIVE out here, so we can barley afford to pay for lunch, breakfast and our toiletries. The members always feed us and we teach them a shore lesson.

Every night we plan the next day's schedule. Every half hour from 7am to 9pm is planned and we have "back-up" plans too, so that we're ALWAYS busy with the Lords work. We need to be in bed by 10:30pm.

I've discovered that the most important tool in missionary work is the members. They come with us to lessons, because it's much more powerful to have a member testify then just the missionaries. They fellowship-which is super important. And finally (my favorite), they give us referrals. It is SO MUCH EASIER to find people to teach through ward members. And it's easier to get them to come to sacrament and keep commitments. But members don't give us referrals very often - mostly for 3 reasons:
1. They don't know anyone that might be interested.
2. They're afraid to talk about their religion with friends, family, and co-workers because it might affect their relationship.
3. They think their friends "aren't ready for missionaries yet."

These are all horrible excuses.. never use them. You can find someone, you can invite them to learn more without changing the relationship. Nobody is "not ready" for the missionaries. We don't have "qualifications" that investigators need to meet before they can be taught. Heavenly Father wants them to hear this message and has prepared His missionaries to help all kinds of people to feel the spirit, learn truth, and obey his commandments.

Since I've been a missionary, I've learned that missionaries are truly called of God and have divine power and authority to accomplish His work. People trust our abilities more because everything we do comes through God. It's awesome to see and feel that power manifest itself.

And there you have it, a day in the life of this missionary.

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