Well, a friend of mine wanted me to tell him some missionary stories, so I thought I'd post a few here.
First, I'd like to post a funny story. I tell it fairly often. On the phone, people often think I'm a woman. I think it's funny. So, as a missionary, we often asked members of the local congregation to come teaching with us. Their insight and testimony is helpful, and it's easier for someone to start attending church if they have a friend--or at least a friendly acquaintance--at church. So, I once called a wonderful lady to come with us. She said yes, and we decided to meet at a certain street corner and take the bus to the teaching appointment.
Well, I was in a group of three missionaries, which does sometimes happen. So, we went to meet the woman, and all seemed well. Then she asked, "Where are the sister missionaries?" We were quite confused. "What?" "Who's the sister who called me last night?"
Well, I walked away and started laughing silently. My two companions tried to change the subject as gracefully as they could. Then, later, she brought it up again! So, we did our best to change the subject again. We never did get up the courage to tell her what happened.
Next, I'd like to share a story about a day that was really hard for me. I had been sick for quite some time (about two weeks later, mission leadership decided to send me home since I couldn't do a lot of missionary work). This day I felt depressed and discouraged for several hours--feelings that I usually held at bay fairly well. Finally, in the evening, I felt physically and emotionally strong enough to work.
So, we went out, and I had a prayer in my heart that God would help me to enjoy missionary work that day. I really wanted to be a good missionary and to be healthy as well. As we went out, we had several special experiences. I'll share two of them that happened within five minutes of each other.
We went about that evening knocking on doors and inviting people to hear our message. As we began to walk up one driveway, a man in a car called to us. He was a Persian member of the Church who had stopped attending and also stopped living some of the standards of the Church. Now, my missionary companion was the only missionary in all of Toronto at that time who spoke Persian well. That this particular member would find us--out of all the missionaries in the area--was completely beyond coincidence in my mind. A feeling of joy come over me, and the Spirit reminded me that God is, indeed, with His missionaries.
I spent my last couple of months as a missionary learning to find greater joy in the work. When I came on my mission, I liked missionary work, but I wasn't really passionate about it. I was only passionate about what every missionary is passionate about--that is, teaching people who really, really want to learn. My sweetest memories are of teaching those sorts of people.
I hope that when I return to the mission field, I can be passionate and find true joy more often in missionary work.
Note to self: Write about my last night of street contacting.