To begin, this email isn’t about how my week was full of crying and knocking on doors. Though both are quite prevalent and even essential to missionary work… But the crying and knocking part comes later, so read on!
Tomorrow Sister Lung goes home to Hong Kong! And so, that means I’ll have a new companion, and she’s from Uganda! If you know me, I freaking love Africans so I’m super excited. Her name is Sister Apiyo and its her last transfer, so in missionary terms I will once again be “killing” my companion (being her last companion before she goes home.)
This week has been full of goodbyes for Sister Lung. Sixteen months feels like an eternity away, so it’s really odd to see her going through all the “lasts.” They say you cry more when you’re about to go home than leaving home. I’m still quite fresh in the mission, but I can see how difficult it is to leave this place and these people you’ve grown to love so deeply.
We continued to teach our solid friends Michael and Anne. They amaze me each time we see them. Our other solid friend Mike is in America for the next month, as well as Const who is in Russia. Other than that, we do lots of searching to find those who are prepared to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ! I’ll share pictures at the end with a description of all the lovely people I’ve met this transfer 🙂
I’m also teaching people online and one girl is Lizzie. She is incredible. She’s 15 and came online to Mormon.org a few weeks ago explaining how she’d like to learn more but her mom won’t let her meet the missionaries. Through the three weeks I’ve been teaching her, she’s started going to church, youth activities, doing family history work, is almost finished reading the Book of Mormon, told her mom she loves the gospel, is meeting with missionaries, and even wants to go on a mission herself! I love this beautiful girl who lives in Hyde Park, New York. Coincidence? I think not! I am so blessed to meet such miraculous people and be a part of their journey.
Now time for the crying part. This week I was reading in the Book of Mormon, in 2 Nephi 33 and it hit me like a ton of bricks that Nephi is a REAL man.
Yes, ok he’s obviously a real man. But sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the fact that he’s “large in stature” and a prophet of God and that he lived 2600 years ago. But he had feelings and was a very real man.
2 Nephi 33:3 says, “For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night … and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.”
His eyes watered. He cried unto God. Imagine this “large in stature” grown man crying on his pillow.
But most importantly, he knew God heard his cry. He cried in faith and never stopped believing.
When I read that, I thought back to the nights I’ve spent soaking my pillow. I’ve cried out, “I’m not strong enough for this.” But even one of the strongest examples and greatest prophets fell asleep on a pillow wet from tears.
Side note: it’s hard enough for me to admit I cry to you all as I think I’m just weak, but then here is Nephi admitting to millions that he cries. Talk about humility.
The other things I’ve studied this week include: knocking, opening, and doors.
Being a missionary means knocking on doors. The nerve wracking, never ending knocking on people’s doors asking them if they’d like to learn more about Jesus Christ.
But through a lesson with our friend Mike, I realized there is someone knocking on our individual doors every single day.
The question is, will we open the door?
The man knocking at our door is Jesus Christ.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.”(Revelation 3:20 )
My dear friend Mike explained how through this life, he’s noticed God putting different things in his path. Some of these things included family trials, becoming a magician, finding a love for photography, and finally, running into missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mike knows that God has a plan for us in which He can place things in our path. Each of these experiences, whether a difficulty or a blessing, help us grow. Mike then mentioned that it’s almost as if the Lord is knocking on our door, asking us to invite Him in.
As we are on this mortal journey, sometimes we get too caught up in our own direction. We may become wrapped up in our current situation. Trials may arise and we shut the door to close ourselves off from the challenge. We forget our dear friend is there to help us, and so He knocks.
President Monson said, “No room in the inn” was not a singular expression of rejection–just the first. Yet He invites you and me to receive Him. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.”
Christ has been rejected from the time before He was born, yet He continues to ask us to let Him help us. I think for me personally being a missionary, rejection occurs every hour. And it hurts! But those who reject me aren’t rejecting me as a person, but rather the message I have to share. Therefore, I can only imagine how Christ must feel when we reject Him and His atoning sacrifice.
Elder W. Craig Zwick said, “The Lord will provide sustenance and support if we are willing to open the door and receive His hand of divine assistance.”
Through prayer, repentance, studying the scriptures, and truly humbling ourselves, we can open the door. Peace, guidance, and forgiveness are continually offered. Through each choice we make and experience we have, He is there to strengthen us, teach us, and help us.
As I’ve opened my own door, I have found so much happiness! I know my Savior is there for me, and His arms are open. He’s encircled me in the arms of His love and safety. I have never felt happier, calmer, or more loved than when my door has been opened to Jesus Christ. He’s my very best friend and better than any knock you’ll ever get at your door (even better than Girl Scouts selling those to die for cookies, trust me.)
As President Monson said, “Let us listen for His knock. Let us open the door of our hearts, that He–the living example of true compassion–may enter.”
I love you all. The prophets in the scriptures are real and Christ is always there. I am so blessed to know this. Open your door to Christ, and even to those young missionaries you might see sometime! You’ll never regret it!