This week I had two really great friends. Ben and Ben. And I guess Jerry too.
Sister Croft told me that you may have weeks on your mission that consist of chocolate and prayers. My week felt like it consisted of Ben’s Cookies, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and of course many prayers. When the Ben’s weren’t part of the day, it was because we were fasting and kept on praying.
Let me just say, missionary work is hard! Some think we are being paid for this or it’s a vacation. But in all reality, missionary work is quite difficult, and this week was one of those really difficult ones.
While on a mission, your beliefs are questioned and people try to make you doubt what you’re doing and believe more than ever before. Doors are slammed in your face, people turn the other way when they see your name badge, others won’t say hello back, and hateful messages on Facebook and online are received, as well as calls and texts. Opposition arises and people you’ve grown to love leave.
At the end of a day full of rejection, I sit down with a tub of ice cream and some cookies and just pray. I pray someone will listen to the message we have to share. I also notice that though people attempt to shake my beliefs, they are only more solidified. If I didn’t know this all to be true, I surely would not be here. I would not have left my family, friends and school just to be rejected and heartbroken day after day.
The message we share is that Jesus Christ’s church is restored on the Earth today and that He lives. The evidence of this message can be found by studying in the Book of Mormon and exercising sincere prayer.
The introduction of the Book of Mormon says, “We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
After taking this challenge myself, I received an answer and I know with my entire heart and soul that the Book of Mormon is true. The Book of Mormon has brought me so much happiness and comfort. It was written by prophets in Ancient America who sacrificed everything so we may have their records. They talked of Christ, rejoiced in Christ, preached of Christ, prophesied of Christ, and wrote according to their prophecies, that their children (us!) may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins (2 Nephi 25:26).They did all this for us, and many do not know that, and so I invite others to find that truth for themselves.
While inviting others to find this truth, I have felt a bit like the prophet Jacob in the Book of Mormon. In Jacob 7, a man named Sherem tries to convince people there is no Christ. Jacob then asks Sherem, “Believest thou the scriptures?” Sherem says he does, and Jacob replies, “Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ. And this is not all–it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
The scriptures, including the Bible and Book of Mormon, testify that there is a Christ and that He lives. The beautiful thing about our role as missionaries is that we can testify that we know this to be true, but ultimately we ask others to ask God if it is true. We know that God will answer any who ask Him if the Book of Mormon is true and if Christ lives. And because Christ lives, I continue to share this good news, this gospel, with all those who will listen.
This short video expresses the beauty of Christ living then, now, always, and during the good, the bad, and the in-between. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-04-1010-he-lives-celebrate-easter-because-jesus-christ-lives?lang=eng
At 1:30 in the video, the image perfectly describes my week of those in-between moments. But He is always there. Because He lives, He leads His church and I am blessed to be a servant and a representative of Him. Everyday I wear His name. Everyday I am reminded of how blessed I am to be a member of His Gospel and that I get to share His message with the world.
The Book of Mormon is true. Christ lives. I challenge you to find this for yourself. Study the Book of Mormon. Pray with real intent. Reach out. Call out. Cry out. I promise that as you do so, you will learn of the reality that Jesus Christ lives and His church is restored in its fullness today. He truly is always there, even during those in-between Ben’s Cookies and Ben & Jerry’s moments.
I love my Savior. I love each one of you and I know He does too!