4096px-Sacrifice_of_Isaac-Caravaggio_(Uffizi)

Caravaggio, Sacrifice of Isaac, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

Genesis 18:1–19

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • How do you avoid or overcome discouragement when it appears the job is too big to ever be accomplished?
  • Like Sarah, do we inwardly laugh at the thought of the gospel spreading to all people?
  • Do you realize that if every member of the Church were instrumental in bringing one person to the Lord every year, the entire world would be converted in just over eight years?

THE POWER OF EVERYDAY MISSIONARIES
Wards That God Trusts: The Lamoille Branch

When serving as an Area Seventy I sometimes had the chance to “tour” a mission and meet with the missionaries, and I always asked the missionaries in private conversations, “Is there a branch or ward in the mission where being assigned to work in that unit is viewed as if you have died and gone to heaven? And what is it about that unit that makes it so attractive an assignment for the missionaries?”

When I was meeting with missionaries in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission, every missionary I talked to wanted to be assigned to the Lamoille Branch, which is right in the northernmost portion of Vermont, bordering Quebec, Canada. In each of the prior three years, more than thirty people had been baptized into the branch.

“What is it about the Lamoille Branch that makes it so attractive to you?” I queried one of the elders.

He responded, “I don’t know what it is. But if you can just get your investigators into the chapel up there, the members just wrap them into their arms and make them feel so welcome. It’s funny. Even door-to-door finding works better in Lamoille than any other place in the mission.” Tracting. Why did door-to-door finding work better in that place than any other in the mission?

Christine and I decided one free Sunday that we would drive from Boston to Lamoille Valley, about five hours northwest of Boston, to get a better sense of what made the branch work. I had learned from the stake president, Mike Sessions, that they had made the branch a ward a few weeks earlier. We interviewed many ward members and were repeatedly told how warm and welcoming the ward felt to new visitors. One recounted that the first time she attended church, a two-year-old girl came up to her with her arms outstretched—mimicking what she so often had seen adults do when someone new had walked through that door. God seemed to trust the Lamoille Ward to love and care for his children (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013, 137–138).

A CHALLENGE: BECOME A WELCOMING WARD

This Sunday (and every Sunday after that), improve the warmth in our ward by asking yourself:

  • Is someone sitting alone? Greet them and (where not impossible) invite them to sit with you. In every meeting, in every class in our ward, nobody ever sits alone!
  • An unfamiliar face receives our first attention! Take visitors to class with you and ask if they have any questions about the meeting! Show them around the building and explain the art, missionary pictures, library, etc. Give them your contact information and invite them to call you. Invite them to something with you: dinner, a social activity, a walk, etc.
  • Are there investigators sitting with the missionaries? Go and meet them!
  • Who isn’t here that should be? Are all present or accounted for? The ones you visit or home teach, the ones you have served with, your children’s friends’ families? Find out why not and see if there is a need you can fill.
  • Ask the Lord who needs your love.

Remember that every soul who lives in our ward boundaries is in our ward! Perfect and apply each of the above in your neighborhood!

ADDITIONAL MEDIA


Abrahamic Covenant

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Abraham

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Think of all the ways Abraham followed the Lord’s commandments. How was Abraham’s blessed for his faith?
  • Abraham was promised that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. How can nations be blessed by you?

 

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