Illustration by Jim Madsen
A missionary activity had been planned in the stake where I was serving. My companion and I were to briefly explain a gospel principle to the investigators who would attend. However, when we arrived at the meetinghouse, we discovered that hardly any investigators had come. Instead of teaching the principle as we had originally planned, we were asked to go out into the street and invite the people passing by to come and take part in the activity.
Truthfully, I couldn’t help but think, “This is not going to work.” I felt that our efforts would be fruitless—that no one would accept the invitation to just come to the activity, particularly with such little notice.
But we understood the importance of obedience, so my companion and I tried to invite people to come in. Not much later, a woman and her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend passed by. We invited them to come in. At first they were hesitant, but finally they accepted the invitation and joined the group inside. I was surprised but very happy.
The activity started: a gospel-centered musical presentation. The activity lasted more than an hour. I worried that our guests were angry because the event lasted so long, but I had a prayer in my heart asking for everything to work out well.
When the activity ended, I approached them to apologize for taking so much of their time. Before I could say a word to them, the woman said, “Thank you. Thank you so much. It was very beautiful. Thank you.”
I was astonished; they were thanking us for the experience, and they weren’t concerned about the time. It was marvelous, and there was joy in my heart. (And to think that I had been saying that inviting people on the street wasn’t going to work!) The woman wanted to know more about the Church and to attend our Sunday meetings.
I learned something great from this experience: exercising just a little faith, even if it is nothing more than a desire to believe, can yield great fruits (see Alma 32:27–28).
This experience changed my attitude for the rest of my mission. From that time on, at each missionary activity, I would see the fruits of my labors when I went forth with hope and an eye of faith.
If we exercise faith, even when we think it cannot come to pass, we can obtain delicious fruits. What we see as impossible is not impossible for God.
Find Them That Will Receive You
“Usually you do not know who these people are. They may not immediately recognize that you are the Lord’s servants. They may not understand that greater peace, direction, and purpose in life will come through the restored gospel than from anything else. They often do not realize that they are looking for the restored gospel until they have found it. For example, one convert said, ‘When I heard the gospel, it filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know was there.’ Another said, ‘I have finished the search I didn’t know I was on.’”
Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Work (2004), 156.