At the beginning of the week, we had SO MUCH planned. We were so excited to carry out the plan this week and help all the people whom we had set up with. We had two baptisms planned for Saturday and Sunday night, we had members set up to come with us to almost every lesson, and we had many activities planned out for our investigators and friends. By Wednesday night, almost every plan for the week had cancelled on us. Something came up in everyone's schedule that made it impossible to come and meet with us. Even the baptisms on Saturday and Sunday were BOTH cancelled because of different circumstances. To put it simply, Elder P and I were extremely disappointed.
We were working harder than ever before, yet we were only having a fraction of the amount of success that we were having earlier in the transfer. What was going on? Why were we not getting the results which we righteously desired?
I went on an exchange over to Donghai on Friday and Saturday to spend some time with Elder W. He's a great missionary. Still pretty new on island, just hit his year mark as a missionary and he's as full as fire as you could possibly be. The plan for Friday night was pretty simple. Contact for 3 hours straight. Seeing as that's what Elder P and I had been doing for the past 3 days, I'm ashamed to admit that I was a little less than excited to go out and do that for another 3 hours. Elder W and I started contacting and my spirits were raised with the joy that comes with sharing the Gospel. I stopped worrying about how many people I talked to and how many of them rejected me and I started worrying about the quality of my contacting. I made a goal to let the Spirit guide every contact so that I could influence every person that I came across in a personal manner. Not an easy thing to do! After doing this for 3 hours, we were getting ready to go back for the night. I went to contact somebody walking on the street and just got the hand that says, "No, I don't want to talk to you..." So I turned away and saw somebody who was walking by and had just witnessed my embarrassing rejection. I knew that I had to talk to him. We connected right away and I ended up sharing a heart-felt testimony with him about how this message was prepared especially for him and that all he had to do was accept the invitation. He told me that he didn't have time that night, but he wanted to meet first thing the next morning.
I can honestly say that that lesson is the most spiritual lesson that I've had on my mission up to this point. Wow. I've never met somebody looking for truth more earnestly than this man! The first thing he said after we showed him the chapel and sat down with him went something like this: "Last night, right before you talked to me, I was thinking about what my purpose in life is. This question has bothered me more and more over the past year, and I'm to the point where I can hardly handle it now! I was so surprised to see you there when I was thinking about these things... can you answer this question for me?" I felt a little like Alma when he's preaching to the Zoramites and they continue to deny and reject him until one day he hears a voice humbly pleading for his teachings from behind him. He immediately turns and teaches them. That lesson was incredible. I felt like the Lord truly used me as a tool in His hands as He welcomed this man, His beloved child, back into His arms. It was by far one of the most remarkable experiences I've ever witnessed.
Once I got back to my area, my faith had not only been recharged, but it's like it had been energized by a bolt of lightening! We finished out the week as strong as we have every week. I'm proud to say that I'm even more exhausted this week than I was last week, but I still have a fire burning in my heart telling me that it's not time to quit yet.