People have the right to chose how or if they will accept this message. They chose if they will follow or not. It hurts us deeply to watch someone who we love, have taught and who we feel knows the truth, walk away from it. This is a hard thing.
What comes from this teaches us all a very important lesson about how we measure success as a missionary.
Do we have any control over another person? Can we determine how they will respond to this message? NO.
Does our success come from their choices? Can we measure our success or failure by what they choose to do? NO
Our purpose here is to invite and help. The outcome is determined by the agency of man.
Do the blessing of the gospel we seek to help people with come to us? Are we here to bless our lives by virtue of people joining the kingdom or theirs? We are participants in the process surely, but who are these blessing really for?
So...given this ...our purpose is to deliver this precious message and assist these people to gain their own testimony. That is our purpose. At the same time we are doing this we hope to receive and solidly our own testimony. Blessing flow through feeling the spirit and participating in this process. Whether or not they join the church is not a part of our measurement of success. It is a wonderful thing for us to share in the happiness and joy of a convert baptism...however the blessing of baptism and entry into the kingdom is theirs.
Rejection and adversity is a critical part of the missionary journey. It is a part of life.
"Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like a toad, though ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in its head." (Shakespeare.)
"Affliction is the wholesome soil of virtue, where patience, honor, sweet humility, and calm fortitude, take root and strongly flourish." (Mallet.)
"Paradoxical as it may seem, God means not only to make us good, but to make us also happy, by sickness, disaster and disappointment." (C. A. Bartol.)
This short one, which evidently came from the heart of the woman who expressed it, struck me forcibly: "Ah! If you only knew the peace there is in an accepted sorrow." (Mde. Guion.)
"It is a great thing, when the cup of bitterness is pressed to our lips, to feel that it is not fate or necessity, but divine love working upon us for good ends." (E. H. Chapin.)
"Affliction comes to us all not to make us sad, but sober; not to make us sorry, but wise; not to make us despondent, but by its darkness to refresh us, as the night refreshes the day; not to impoverish, but to enrich us." (Henry Ward Beecher.)
The Prophet Joseph Smith one time said, when someone had remarked that somebody had affliction because of their sins… that it is an unhallowed statement to make, that afflictions come to all.
And M. Henry said: "Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions."
Please know that our lives here on this earth and in this mission are designed by a loving father in heaven for our growth. Growth comes through overcoming.
Jesus was the master teacher. He was the best missionary to walk the earth....yet look what happened to him. He was rejected, spit on, beaten, jailed, whipped, scourged and then nailed to a cross. Yet he did not allow the agency of others to detour him from his purpose. He recognized that his mission was to invite and help other to find their own way. Should we expect and different?
Ours is the same call. We are sent here to do the will of the father and follow the savior. To do what He did. And is some small way feel what He felt, endure what He endured and learn to love as He loved.
Our joy and success should come in the doing!!! .... and in simple ministering to others.
Although it is an exciting and wonderful thing to witness a baptism and the mighty change of heart that comes from conversion....it should not define our success and or happiness.
The joy is in the journey. This is a truth.
We are successful when we simply follow the plan that we have been given. When we invite and help others. When we engage in this work by sharing this perfect message with the Jerseyites we are doing what we are called to do. Celebrate this each day. Be cheerful just to be a part of Gods army of servants. Our humble submission ....like that of the Savior should be what we give our God. He is in charge here and will direct our efforts.