No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Happy Monday family and friends! It was a pretty good ending to this past week. The beginning of last week was one of the harder weeks I've had for quite some time. Last week, after having baptisms almost every weekend we didn't have any and very few investigators came to church. What frustrated me the most was the fact that many people said they wanted to come to church and did not! (2Nephi9:34) ;)
On top of investigators not keeping commitments I was distracted with other things on my mind and I just felt frustrated with a lot of stuff. I knew God had a plan and was teaching me a lesson, but what for? Humility perhaps? I turned to my little black book of quotes and stories I've written and found notes from while in the MTC given by Dallan H. Oaks of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. "No good deed goes unpunished." What a common quote but it really hit me. My whole mission I've been trying to become better, become more perfect like unto the Savior, and for my efforts I've been blessed. As I've spent more time in the mission I've become a better missionary and I've seen the fruits of my labors.
This week when things started to get rough I wondered why. If I am doing good works why are bad things happening to me. A quick thumb-through the Bible clearly taught me that Jesus, His Apostles, and their followers were tried countless times and persecuted yet they were doing a marvelous work. They were doing the will of the Father. Never the less no good deed goes unpunished.
Do I have regrets for some of the choices I've made? OF COURSE I DO! Michael Jordan once said that he has missed over 9000 shots in his career and lost almost 300 games. He has taken countless game winning shots and missed several game winning shots through out his career. That is the reason though that he succeeds. I don't think anyone could say they have not a single regret EXCEPT for the Savior. One thing I do not regret though has been my choice to serve our Father in Heaven. There is a picture hanging up in our house that says, "as for me and my home we will serve the Lord." Growing up I always read that and it has stuck with me. “The greatest decision I ever made in my life was to give up something I dearly loved to the God I loved even more. He has never forgotten me for it." (President Thomas S. Monson) I echo that statement as well. We as missionaries are in foreign lands watching scholarships, birthdays, graduations, weddings, families divorcing, and even potential spouses pass us by all because of our love to serve the Savior. Dallan H. Oaks said, " The intensity of our desires to share the gospel is a great indicator of the extent of our personal conversion." Many missionaries and members alike have a testimony of the gospel but are afraid to share it! 16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having aauthority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for bperfect clove dcasteth out all fear.(Moroni8:16) If we love our family and friends, TRULY, we would shout and proclaim this message from the mountain tops. That is where success as a missionary comes from. It comes from your boldness to proclaim the fullness of the everlasting gospel.
Long story short after having a rough couple days I got on my knees and humbled myself enough to ask for help from my Father in Heaven. Less than 24 hours later my frustration and fruitless thoughts were gone. I was blessed with several opportunities to exercise my Priesthood and give several people priesthood blessings this week. We found new people to teach that were nothing short of miracles, we invited five more people to be baptized and they said yes! On top of it all I was privileged enough to baptized Joseedwardo aka Pepe and then the sisters had another baptism for Isaac who is in our branch. As Martina McBride says, "I have been blessed!"
I may not be great at a lot of things. I may not always say the right thing or communicate my feelings the best when I'm speaking but one thing I know I am is a really good missionary. I take pride in this tag I wear with the engraved name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have no idea what the future will hold or what other accomplishments I might have but one thing I know I am is a great missionary. This is one task I was foreordained to do. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have achosen you, and bordained you, that ye should go and bring forth cfruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my dname, he may give it you." (John15:16) There should never be a day when we forget why we are here. God is love.
Vaya con Dios,
One of the newest guys Elder Bennion baptized. Jose is 19 years old!