I doubt if the first missionaries would ever find out that their obedience to 'open their mouth at all times' would eventually lead from a planted seed into a fruit-bearing tree.I doubt if the first missionaries would ever find out that their obedience to 'open their mouth at all times' would eventually lead from a planted seed into a fruit-bearing tree.
I served in the Australia Brisbane Mission, English and Mandarin speaking, in the state of Queensland. A mission will offer you some of life's richest experiences. 'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' (Galatians 6:7)
Throughout my 18 months, I was blessed to be able to plant many seeds in people's hearts. That has brought me some of the greatest joys, even comparable to the joy of the harvest! I've come to learn that in missionary work, no effort is ever wasted. Often times we may easily identify obvious success, failing to recognize that the real success is in 'open[ing] thy mouth at all times' (D&C 28:16), regardless of acceptance or rejection. A few tender experiences have helped me gain a testimony of this truth. I wish to share three.
While door knocking we met a lady who shared with us an experience she and her partner had a few years ago. Amidst a crowd of people in Brisbane city, their family was spotted and approached by two missionaries who offered to say a prayer for and bless their family. Though they rejected the opportunity to learn about the gospel at that time, that simple gesture left a lasting impression, especially on her partner. When we invited them to learn about the gospel once more, she accepted although he still didn't. A few months after I had left, I learnt that he joined in the discussions and eventually gave his first powerful kneeling prayer.
A recent convert related to us her first ever encounter with the church. A pair of elders approached her simply with the question 'Do you believe in God?' which left her deep in thought. Many years later, another set of missionaries left her with the very same thought provoking and soul searching question. Those two encounters prepared her to receive what the Lord would soon send her way. She was baptized on 26 February 2016, but I doubt if the first missionaries would ever find out that their obedience to 'open their mouth at all times' would eventually lead from a planted seed into a fruit-bearing tree.
I was transferred to the city in the later part of my mission and we met a Chinese man and his son and invited them to hear the message of the restored gospel. They promised us 10 minutes of their time and soon those 10 minutes turned into 30, sharing with them the whole Plan of Salvation. Although they have limited ways of contacting the church in China, his young son accepted the invitation to be baptized.
What matters most is that we invite, regardless of the response. These sacred experiences stay very close to my heart.
'And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.' (Galatians 6:9) 'And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit into life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, one soweth, and another reapeth.' (John 4:36-37)
I know that God is our merciful and loving Father in Heaven and that He plays a very active role in His children's lives. The Savior is my Redeemer and He loves us with a perfect love, because He is perfectly united with His Father. The Holy Ghost will manifest to us these truths. Through the Holy Ghost, I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible contain the fulness of truth necessary for our salvation and happiness on the earth. I witness that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God and he restored the only true church on the earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. God hears and will answer our prayers. Through careful study of the life of the Savior and relying on the Atonement, the center of God's plan, we may be worthy to return to our Father in Heaven. The unseen results of missionary work are real, and of this I bear witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Family Home Evening
First Chinese investigator
River Terrace District in the Chinese Program
Taking the gospel to the local Aboriginal community of Yarraba