Sunday, December 2, 2012

These are the Lord's "Elect"

This week was a humbling one. I'll tell you why.

During our district meeting this week, we were talking about teaching people who don't come from a Christian background, and the discussion began to be about finding investigators who are not from a Christian background. A concern popped into my head, which I brought up. While I was in KL (Kuala Lumpur), I met very few Christians. I taught several non-Christian investigators, but they were exceptional people who'd had a fascination with Jesus Christ for years. I loved them with all my heart. But I talked about how these days, I talk to a stranger and invite them to learn about Jesus Christ and if they are turned off by the name "Jesus Christ," I let go and don't try to push it because I don't think it will go anywhere. I tell myself that to be saved, all men need to believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and if they don't even like his name then there's nothing I can do. So I bring up his name and see their reaction, and if it's negative, I move on.

I got a few responses from other missionaries that really impressed me. One Elder said that the Lord is preparing people specifically to receive the Gospel. These are the Lord's "elect." But we, as missionaries who are imperfect mortals, will not always recognize the elect. So we need to try to find a way to relate to Gospel to anyone we meet, because although the name Jesus Christ may not be important to them yet, it will be someday. They may not know what they are looking for, or where to look for it. But we need to do our best to help them receive the Gospel. 

This really humbled me and caused me to reflect. I will not always recognize the elect. Even people whose baptisms I have attended... at first, I didn't know that they would be baptized. It will require more patience and faith and energy on my part, but I am going to work on adjusting my teaching to meet the needs of anyone I meet... to do the best I can. 

A highlight of the week was seeing Joachim in the hallway at church! I'm not in his ward anymore, so I haven't seen him in about a month. But yesterday we bumped into him! I was SO happy to see him! He has changed in the last month! He was wearing a tie! He was smiling so big! He said, "Sister, finally we meet!" He talked about how he holds the priesthood now, and he passes or blesses the sacrament every Sunday. He said he is very blessed. I was so impressed with him. He seemed more confident--he was glowing just as bright as the day he was baptized. Even his English had improved. Even though he's a few years older than me, I feel like he is my son, in a way. He is like a bud that is blooming into a brilliant flower. I'm so proud of him. The holy priesthood makes men into men. 

Speaking of which, Brother Julius received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday, and was ordained to the office of a priest. It was so great. He felt the Spirit strongly all day. So rewarding.

I know the Gospel is true. I love being a missionary. It is not easy, and I think it won't ever be easy. It's okay that way, though. It was never easy for the Savior. I know our Savior lives and loves us. This is His Church. Families can be together forever. The Temple is the house of God.

Sister Gopinath

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