"Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." - 1 Corinthians 3:5-6
It is a sad fact of missionary work that if you are working hard, staying obedient, and generally doing your job, the members are probably not going to remember your name.
This realization came to me a long while ago but came back again this past week.
Elder Arnold is a singer. He was Javert in Riverton High School's production of Les Miserables and has quite a good voice. This Sunday the Sister training leaders had a baptism for one of their investigators, a young man, and they asked us to sing, so we did a duet of "How Great Thou Art." It went very well. It also helps that both of the sisters have around 13+ years of piano experience so they are both amazingly good and do piano duets for meetings and such. All four of us have enough musical experience that we can through something together at a minute's notice if need be.
After the baptism we participated in the confirmation of this young man. He is Hmong, so one of our Hmong members did the confirmation in that language. It was a great experience for me. I had absolutely no idea was he was saying, but the Spirit indicated to me that although he was speaking in a different language, it was still the same priesthood.
This upcoming Sunday we are planning to have the baptisms of Faith and Madison, the daughters of convert parents. Their father will be performing the baptisms. If they meet the date, this will be the first time in my entire mission that a baptism will have taken place in my area while I was there. A lot of people I found and taught got baptized very shortly after I left the area, and I had the immense privilege and honor of performing the baptism for Rosita, but this will be the first time in 22 months that a baptism has happened on my watch.
Suffice it to say, I'm very excited.
But with this also comes a realization. Many many missionaries have tried over the years to visit Faith and Madi's parents and get them back to church. I am certain that I am no more obedient than they were, or any more diligent that they were, or any more sanctified in my calling than they were. Yet, for some reason none of them ever got in the door of this family's home. Elder Dedrick and I had just so happened to show up on a day and at a time when the mom was outside and we were able to talk with her and set up a return appointment. Now, jumping forward over a month, the daughters are preparing for baptism.
What changed? It was not our individual skills that got us in the door. It was the Spirit, who softened the hearts of the people involved. If Elder Dedrick and I can really claim anything, it is that we acted on the prompting to stop by their home at that right moment, which was able to get the ball rolling. We cannot say that this upcoming baptism came about because we were better missionaries or more spiritual or anything. God simply allowed us to participate in this story.
I am loving being with Elder Arnold. He is an excellent missionary and we get along well. Hopefully this week will be full of miracles.
Love you all. Hurrah for Israel!