It was a pretty busy week this week, but I didn’t bring my journal, so I don’t exactly remember everything that happened. It all kind of passed by in a blur. On Monday we had a Zone P-day where all the Elders got together and played a game of soccer. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I don’t like soccer enough to want to play it in hot and humid weather, but it was actually a pretty decent day out, and plus our outdoor field was completely shaded over by the surrounding trees, so the playing conditions weren’t bad at all. In the end, playing soccer was actually a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.
We also picked up 2 new investigators this week, both of whom are referrals. The first is Em Phuong, who is related to one of the Elders here in Saigon and who was referred to us from his family. Her dad is Christian and her mom is Buddhist, but she has no knowledge of who God or Christ is and wants to know more about them. Her main motivation is because she wants to study in America, and she knows that Christianity is a big thing over there, so she wants to understand more. We’ve had 2 lessons with her and her knowledge about Christ and Heavenly Father is increasing. She has a great desire to learn. Now the next step is taking that desire to learn with her head and turning that into a desire to believe with her heart. That’s the root of all testimony!
Our other referral is a girl named Chi Yen, who was taught by some Elders up in Hanoi, but has recently moved down here to Saigon for work. We haven’t met her yet, but we hope to have appointments set up this week.
We also spent a lot of time finding those less-actives and teaching them. I now have a brand new appreciation for the ward missionary and home teaching programs of the church. For those who don’t know, the ward missionaries and home teachers are people in the congregation that are called to visit and help teach their fellow members in order to spiritually strengthen them and act as a friend. Through these programs, you gain support and guidance not just from going to church and hearing speakers or listening to leaders, but also from members of the congregation itself. It’s kind of cool, because in a sense, everyone is a teacher, and members of the ward rely interconnectedly upon each other as a support system. It very much follows Joseph Smith’s statement in response to a reporter’s question about how the Church is led so effectively: “teach them correct principles and they will govern themselves.” I remember back when my dad was called to be a ward missionary, I thought in my head “that’s gotta be the most useless calling I’ve ever heard of”. Other thoughts such as that came up when I went to home-teach other members with my dad, thinking “they don’t need this, this is so pointless.” Needless to say, I’ve repented of that thinking now. It wasn’t until I came out on my mission to an area where there are no ward missionaries and an ineffective home-teaching program that I realized just how essential it is to have the MEMBERS support and visit one another. With both of those programs underdeveloped, members who were recently baptized have fallen through the cracks. No one visited them besides missionaries, and as a result, they gradually fell away. In a behind-the-scenes sort of way, ward missionaries and home teachers are the backbone of the ward. You don’t really see the result when they do a good job because it’s kind of taken for granted when you have a lot of people come to church. But when those auxiliaries are gone, and your less-active member list is bigger than your active member list, then it makes you wish you had that backbone. On the bright side though, we got to meet a lot more people than we would normally never meet if we just saw people at church. Plus it keeps us busy, so there’s no sense in complaining.
Those are my thoughts for the week, and I hope everyone has a great upcoming week, cause I know we will! God bless you all!