Sunday, September 23, 2012

In the face of adversity…

Elder Pope shared a challenging missionary experience in his last message.  I found it remarkable so I wanted to share it.  From Elder Pope:

Yesterday we were walking by a house and two men stopped us to talk.  My companion and I stood nicely for about a half hour listening to them pick us apart.  We had listened the whole time to a man who is in the Army.  He was big, but being raised the way I had I did not back down when he raised his voice.  Instead, I walked closer to him looking him straight in his eyes.  When he was finished telling me I was going strait to Hell because I was trying to work my way into Heaven I calmly looked both men in the eyes and said, "Look, I am out here not to work my way into Heaven.  I am here to bring people closer to Jesus Christ.  If after all I can do they get a tiny bit of faith increased in Christ then I did what I came to do.  I am here because I'm thankful for all that he did for me.  We share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He made a difference in my life and I want others to have that same opportunity".  After boldly testifying, the two men couldn't say another word, they were confounded in their speech.  Never have I felt so calm and collected in testifying of truth.  The men nodded and shook our hands and walked inside the house.  This gospel is true.  With every fiber of my being I know this.  We must first read, study it out in our minds, and pray about it.  I know not how to convince people of its truth, nor do I want to.  I only wish to invite them to experience it for themselves!   
                                            --Elder Pope


Friday, September 14, 2012

One Starfish at a Time

Here is an excerpt from Elder Pope's letter this week, with words of encouragement specifically directed to his sister Anne, who will be leaving on her own mission soon:

Anne, I want you to know I love you and I am so proud of you and your choice to go and do what our Heavenly Father wants you to. I have seen the gosepl of Jesus Christ change peoples lives...

One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy
picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?"
The youth replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die."
"Son," the man said, "Don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can't make a difference!"
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said:
I made a difference for that one."

...In the end we are all in this together. Hand in hand. Moving forward the best we can. ...Anne, one starfish at a time.
                                                             -Elder Pope