We want…a shrubbery!

I’ve been thinking: If you want to know whether missionaries have tracted a house recently, check the bushes next to the door to see if leaves are missing. I don’t know why it is, but missionaries just love to pull the leaves off plants while waiting for someone to answer the door. Not me, though. It kind of bugs me, because I’d be pretty mad if I came to my door and found a couple of young guys interfering with my shrubbery.

We found some more new people to teach this past week. We still seem to have fewer investigators than the other areas, for whatever reason. I know that our area is geographically small. Perhaps we’re just less liberal with what we consider “lessons taught.” Who knows…

There is a common belief here in the South that “we are the Church,” and that somehow that means there’s not technically a point to organized Christianity. I appreciated Elder Christofferson’s talk, “Why the Church.” Jesus Christ Himself has laid out this divine organization so that the ordinances of the Gospel can be available to all, and so that we can best serve one another. Unless the same organization exists in every place the Gospel is preached, then it becomes easy to veer off track from the true ways of the Lord.

On an unrelated note, I think an important thing to remember when heading out on a mission is that there is a difference between being obedient to the mission rules and following suit in missionary culture. By “missionary culture,” I mean the collective mindset that missionaries tend to find themselves in, which usually comes out every preparation day. It is unrelated to the missionary calling and to the Church, and is instead a product of the real, regular people who have come out here to serve. Let the Missionary Handbook and your mission president be your guides. Some missionaries like to bend the rules. Some might differ from you politically. Contrary to what some missionaries might say, it’s okay to accept science; just make sure you apply your faith, and remember that President Hinckley said that in that regard, all we are really required to believe as faithful members is that Adam and Eve were the first humans, made in the image of God. Whatever you do, and whatever you face, just remember that the spirit of contention is of the devil (3 Nephi 11:29). If you struggle with your companion or with other missionaries, or when you meet people who are truly disagreeable, pray for them. If you cannot keep the Holy Ghost with you, it will all be for naught.

I hope that made sense. Until next week.

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