Alright I feel like I have to share an experience that illustrates the difficulties of being a missionary. Everyone knows that the work is hard and often stressful. There are responsibilities and duties involved that require much on a young man or woman. I knew that I should expect to be tired for two years, I knew that I should expect to walk a lot, and I knew that I would give up activities of my old life to be a missionary, but I wasn't ready for this...
One day Elder Sabin and I were meeting with a sister of the church. She hadn't been to church for a long time, and we had been meeting with her for the past several weeks. I was feeling lost and didn't know what to share with her to gain the right perspective about going to church. I couldn't figure out how to show her the importance of it and why we are so blessed when we go. Then I thought to myself, "Elder George, why do you go to church every week?" I then remembered the great feelings of gratitude and happiness towards Christ and His Atonement when I take the sacrament. I have personally come to appreciate His wonderful gift, and so I felt we could talk about that.
I asked her what Christ's Atonement means to her, but she wasn't sure. After hearing that, and I'm ashamed to write this, I became angry inside. It was a horrible feeling! I thought to myself, "you mean to say after everything Christ suffered for and went through for our sakes you aren't sure!? It doesn't pierce into your soul and make you feel eternally grateful for His sacrifice!?" These thoughts and feelings persisted throughout our visit and I held back hot tears of pain during our prayer.
Finally, we went back into the truck and I had to pause for a moment and pray for my heart to be softened, and my compassion to be greater, and my understanding enlightened. If I hadn't I would have lost the Spirit and become a useless representative of Christ.
Throughout my week I have had opportunities to reflect and ponder upon that experience. I felt that perhaps I hadn't asked the question in the write way, or maybe I hadn't shared the message right. I'm pretty sure that's the case. Yet, I also thought of Christ's infinite mercy, and how he forgave even those that crucified him because they knew not what they did.
I have learned that my biggest fear has been to share those deep feelings of my soul and have it be completely discarded and tossed aside. Its scary to bear a heartfelt testimony to someone and not know if they will truly appreciate it or throw it in the trash. I have also learned that fear is not of God and when we are rejected we must forgive even as Christ did. If we don't we lose the Spirit, and without it how can lives be changed and the Atonement of Christ be accepted.
I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.