More and more, though, I've been realizing some things that members do and say that really gets in the way of the work, and sends people into inactivity. I'm going to list a few here, so that whoever is reading this doesn't make these mistakes, and so that the missionary work in your area retains every baptism. If you're a member, and you want to help the missionaries, making sure you're not doing the things on this list is a great place to start:
1. Every member a missionary.
We have a saying out here (well, some of us do), that goes "Every member a mission president." There are some members who feel that they can go about rebuking people for perceived unrighteousness, under the impression that they are doing the person a favor. Please don't be that person. The member mission president almost never (like, 99.999999... you get the picture) knows the complete story. Even more important than that, though, you don't have the stewardship over your fellow members unless given an express call to do so. So, unless you're a bishop, stake president, etc., please don't rebuke people. Christ taught that we should not strive to pluck out the mote of our brother's eye, when we do not see the beam in our own.
2. Don't gossip.
This should be a no-brainer, this being a commandment and all, but it's still a huge problem within the church, and it's one of the leading reasons for why people go inactive. Someone starts a rumor about them, whether it's well intentioned or not, and it gets around the ward, the drama starts, the recent convert stops going to church intending to find a new ward, and they don't come back until the missionaries go and get them. It's sad, frustrating beyond all belief as a missionary, and it's so easily avoided. What this all comes back to, though, is judging others. I'm going to make this plain and simple, and straight from the scriptures: "Judge not, that ye be not judged." And there I'll leave it. Rant over.
On the bright side, I'm feeling comfortable enough with my Spanish to start branching out. This happens a lot in our mission, where missionaries are sent to an area speaking a different language than
the one on their call. It happens most often from others to English, but it also happens with Korean, Chinese. There's an Elder in our zone who is a native Korean, so one day I just kinda looked up some Korean stuff on quizlet, and Elder Joo's been teaching me. In two days I've been able to learn how to read Korean. Now I just need a book on Korean grammar and whatnot. Here's my last name:
헐. Here's hello: 안녕! Yup. The gift of tongues is real. I am certain that the Lord has a work for me to perform in the Korean language. We'll see what happens.
Other than that... Juan quit his job as a bartender, so we're happy for him. He's making some great progress :) My companion and I are getting along famously, which is great, because for a while he was
super moody, and didn't communicate that much. He was having a hard transfer, but this one's far far better. Yup. We're working along, doing the Lord's work, and staying happy and optimistic.
Elder Richard Brandt Hull