The rain has come to Russellville!! This past week we have been seeing nothing but a lot of rain and it has been wonderful! To begin the week we went down to Birmingham for a meeting where we were all trained on and got pumped up about member missionary work! This month is “Member Missionary Work” month. So everybody is pushing hard to get members more involved in the work. After having that meeting in Birmingham, we met together as a zone later in the week and discussed it in more detail.
There is a great story in “Numbers” Chapter 10 that our Mission President used to explain why we do member missionary work to a certain extent. In this story, Moses goes to his brother-in-law, Hobab, and invites him to join him on the journey to the “Promised Land” (verse 29). Hobab, a Midianite (a non-believer), turns him down and says he doesn’t want to go (verse 30). But Moses tells Hobab that the Israelites could really use his help as a guide or a scout to help them navigate their way (verse 31). Now if you jump a few verses ahead and read on you discover that Moses and his people had a cloud surrounding them and guiding them by day (verse 34) and a pillar of fire guiding them by night. This means that the Israelites already had something guiding them (God) through the wilderness. So the question arises, why would Moses ask for Hobab’s assistance (a nonbeliever) if they already have God guiding them?
Gordon B. Hinckley once said that “member activity is the genius of this church.” Moses was exemplifying that with Hobab. Everybody wants to feel as though they are adding something or doing something worthwhile for the cause and they will feel that way if they are given a responsibility. President Hinckley further explained that “it is the process by which we grow. Faith and love for the Lord are like muscles of my arm. If I use them, they grow stronger. If I put them in a sling, they become weaker. Each of you (members of the church) deserves a responsibility.” Hobab was given a responsibility and immediately he agreed to go (verse 33). Members need a responsibility to grow in their faith and love for the Lord and missionary work is the best responsibility there is.
We have been working with a member here in Russellville who recently came back to church. By teaching him all the lessons again and challenging him to share what he learned with others around him, he has grown in faith and love and he has received a stronger testimony of the church (and helped us make contact with a bunch of new investigators!). He was actually the main reason why Sarah, the girl baptized two weeks ago, joined the church. Because of his zeal for sharing the gospel, he now feels a part of the ward and has a hunger to help more people come closer to Christ. I know that member missionary work is the best way to do missionary work. It is the best for fulltime missionaries, investigators, and members. Go be a member missionary! I love and miss everyone back home and hope that everyone has a wonderful week.