First off – I learned that my Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is getting worst – but that’s a whole different blog post that I will address soon –
The next thing I’ve learned was at a missionary zone conference – It was that we should be asking easy questions to people – we must be real and authentic when speaking with people. We need to be concerned about them and their feelings. I’ve always believed in, it’s better to “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.” (Stephen Covey)
When doing missionary work our goal is to try to bring people unto Christ. In order to do this, we should have a list of different questions that will help us learn more about the people we are speaking with.
We need to ask ourselves which of those questions we have would apply to the person or family that you are meeting with. Each family is different – each person in a family is different.
As Sister Collins said (Mission President’s Wife), while others can talk off the top of their heads and always have the right thing to say – to me, those are the extroverts – they get their energy from being around people – talking with them.
She added some of us need to plan what we are going to say. We need to have an idea on what’s a good conversation starter. Then there are people that have a different way of getting energy, theirs is having alone time away from people to replenish ourselves.
Having a list of questions doesn’t make us fake, it just reminds us of how to interact with people. It’s good to ask leading questions – ones that require more than a yes or no answer.
Its vital to be sincere as most people can see beyond the question and tell if you are really interested in them, or just using the questions to get to the next level – getting what you want from them. Ever go to a Timeshares presentation? Then you know what I mean.
What we want is for everyone to know of the Love of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and of the Restored Gospel. We would like people to understand what the Restored Gospel is all about and how it can bless their lives.
In order to do that we must honestly care and love people first. Remember the two greatest commandants “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
Once people see that we honestly care for them, and not see them as a potential convert, or another baptism. Then, and only then the Holy Ghost will open the doors to understanding.
Remember, we need to always pray for the Spirit to guide us. Look at the surroundings a see if there is an inspired question that you can ask. Once the question is answered, follow-up with another question. There is a purpose in all this, it is to invite people to learn more about the gospel – Bring things back to the family, it’s all about family – pray for the spiritual direction – nothing happens in missionary work until you have someone to teach.
Remember – Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors – Practice – struggle – consistent effort – going through that effort each day –
It’s not easy – nor is it meant to be – this is how we learn to walk, by falling down a lot and getting right up again.
So, what is missionary work? In my opinion, it’s all about people. We must first lean-to love all people regardless of anything. Just as the Lord loves us all, we are children of a loving Heavenly Father. As Missionaries/Disciples, it is our responsibility to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, and we need to do that with love and concern for people.