In Europe, missionary work is hard. It is courage crushing, heartbreaking, physically exhausting, work. Which makes it all the more worth it. Having picked up mission wisdom here and there from my experiences, I have learned how we have to internalize missionary work to the roots of our souls and allow the Lord to use us as His instruments. We all have talents and abilities unique to our frame and capacity. Use them. It saddens me when I see missionaries’ miserable over here, going through the motions and wondering when success will come. Success is there, waiting to be found, waiting to be crafted, and waiting to be internalized.
I have learned to have confidence in my calling. To enjoy it. To take to heart the fact that through obedience and diligence, no force will stop our work from progressing. The stone cut from the mountain and rolling cannot be kept until the Lord says enough. I go out to meet people, to hear their stories, to understand their lives, to heal their wounds with the one and only remedy for one and all. Your final 6 months as a missionary of the one and only true Church looks a lot like your motivational feel-good film, making a difference in the world each and every day. Is there not a greater cause than that of strengthening the weak and lifting the poor in spirit?
This week we went to a potential's home who is from Ecuador, a Belgian man let us inside, took us upstairs and we sat with him and our potential, speaking Flemish, Dutch, Spanish, and English. We learned of their lives, their struggles, their hobbies and explained to them how the Book of Mormon and our testimonies of Joseph Smith have shaped over lives forever. We met with them spontaneously, in the middle of the city, teaching principles of the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel as fellow brothers. That is one of countless stories that mean nothing to you perhaps, but have redefined the meaning of adventure and time well-spent for me.
I come across familiar faces and old streets daily. Corners with 3 day old puddle water, gum prints, and broken traffic lights. Corners where I have given away Books of Mormon, taught Gospel principles and been yelled at and shunned at. These dirty, old, historic, ghetto, miracle-filled streets are where some of my most precious memories live. Antwerpen is a place of holy worth to me. I am seeing miracles similar to those from over a year ago. I know the Lord sent me here to teach and also learn from this city.
Be a confident disciple of Christ. You have nothing to be afraid, belittled, or ashamed of. This is the truth. He is our Great Eternal Head. The Gospel and atonement are infinite and universal. Live through them. People should look at you, your lifestyle, your confidence, your security in His plan and wonder, what do they have that I do not? Your light will so shine that others cannot attempt to ignore it. Be confident in your calling. Whatever it may be. Be yourself because the Gospel is already a part of who you are.
I know this is true because it cannot be learned or taught through any mean than by that of the Spirit of God, who is the source of all and only truth. I will be eternally grateful for the light and investment He puts into me, a weak and humble servant.
This morning I had no plan of writing this as a testimony actually. The Spirit works in wondrous ways, eh? I say this in Jesus Christ's name, Amen.
Love you all, thanks for all you do.
Forgive me for the monologue.
Elder Trevan Scott Reese