This past week was transfers and my companion Elder Klingonsmith finished up and went home to Rexburg Idaho. I stayed in Batesville and my new companion is Elder Peterson from Mesa Arizona, and he's awesome. We have already seen growth in the area in the few short days that we have been together.
I have learned so many valuable lessons this week, one of which being how faith is a verb, not a noun. When we have faith it means nothing, unless we act. Without action it is hollow, and we become "as sounding brass, or a tinkling symbol", because it not genuine. I have the difference in being to genuine to people out here. When a missionary talks to someone because they "have to", the person know it, not through their words, but by their light. They can see that there is an absence of light in them and it makes it that much easier for them to turn us away. On the other hand, when we begin to talk to someone and we show our genuine interest and love for them, they then have a medium through which they can see the importance of the message. Everything in missionary work and life in general, stems from our genuine actions.
Along the same lines I have seen this principle applied to people we teach. A lot of people we teach talk a good talk, but then when it comes down to acting on what we share with them, they suddenly become stagnant and don't know what to do. Their spirits metaphorically seize up and they stop dead in their tracks, and it honestly heart wrenching to watch. We continue to love and support them, but it ultimately up to them to undergo their trial of faith, and decide whether or not they will get through it.
As I have seen people who have learned the same principles, but taken different actions, it has testified to me of the importance of being humble as well.
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. - Ether 12:27
This is true for everyone. Those that I have seen progress and come closer to Heavenly Father, have at one point or another "humbled themselves" before Him. It takes relentless diligence to do so. When we are humbled, we recognize our purpose.
We also had an experience this week that exemplified this as well. We were trying to get in contact with a person who used to meet with missionaries, but we could not find him in the apartment complex, but we knew we had been sent there for a reason. So while we were trying to figure out why we were there, we saw a young couple moving in to a new apartment, and we asked if they needed help, and they said yes! That never happens! People for some reason never want help from missionaries, but this young couple did. After helping them move in, they told us we could come back and share a message with them, and they were excited for us to return. This continued to build my knowledge of how everything we do has a purpose, even if we don't see it.