January 25, 2020


Clarksville, TN


Elder Clarke and Elder Mecham

Don’t Take NO for an Answer!!

We are teaching this amazing couple right now. She is an inactive member and he doesn’t believe in God. They love to have us over every Friday for dinner and talk with us but he never wants to listen to gospel discussions. Usually he just politely excuses himself. Well, we had finished dinner and my companion and I were teaching and he excused himself to go wash dishes. After he walked in the kitchen, I excused myself and went in to tell him I was going to help him wash dishes and got to work. He politely said, “It’s ok, you don’t have to help me” and I replied, “no, I LOVE to wash dishes” which is the truth because I learned how to be a dishwasher Nazi from my dad. So we started talking about life and he said his brother didn’t believe in God, as well as the family he grew up in. I bore my testimony about really trying, about praying for an answer and how to dig deep for a testimony. He committed to praying and trying harder. I asked him about reading the Book of Mormon and he said it was too small of print so I got him a large print copy. It was cool to see that people really do want to know God, you just have to break down the insecurities. It takes faith and digging a little deeper.
This next story might help you recognize that we are still teenage boys but with valiant testimonies. We were knocking on doors this past week and we came to this door where we knew he was home but hadn’t answered the door even after knocking twice. As we were walking away I didn’t feel good about it, so I challenged my companion to knock on the window he had just closed and was watching us from. He was hesitant, but then I bribed him and then my other companion added to it (I’m in a trio-three elders) and he was a go! He went and knocked on the window and surprised the man so much that he let us in with a laugh and we taught him a discussion. He is now committed to coming to church on Sunday. That proved that a little persistence brings solid investigators.
Side note, challenging is not always a good thing, especially with teenage boys. Like when my one companion challenged the other not to close his fingers in the car window, the elder accepted the challenge and left the other one stranded for a minute. Don’t worry it wasn’t too tight, only tight enough that he couldn’t leave and no fingers were lost.
Now, there are many occasions when I do take no for an answer and in this blunt, military town, we have heard some good ones. This week we stopped in on one of the families we are teaching and the mother came to the door. We asked if we could come in and she said, “Not right now. I just peed and pooh’ed myself so I am going to have to take a bath.” We politely left. We took no for an answer that time but we will be back! Excuses are just one of the things that make a mission fun!!
One learning experience: We were at a member’s house when one of our investigators called and said they had a flat tire and needed help. We jumped at the opportunity and grabbed the members jack to go help. Unfortunately, I got grease on my church pants but no worries-we are there to serve. Well, we got there and the tire looked fine? I checked for holes and the PSI on all four and the one was one PSI off from the others. I explained to the mother that she didn’t need a new tire and that she would be good to go with just a little air in her tire.
As you can see missions aren’t always work. They are a lot of fun too if you make it fun and look for the comic relief. Like when our two very intimidating investigator men come to church with us and knock on almost every class door (including primary kids) to greet them with cheers of joy for the gospel and gratitude for being there. Or pushing your companion on the merry-go-round so hard it spirals the whole thing out of the ground!! Or having pine cone kicking contests while you are walking and losing so your companions never let you hear the end of it. :/ Or riding bikes and having your companion stop suddenly in front of you so you have to bah-hah through the ditch. We play basketball or volleyball on pday and for awhile we played ball in coordination with teaching an 18 yo with special needs until he transferred to the singles ward. We are serious when it comes to the gospel but we have fun when the opportunity arises.
I have enjoyed immersing myself in the work and recognizing the joy in little things. Missions are more fun than I anticipated!! Yet, I am still here to share the gospel so I won’t take no for an answer. We found solid investigators because of it and our own testimonies are no different. Don’t take no for an answer. Dig a little deeper, pray a little harder, work a little harder and recognize the joy when it comes.


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