Friday, April 11, 2014

Forget Yourself and Go to Work!

Dear Friends and Family,

In Mary's letter she spoke about her extended family and how some of them were not members of the church or were going through different struggles in their life. Mary realized that what was missing from their lives was the power of the saviors atonement and the purpose the gospel brings into every person's life. She talked about how at a family reunion she gave each member of her extended family a Book of Mormon with her testimony written inside. As a result, members of her family have investigated the church, made changes in their lives and chose to follow the Savior and be baptized into His church.
I really was impressed and grateful for her example of sharing the gospel with others. Many of us (I know I was like this when I was at home) like to go throughout our days in comfort. We don't want to put ourselves out there or cause us any unnecessary discomfort. But while keeping to ourselves we are holding others back from finding the true joy and fulfillment that we have all felt and found in the gospel.
We not only "should" share the gospel with others, we also have a RESPONSIBILITY to share it. "Go ye therefore, and teach allnations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20 or “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” -- Mark 16:15
I really think L. Tom Perry nailed it when he said, "More blessings comes to us in going forth to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and laboring for the salvation of the souls of men, than can possibly come to us by merely having a knowledge of the truth of our religion, and then remaining at home to mingle and labor in the ordinary affairs of life, and accumulate the wealth of this world that perishes with the using.”
I really strongly feel that we need to remember our responsibility and opportunity to go forth and share the gospel with others. Too many people are lost in the mists of darkness in this world. So many people are "kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." D&C 123:12 The gospel brings happiness. It gives us the strength to move forward and even helps us know which direction we should move forward to. 
I have a challenge I would like to remind you all of what M. Russell Ballard said in his talk in General Conference that he gave on Sunday, "I suggest that we can all be more consistently involved in missionary work by replacing our fear with real faith, inviting someone at least once a quarter—or four times every year—to be taught by the full-time missionaries."
My friend Elder Brendon Nielson pointed out that he invited EVERY member to invite four people every year. That means even the most introverted or nervous members can and should invite four people to be taught a year. Many of us could invite even more than that. 
Many members make the mistake of thinking that they cannot invite someone to attend church, be taught by the missionaries or even talk about religious beliefs unless they have known someone for the past ten years. Members think that they need to have a deep and strong relationship with someone before they could ever consider inviting someone to make those changes. That is not true. Someone could literally move in next door, be helped moving in and then invited to attend church with the family on Sunday. It's that easy. It doesn't need to be something that we tip toe around or worry about saying. The church and this gospel is what will ultimately make them happy and will help them have relationships that last for eternity. So lets wake up and invite them to change.
My brother Grayson has been a great example of being a missionary by inviting a non-member friend to come to Scouts with him on Tuesday nights. 
I know people here in South Africa that will just invite their friends over for Family Home Evening.
My Father, every time he is on a plane generally strikes up a quality gospel conversation with the person he is sitting next to and gives them a Book of Mormon by the end of the flight.
Yonella, a boy who comes fellowshipping with us missionaries almost every day, will just meet someone at school and ask them if they want to come to church, or if they would like to meet his friends "the eldah's".
It is that easy. The hardest part of missionary work is stepping outside of our comfort zone. The more often we do it, the easier it is in the future. I can promise that you will almost never feel as great of joy as you do when you share the gospel with someone else. I have never felt so much fulfillment and joy in my life as when I have been on a mission. After I come home from South Africa, I wont stop sharing it. 
So again, I invite you all to find someone that you know, or search for someone who you may not yet know, to share the gospel with in the next three months. I promise that if you pray and ask for the Lords help, He will direct you to someone who desperately needs the peace the gospel brings. Pray and ask for his help, He will freely give it. 
I love you all, and I would love to hear your experiences as you share the gospel with others.
Now, forget yourself and go to work.
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
James 2:18
I am basing what I say in this email off of the letter that I received from Mary Gardner. (Thanks a MILLION by the way. Letters here on mission are ULTRA appreciated.)

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