Sweat dripped down my temples as I walked under the blazing African sun, 10,000 miles away from home. I reached into my back pocket, grabbed my handkerchief and patted my forehead dry. Elder Mohale and I guessed the temperature as we walked to our next appointment. The humidity and heat was all worth it because we were on our way to help a man with his smoking addiction.
This is missionary work that goes hand in hand with a name badge and two years away from home. But the type I’d like to talk about is the missionary work you can do right now. Every single day.
Here’s 8 ways to be a missionary without even realizing it.
1. Be a good friend
The other day I was talking to a friend from a different church. I’ve known him for a couple months and had never asked about his religious beliefs. I felt the time was right and asked him about his faith. I showed genuine interest in him.
But guess what? I continued asking about him rather than blurting out a wrote response of what I believe or corrections to what he said based on doctrine I follow. That day will come when I invite him to come unto Christ, but first I must be a good friend who he trusts.
2. Practice what you preach
People watch us. Those outside of our faith most especially. They pay attention to what we say and what we do. The people that seem to radiate the most light are those who have integrity. I’m more likely to listen to what those people have to say. If you know the scriptures backwards and forwards that’s all well and good, but how are you applying it? Do people see the gospel in action when they watch you?
3. Participate in service
Serving our fellow men and women provide for countless missionary opportunities. Imagine if this happened:
John visits a family who hadn’t been to church in a few years. He asks questions and discovers they are in need of hours of yard work. He sacrifices time in his week to faithfully complete the yard work. The family gains trust in John and returns to church. Their children grow, go on missions and the world changes in a way John will never understand.
A story like this would be common if we serve those around us. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” -Matthew 25:40.
4.Speak positively of the church
Do we find ourselves speaking for or against the church? I’ve heard those within the church who speak against the church and I see this as opposite of missionary work. Rather than inviting others to come unto Christ they are pushing them away with thoughtless conversation. How often do you get asked “What are you doing this weekend?” And how easy it would be to respond, “I’m going to church on Sunday and I’m excited. It’d be fun if you join me.”
5. Keep a Spirit filled home
“No Other Success Can Compensate for Failure in the Home“. -David O. McKay
Missionary work is much more than knocking on doors. It’s a father and a mother who raise their children in righteousness. It’s a family that prays together. I’m so grateful for a mother and father who raised me with correct gospel teachings.
For those of us who aren’t parents, be good examples and guide those who look up to us. Even without children you can keep a house of light, peace, and love which will better prepare you for when you do.
6. Choose to be happy
Life can be difficult, trials will mount, but we must choose to be happy. It is a choice based on our attitude and beliefs. Out of anyone in the world members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints should be happy. We claim to have the truth. We receive constant revelation from heaven. We know where we came from, why we’re here, and where we go after we die. And those are just a few questions of the soul that we can answer when our friends are in need.
7. Be kind
My wife’s favorite saying is “Kindness matters.” She’s an example to me as she’s had many friends who aren’t of our faith trust her and ask her questions even after they had negative experiences with Mormons in the past. Our Savior Jesus Christ is a perfect example of his kindness and gentleness toward everyone. Because of this He was approachable and we can be too.
8. Be not ashamed
“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” -Romans 1:6
“Be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” -2 Timothy 1:8
We cannot afford to be shy in our missionary efforts. Don’t ever dance around questions thinking that you’ll be ridiculed for your beliefs. Don’t ever be ashamed of who you are because you might be the only touch of gospel that their lives will ever have.