So a few notes for this…first, I attend a United Methodist seminary, so my advisor for the class where I turned this in was United Methodist. Every so often I add a little detail for something that a LDS Member might take for granted because it is something that she would not have known. Second, these build on each other. Many of the things that I dealt with come back in future reflections. One thing in this reflection comes back in the future several times. Also, if I see anything in here that is particularly personal about someone else (the whole idea is for it to be personal about me) I’ll take it out. For readers: would you like me to add in a commentary section for each of these to discuss what I think now and/or how things eventually turned out??
This was my third week working with the full time missionaries (Elders) from my church. Being Latter-day Saint, the opportunities to meet the time requirements for service are limited. This week had several ‘firsts’ for me. First, I was able to see some of the results of the brief work that I have done with our Elders this past Sunday. Second, I made my first hospital visit to see an ill church member. Finally, I worked directly with the Elders in planning their upcoming week of work. Overall, this week was very productive and rewarding.
First, I was able to see the results of some of the work we have been doing. On the first day I worked with the Elders three weeks ago, we visited a gentleman who had not been to church in nearly twenty-five years. He promised he would come to church the next Sunday, but I was not there due to work. This past Sunday, he came again and I was able to be there. Being able to talk to him about coming to church and the blessings that he had enjoyed after coming to church. We visited him again on Thursday of this week and it was apparent that a change had taken place in him since our first visit. Seeing this change in someone makes me want to do more work and try to facilitate God’s change in others.
Next, I made my first hospital visit this week. This was an interesting experience to say the least. The man we visited suffers from sickle cell anemia and was in a great amount of physical pain when we can to visit him. We asked him if he would like us to give him a blessing and he did not respond. Myself and the Elder I went with both felt it would have been beneficial for him to receive a blessing but we did not attempt to push the issue. It was a bit difficult leaving without giving him all the help we could have, but we offered and that was all we could do. It is tough seeing someone in a situation like he was, certainly the most difficult thing I have done thus far.
Third, I worked with one pair of Elders in their weekly planning. Currently in my congregation we have three pairs of full time Elders. They are assigned to different geographical areas where they work primarily. One of the major things I helped them with was a large scale map where we mapped out every individual on the church rolls within that area. We used different colors to represent if the member was actively attending church or not. We also assigned a number to each family and are starting to organize the roll geographically. This will allow the Elders to use their time most effectively knowing where members are and being able to schedule days around those locations. It will also save them cost in driving since they will know they are nearby other members, active or not, and use those clusters as starting points for daily activity. I helped them with this because they are unable to have computers or smartphones, so it would have been very difficult for them to map everyone. Hopefully this pair will be able to do better work for the members in that area and it is something I intend to help the other pairs with as well.