Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Letters from Missionaries--Italy Rome

This week was really good. Our African investigator Joy is praying for about getting baptized on the 17th of Settember. It is funny because she is so excited to be baptized and yet I feel conflicted because I absolutely do not want her to get baptized until she understands the commitment she is making to keep the commandments and endure to the end. There are hundreds of members here who were baptized and went inactive within 2 or 3 months of their baptism and I absolutism do not want that to happen. Sometimes I feel like I am teaching a child because she does not really read or even speak English that well. She doesn't speak Italian at all. I wonder if someone can gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon if they cant really read and understand it. I am starting to understand the importance of literacy. But as time passes her ability to read magically improves I know that that is the power of the book of Mormon. Next week I go to Rome with my companion on Monday so that should be fun. We will take the a million hour boat ride so that should be fun. I will let you know who my new companion will be next week... at least I should know by then. This week we are eating a lot of Italian food because we have a lot of dinner appointments because my companion is going home. We are making sure to eat a lot of Nutella with bucaneve cookies so that my companion can get her fill. Today we went bowling for P day so that was fun. ummm not much else happened this week and none of you normal people wrote me so I don't have anything to respond to. Hope you are still alive and well ect and so forth. Vi Voglio Bene Sorella Bruno

This was my response:

An investigators desire to be baptized is not measured by your judgment of whether or not she will endure to the end. Your job as a missionary is to teach and testify and baptize. The conversion rate for investigators is the same for people born in the church around 18%. The Lord has called you on a mission to find the elect and give them entrance into the church. After that it is the investigator and members responsibility to continue the process. Retention is a matter between the members and their ward or branch not the missionary who are hunters and fishers of men. I agree that she should be given the lessons but she the convert makes the decision not you the missionary. If she is unworthy that is another rmatter but as far as your ability to decide if they will stay in the church that is not a decision that you need to make. Why would you hold back someone who has a desire to enter into Christ's true church. It is the simple things or people that the Lord has prepared to enter into his kingdom "except as you become like a little child." If you have done your job and she has felt the spirit than baptize her. Your job is to teach the missionary discussions so that the investigator can feel the spirit and request baptism.


Bookslinger said...

Is your daughter able to get the Book of Mormon in the language of her African investigator?

Here is a list of all languages in which the BoM is available. Maybe you can send that to her. The African ones are:

Afrikaans (Though I only think white South Africans speak it.)
Amharic (Ethiopia, Eritrea)
Efik (Nigeria, Cameroon)
Fante (Akan-Fante)
Igbo (Nigeria)
Kisii (Kenya)
Lingala (Congo)
Malagasy (Madagascar)
Shona (Zimbabwe)
Swahili (Kenya, Tanzania)
Tswana (Botswana)
Twi (Akan-Twi)
Xhosa (South Africa)
Zulu (South Africa)

Plus, there are copies of "Gospel Fundamentals" in many more African languages for which there is no BoM yet.

Afar (Eritrea, Ethiopia)
Bambara (Mali)
Bemba (Zambia)
Ewe (pronounced "EH-veh") (Togo, Ghana)
Fang (Gabon, and Cameroon)
Fon (Benin)
Fulani (or "Fula")
Kikongo (Congo)
Luganda (Uganda)
Malinka (or "Mandinka")
N'debele (South Africa)
Ruandan (Ruanda)
Shaba Swahili
Sotho South
Somali (Af-Maxaa, not Af-Maay)
Tshiluba (DR Congo)
Wolof (Senegal)
Yoruba (Nigeria)

Dr. B said...

I don't think she has a clue. I think you provide a valuable service with your staying on top of the various language editions.