Saturday, July 12, 2008

Distractions and Missionaries

Richard G. Scott said "Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people. It is distraction."  One of the greatest way to keep missionaries from finding the honest in heart is to distract them.  I remember many days going out to tract and how we would wonder around.  My companion and I were not always as organized as we could be as we would pull out the name of a few people to contact on a given day.  We never really thought about the distances between each person within our area.

We would become distracted when we went out just riding our bicycles around the area or riding the bus or the subway.  We would sometimes get distracted in the subway station by the Laura Scudder's store that would have great donuts or the See's Candy store that would have great chocolate.  We would have every intention of getting out to those people we selected but many times we would become so distracted that we would be lucky to contact half the people we intended.

Sometimes are distraction would be it was cold or raining or snowing or just too nice of a day and we would decide to just stay near the person's house.  Sometimes our logic was they weren't home and would eventually come home if we  just hung around long enough maybe they would show up.  In the Toronto area we got distracted a lot of times by the vast amounts of apartment buildings in the vincinity of the person we would be contacting.  We had as many as a quarter of a million people in some of the areas I served in.  We would see a twelve story high rise and think maybe if we could sneak in we would find someone that wanted to join the church.

Today there are more serious distractions for missionaries like the Internet.  My daughter recently described how one of her missionary friends lived with a member who allowed this young missionary to MSN Message his old circle of friends every night.  Instead of being out on the street teaching he would be in his apartment chatting with his old girlfriends.  I remember a missionary I served with who was always distracted by the thought of going home and marrying his girlfriend.   He wasted dozens of hours of several missionaries lives talking about her to us.  He also destroyed his efffectiveness as  a missionary.

Missionaries need to be single-minded and efficient in doing missionary work.  I am sure many of us have examples of how we goofed off as missionaries.  I hope missionaries today aren't like one of my companions who would stand in front of our apartment which was behind a Becker convenience store saying to every attractive girl who goes by "There's always room for jello."

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