I have stayed in Grand Bourg and have a new companion. Elder Florez is from Colombia. He's the second born child, first born son, in a family of four kids with his parents. He's cool and we'll be together for a while. Pray for us please.
And now the reason for the title. Allow me to vent a little.
We are sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven. We have a Celestial calling and duty to our brothers and sisters. When we were baptized we took upon ourselves the covenant to bear one another's burdens. In the temple, we covenanted to consecrate our time and our talents to God in His service. There are some of us who have broken that covenant and fallen away from the church. But how many more of us are breaking that covenant and don't even realize it?!
We are children of the Most Supreme Being in the entire universe and in all eternity! Every single one of us here on this earth. There are many of our brothers and sisters who have joined themselves to the covenant people of the God and have left behind that covenant. And we are just standing here watching them! We have taken upon ourselves willingly the covenants--sacred, holy, and obligatory promises between ourselves and God--to serve and save the rest of human kind.
Lets take the example of a swimming pool. We as active members perhaps are like life guards. We stand and sit in high places, able to observe the swimming pool, looking out for dangers and trying to keep order and safety for all in the pool. What happens when a person begins to drown in a public pool? What does the Life Guard do?
I have seen too many people here who just whip out a phone and send a text message or try to call a person. Someone who is at the bottom of the pool doesn't exactly have the ability to respond well to either one of those methods. Others send messages on Facebook or other online communications and social networks. Someone at the bottom of a pool doesn't all that easily have access to a computer consol.
Just as it would be absurd for a life guard to text the person at the bottom of the pool, drowning and suffocating, it is unreasonable to think that just sending a message or a quick call will to a lot to help a brother or sister come back to Christ.
So, returning a little back to my questions: what does the Life Guard do? He (or she) jumps off the perch or seat where they watch and dive to the bottom of the pool to grab the person and haul them back to the surface where they then begin emergency resucitation efforts to help the person breathe and stay alive. We should be willing to do almost the same. Rather than just "sitting on our perch," we should dive to the rescue of those who have fallen into the deep end. We must go and visit them in their own homes, and be a little persistent in doing so.
When someone is still conscious, they do not just submit to the life guard, they fight trying to get air and lift themselves up. We will need to be persistent in our efforts to save them. We can't just swim up to them, ask them if they want us to save them, and if they say no, say ok and walk away. NO. Even if they don't know that they're drowning, we need to save them. We can't wait for them to go unconscious before bringing them safely to shore.
With our less active members and with our non member friends, we must be willing to share and actually share with them the message of the Restoration. We cannot stop extending them invitations. my purpose as a missionary is "to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored gospel..." The key verbs in our power are invite and help, which we can never stop doing. Their part is to come and receive. But we can't ever stop inviting.
What if they say "no?" Fine, they say no. Wait a little while and invite again. Never stop showing them love. But they will never become a member if we don't invite. As the church keeps growing, there will be more less active members. But if we stop inviting because we don't want them to become less active, then we aren't even giving them a chance. We aren't even giving them the opportunity to exercise their agency. Who are we to determine whether or not they have the opportunity to go to heaven? Don't we want everyone to come back?
There will be those who repeatedly refuse. Fine. It's OK. They have their agency. But so do we, and we gave up our agency to chose the wrong when we agreed to be witnesses of Christ at all times and in all things and in all places. We chose to choose the right always. If we have experienced the Atonement in our own lives; if we know of the joy that Alma describes as one that was so exquisite and wonderful; if we understand that we want to live forever with our families; if we want to be happy eternally; if we want to look into the face of our Eternal Father and hear the words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant"; we must not let another moment go by without inviting our brethren and sisters to partake of the same blessings. If we hide our talent (a lot of money, by the way, which we could equate to lots of blessings), we won't hear those words. We must put our money to the exchangers and multiply it.
Ok, perhaps I've ranted long enough. I didn't understand much of this before my mission, but I do now. I almost wish I could go back in time with this knowledge and share it with all my friends in school. We have to invite everyone and help them. That we can do. They have to come and receive, if they decide to. But if we don't do our part, they will never do theirs.
I love you all. May we be life guards to those who are struggling in the seas of life, with much deeper waters and dangers than I shared here.
I pray for you all to have missionary experiences and to feel God's love. I hope you can feel it. Never lose hope.