I finally found out the answer. And guess how it came? Through the same person that helped me solve my last question. Elder Tanner, my district leader.
I'll explain. On Friday we went on switch-offs. Which meant that Elder Tanner and I got to run around the city teaching people. We managed to get a lesson with two specific investigators who have been struggling for a bit. We sat down and had a super powerful lesson about temples and the priesthood. They applied it to themselves so well, saying that they would want to marry a priesthood holder in the temple. Then at the end, after the Spirit manifested itself, they both committed themselves to reading for at least 10 minutes a day in the Book of Mormon and praying with true sincerity to know if this path is true and the path they should walk. Then we read Moroni 10:4. I told them that this prophet was speaking to them and then I switched out the words you and ye to their names as I read it. The Spirit testified, and they responded. Before that lesson coming to church was เป็นไปไม่ได้ or impossible. They made a specific effort to come to church yesterday. Asking us to call them at to wake them up to go to church.
One received a witness from the Holy Ghost that night of the truthfulness of the restored gospel.
They said, "We will find a way to go to church".
They were so happy to come early to Sacrament Meeting all dressed up.
Rewind; right after the lesson, we grabbed them both copies of "for the strength of youth" and "preparing to enter the holy temple". While walking back to the room after retrieving the books Elder Tanner expressed something that really hit me.
"After this ends, lets not forget to say a prayer of thanks"
The two sisters left and we knelt down. I don't remember what Elder Tanner said in that prayer, but the Spirit spoke, telling me, "Elder Osborn, you forgot that I am your companion when you teach, I am your companion when you invite. You have gotten too used to success. Seen too many baptisms. Forgotten who is really converting these souls. So I took it away from you. You weren't grateful for the blessings I have given you. So I let you know what it was like to not have them. Don't you see now? You forgot how important bringing a soul unto Me is. You may have been a little prideful. I am pleased that you have been improving yourself, but you just missed the mark. You forgot to be grateful. Now that you've seen how I teach, you can follow my example. Cherish their progression. Take joy in the little things. Invite Me into the room and I will truly teach them. Because when I teach, hearts change."
Elder Tanner finished the prayer and I had tears streaming down my face.
We hugged and went back to work. The Spirit testifying to souls the entire day. That night after reviewing what happened that day, he told me the things he learned from me and I shared what I learned from him. I felt enlightened. Lifted.
I had been perfecting myself in so many things. But I had simply missed something. Something I thought I truly understood because I thought I already possessed it. I had perfected my obedience, increased my faith, obtained more charity, worked both harder and smarter. But the Spirit taught me the crowning attribute of gratitude.
I reflect on Elder Brown's thoughts;
"I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall. And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. … … And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’"
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
The miracle of these two sisters preparing to be baptized and accepting a baptismal date was just one of the many that followed.
Yesterday we had nine investigators at Church. Compared to the one last week.
What's also really interesting is I've been seeing all of the other Christlike attributes follow gratitude. I've been noticing more tolerance and love in my soul. But I didn't do it. He did. I just had to be grateful and He did the converting of my heart.
"And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received. And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works. And may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless,that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac,and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of heaven to go no more out."
The calling of a missionary is an interesting calling. Elder Jeng and I have been discussing this concept a lot. We've found that if anything, the purpose of the mission is not to bring the gospel to others; it is to change. It is a trial. Through, study, sharing, teaching, and inviting. We change. "Getting rid of the character flaws that allow sin in the first place and replacing it with a godly walk." This is true repentance.
We work. Yes. We teach. Yes. We find people and help guide them to Him. Yes. But in the end it all comes down to the fact that I am not the same person I was yesterday.
He calls to us, saying, “All that I have I desire to give you—not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for yourself. You will qualify for your inheritance by learning what I have learned and by living as I have lived. I will give you the laws and principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am, and all that I have will be yours.”
In light of this unusually popular subject in our mission (here we call this consecration, you can probably just call it conversion), I invite all of you to read the following:
The Challenge to Become by DALLIN H. OAKS
“AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN” - D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON
Converted unto the lord By Elder David A. Bednar
Repentance and Conversion by Elder Russell M. Nelson
I would also like to invite all of you to consider yourself in your current state and look for the little things you can improve today. Because "the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become."