I honestly can’t see doing missionary work in any other way than the focus we have on families.
Families are self-supporting units, and the only unit that can be together for eternity. So when we focus on families, we are really only focusing on exaltation, and thus fulfilling God’s purpose as explained in Moses 1:39.
I see examples of this importance almost daily, but I would like to highlight two that happened this week.
First I would like to talk about Orlando and Graça. Graça has been coming to church for months now, thanks to a strong neighbor who is also a member. She has been desperately seeking knowledge and to keep the Lord’s commandments, but can’t reach baptism without the support of her husband to get married.
After months of trying to sit with them both, we finally were able to sit with Orland and his wife a few weeks ago. It was not a perfect start, but we had a successful family night where he opened up a bit. The next week he came to church. Graça started to look happier and more hopeful these past few weeks, but unfortunately Orlando did not come to Church last week.
This Sunday we showed up to their house about 30 minutes before Church to make sure they both would come. When we appeared, Orlando came out, already dressed up in a full suit, and looking sharp! We left together with Graça and I have never seen her beaming more brightly.
The next family I’ll call the Silva family. They were baptized in 2009, with two of their six children, and we just baptized two more of their children recently (the other two are too young). Unfortunately due to some temptations, Brother Silva was excommunicated and left the church few years ago. They have already been to the Temple. The rest of the family, especially Sister Silva, has remained strong.
Well, I can’t tell you have surprised we were when we saw Brother Silva come to church three weeks ago, after years of inactivity. And then he came again, and now a third time. Well we asked permission and were able to visit the family for the first time last night.
And it was amazing. A new light of hope was ignited within the family. They have not had the missionaries for years, and the spent an hour telling us about their conversion, and everything they have been learning. They told us about their goals to return to the temple and one day travel to Salt Lake to see the Prophet in person. Their faith is strong.
Few things bring me greater joy than seeing a strong family come back into the church.
The message of the Restoration is a message of hope for the family, that one day they can enter together into the presence of God. And to me, there does not exist much on this earth that is more important than that.