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November 25, 2013

Out of Our Comfort Zone

by Dave Malnes

“Sharing God’s Word with Mormon missionaries was completely out of my comfort zone.”

When Melissa attended a seminar, “Speaking the Truth in Love to Mormons” conducted by Truth in Love Ministry, she left both encouraged and intrigued. After the seminar, she began praying, “Lord, if Mormon missionaries appear at my door, I will let them in.”

A few weeks later, she received an unexpected knock on the door and opened it to find two Mormon missionaries. Melissa couldn’t help but laugh and say to herself, “O.K., Lord. Here we go!”

Growing up in eastern Idaho, Melissa was familiar with the culture of Mormonism. Her father grew up Mormon until he became a Christian. She regularly attended family gatherings which included Mormons though most were inactive members.

Even though she was not interested in joining the LDS church, she was intrigued to receive answers from official representatives. With this in mind, Melissa set up an appointment to visit with the missionaries at a later date.

Neighbors Talking

Though Melissa was both excited and nervous, her husband was not pleased about the prospect. Since the two missionaries would not come inside the home without her husband present, her husband reluctantly agreed to stay and listen. Meanwhile, Melissa diligently researched Mormonism, studied the Bible and received coaching help from Truth in Love Ministry.

“Three important steps to begin sharing God’s Word with Mormons.”

The majority of the first meeting was spent on Melissa asking questions about the young men. She asked about their families, their personal interests, and about their missionary experience. “I loved them right off the bat,” Melissa said with a smile on her face. “They were very nice and funny.. and I was really struck at how young these guys were!”

The missionaries agreed to continue coming over to their house. With each successive meeting, Melissa offered good food and the warmth of a Christian home. While the missionaries reviewed pamphlets that talked about various LDS teachings, Melissa recorded thoughts and questions. After each meeting, she studied and researched the Bible while continuing to receive coaching from Truth in Love Ministry.

“I’m not a Bible scholar,” admitted Melissa, “but by listening carefully, taking notes, and having a week to prepare, it took the pressure off of feeling that I had to be intricately prepared to provide an answer for every point they brought out.”

Her husband, Jamie, even began to take an interest and joined the conversations.

“A great example of what we tried to do at every meeting was to begin by asking a question from the previous lesson,” Jamie said. “For instance, one of the missionaries confessed, ‘I hope to go to heaven [the celestial kingdom]. By listening carefully I addressed this concern by expressing my confidence that I will be in heaven right now because of what Christ has already done for me.”

There were times when the conversations got frustrating. Many times the missionaries agreed with what Jamie and Melissa were trying to teach them. Yet, it was evident that their responses were different than what the Bible teaches. It seemed that every conversation got hung up on the issue of good works.

It was very difficult to fight off the temptation to argue and debate when they felt frustrated. “I had to remind myself that it was not about me, but about what Christ has already done for me. That point alone allowed us to be both calm and bold in our witness.”

Jamie and Melissa met with the missionaries a total of six times. After the last visit, they knew that both young men were about to conclude their two year mission and return home. They felt peace in knowing that God’s Word was planted in the hearts of the missionaries. Melissa wondered if she would ever see them again.

How the changing climate of Mormon missionaries providing Christians new opportunities to share God’s Word

Several months later, there was another knock on the door. When she opened it, there stood one of the Mormon missionaries! After returning home to Utah, his family had come to the area for a family visit. He decided to pay Melissa a visit and brought his younger sister along. He so enjoyed their time together and appreciated the Christian love that was extended to him, that he took the time to see them again.

“After this experience of having Mormon missionaries at my house, I feel like my faith is even stronger,” Melissa replied. “I’m not as afraid and have become more confident and bold in sharing my faith with others.”

Melissa’s Shares Four Tips on sharing God’s Word with Mormon Missionaries:

  1. “Do not be afraid of them when they appear at your door! These are young guys (or gals) who simply do not have an understanding of what the Bible really teaches. Don’t be annoyed, but have compassion for them.”
  2. “Mormon missionaries love to eat! They are young guys who are away from home. They only get to call home two times a year. Once a week, they are allowed to send and receive an email for two hours. They really respond well to kindness. I felt so bad for them that I couldn’t help but to mother and feed them.”
  3. “I know they felt my love and concern. Because of this, I know they truly listened when I shared God’s Word with them.”
  4. “Trust me. Anybody can do this. I was completely out of my comfort zone, yet the Holy Spirit was with me. And it turned out to be a great experience!”

What did you say or do when Mormon missionaries appeared at your door?

Go to www.pleaseopenthedoor.com to find out more information.

 

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