Learning to Convert: Intimate Stories

Your missionary says they are unable to find anyone who wants to convert.  They don’t know how to find the right people and baptize (1 of 2).

There are several answers to this problem.  Many paths to take.  In this blog and the next, I’ll discuss two: sharing meaningful stories and encouraging members to trust you.

The easiest thing to do as a missionary is to get in a room with an investigator and share a very planned lesson.  It's easy to explain the precepts of the gospel instead of sharing meaningful stories. 

One Sunday I was in my High Priests Quorum meeting, and we were talking about how to do missionary work.  All the usual things were said.  I raised my hand and said that I find that one of the most meaningful things that I do is share my spiritually intimacies with my associates at work.  For example, just after my son Shawn left on his mission, I had a meeting with three close associates.  People were sharing how their lives were going.  I said that I had just been through a very important experience.  I told them about Shawn's leaving and that I wanted to do something meaningful. I prayed about it and I came up with the idea of taking him to the old basketball court where we used to shoot together--because it was a symbol of his turning from a physical boy to a physical man.  Now the mission would be a place to move from a spiritual boy to a spiritual man.  I told my colleagues about verses 33-46 in the 121st section of the Doctrine and Covenants.  I told them how much I loved Shawn and how much I would miss him and yet how glad I was that he was going.

The next day one of the women who was there came back to tell me how much she appreciated the story and how struck she is with the role of the Church in the life of my family.  We talked for some time about the Church.  The day after, a man who was there came up to me and said he told his wife the story and she cried all through it.

I told the High Priests it is important that we share our most intimate spiritual feelings in appropriate ways with our associates.  If I am in testimony meeting and a man struggles to go up and shares his testimony in a moving way, I should tell the story to someone.   Several of the High Priests came up to me afterward and said that they had never thought of doing that before but that it made sense.  They thanked me.

Concepts can help us understand something, but when we marry those concepts with stories of our connection with the living God, we convert.  When we deeply listen to the need of our investigator (or our child, spouse, or co-worker), and share a story of spiritual intimacy, we find transformational power. 

Journal:

1.     Identify a challenge your missionary is facing--such as discouragement, or lack of faith--and write down one or two stories of spiritual intimacy that might help her or him.

2.     Write about a time when you were touched by someone else sharing a story of spiritual intimacy.  Why?

3.     What important problem have you wrestled with?  What powerful spiritual solution has come?