“Members Make the Difference,” New Era, Mar. 2007, 62
As a missionary in Chile, I learned that investigators’ conversion is greatly helped by the involvement of ward members. My companions and I found out quickly that ward members were essential in reactivation and in keeping recent converts active.
In one area, we had been working with a family for many months. They had once been very strong in the Church but had fallen away from activity. The family didn’t feel as though the ward members cared whether or not they attended Church or other activities. As missionaries, we struggled to get the members excited about reactivation. They were unwilling to do even simple things like ask the family to sit with them at church, visit them, or invite them to activities.
In another area, however, the ward members seemed as excited about missionary work as the missionaries. The members were so involved and were always willing to help us find and keep investigators. After the members met our investigators, they practically took over. They invited the investigators or less-active members to every activity and offered to pick them up for church. Many times investigators would tell us how welcome they felt and how they didn’t feel like just another number because the members took such a personal interest in them.
I learned how important it is that bonds of fellowship in the gospel be formed between ward members. As missionaries, we come and go. But the association with ward members lasts much longer.