elder egbert versus the worry wart

the biggest surprise of the week actually came twice...

we have an nigerian ami named oscar.  he loves jesus.  and he wants to
talk about jesus with all of his friends.  when we met him, he said,

"okay, yeah, i want you to teach my muslim friends about jesus!"  so
we taught these muslim friends for about 2 weeks before he told us,

"wait, i forgot to tell you, they don't speak english... or
french...". huh..  that came as quite the shock.  after that, we
turned the attention to teaching HIM about the restored gospel of
jesus christ.  and he began progressing.

until he got kicked out of his house.  refugees from africa, well,
they usually don't have any money.  so our friend oscar was on the
streets for a while before we were able to get back into contact with
him.  but we finally did.  we had one rendezvous with him last week
and we had scheduled another one for this week.

we showed up at the library where we meet (because cold+african+no
home=bad news) and to our surprise, not just oscar came to greet us.
oscar introduced us to his friend, derbley.  after our lesson with
them, we set another appointment for later in the week.

and once again, when we showed up, oscar greeted us with three more
africans tagging along behind him.  he just really wants his friends
to learn about jesus.  it's so awesome.  (this is now where i ask you
all to pray for all four of them: oscar, derbley, ben, and sylvester.
your prayers are much needed/appreciated.  thank you so much for
everything you do for us.)

apart from oscar's miracle, we taught jean-michel again.  to be
bluntly honest, i'm pretty sure this man has completely quit
progressing.  he's an old french man, and really caught up on his
lutheran beliefs.  he even says

"yeah, i believe that joseph smith is a prophet.  i believe that jean
the baptist appeared to him and gave him the authority, but i've
already been baptized by the proper authority..."

*sigh*

anyway, we also were able to go to paris this week for a mission
conference.  elder kearon (the europe area president) came and spoke
with us.  he opened up the conference by having each one of the
missionaries go up and shake his hand.  while we were up there, he
said,

"thank you for what you do"

usually when people say that, you can tell that they say that to every
missionary that comes there way.  and even though we could SEE that he
was saying that to everyone that was coming his way, you could tell
that he really meant it.  truly, deeply, from the bottom of his heart,
he meant what he said.  and it touched me deep.  i've been told "thank
you" so many times, but this time, it was different.  it felt sincere.

later during his discourse, he said something that hit me just as deep.

we were talking about different problems that seem to arise in
missionary work and one missionary brought up the point that,
sometimes, we worry.  we worry about who we are teaching, we worry
about what we are going to do throughout the day, we worry about
what's going to happen when we go home, etc.  to which he replied (not
word for word, but something like this:),

"why are you worrying?  there's nothing to worry about.  you are on
the lord's errand.  he will help you.  he just asks you to do your
best, and he'll do the rest.  you have an easy job.  just do what you
should do.  don't stress.  don't think too much.  don't be a worry
wart."

a worry wart?  that sounds awful.  i don't want to be one of those.
but, regardless of what i want, i am.  i am a worry wart.  i think all
of us have a little bit of a worry wart inside.  we all stress out at
times.  we all WORRY.  but we don't need to.

regardless of if we wear a plaque or not, we are all on the lord's
errand.  we are all his servants.  none of us are "better off" than
others.  none of us carry a heavier responsibility.  we are all here
to do the same thing.  to cry repentance and bring the lost sheep unto
christ.  (the only difference is that some of us have the privilege of
doing that 24/7.)

but the fact of the matter is that god sent us here to learn and
progress.  but he also sent us here, at this time, to further the
work.  to build zion.

but don't worry.

because god sent us here, that means that he will provide a way for us
to accomplish his work.  he is always by our side, helping giving us
direction and helping us accomplish our work.

"i will go before your face, i will be on your right hand and on your left"
(d&c 84:88)

he is always with us; he is always working with us.  whether that be
strengthening the kingdom, or whether that be building our OWN
personal testimonies, he is there.

so don't be a worry wart.  because he has provided a way.

remember him; all is well.

-elder egbert
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