As a missionary, or as a member of the Church, many times we question why to put forth so much effort when we see little or no results. For one missionary, a critical, overwhelming moment came after such a struggle, and she realized that the Savior gives us the strength we will need to continue on. The following is an excerpt of a missionary's letter from Missionary Miracles: Stories and Letters from the Field compiled by Chris Stewart with John Crowley:
This week I had some interesting experiences but one defining moment in particular. On Thursday, Sister Dutiro and I got the inactive list from the Relief Society president and spent the day trying to find the inactive sisters. We both felt prompted to go to certain places, so we followed the Spirit and went—but had no success. It was a very frustrating day, full of “fall-throughs.” As we started the very long walk home, I couldn’t help but feel discouraged. The road kept getting longer and longer and my strength weaker and weaker. I thought, WHY? Why didn’t things happen today? We followed the Spirit—but what good had it done? The conversation continued in my head:
Impression: “You were obedient, weren’t you?”
Me: “Yes, but there were no results.”
Impression: “So—why do you need results? Isn’t it enough to have faith that you were in the right place at the right time?”
Me: “Yeah, I guess so—at least I know I can ‘go and do.’ But I am so tired! Was my effort really worth it?”
Impression: “Why did you get out of bed this morning? Why did you ‘waste your energy’ by being obedient?”
Me: “Because I love the Lord so much. But I will never be able to really show Him how much I love Him. I can’t give enough. I can’t believe I have to walk to Kamwala tomorrow. I don’t have the strength! I love Heavenly Father, and I know He needs me to go down to Kamwala tomorrow, but I just can’t!”
Needless to say, by then I was in tears. Then an image came to me of me kneeling at my Father in Heaven’s feet, sobbing, saying, “I love you so much—but I don’t have the ability to show that love. Whatever I give will never be enough!”
Then I saw the Savior kneeling next to me and heard Him say, “Father, I love her so much that whatever she can’t give, I will make up. Please accept the offer.”
One of Satan’s greatest strategies is to make me think that the Atonement is only for big sinners—but people on the right path have to do it by themselves. I now have a real understanding of the Atonement of the Savior and how much strength I can and must gain from it.
We went to Kamwala the next day, and it was great. How thankful I am for the Atonement. How real it is! And it’s not just a one-time-use thing. Strength comes daily, even hourly, from this precious gift. I know I will never have enough, but it’s okay if I trust my Savior, Jesus Christ, to make up the difference.