[shared with permission]
A few weeks ago we street contacted a man sitting in his car by the Reserve, NM post office. He had piercings on his face and tattoos everywhere, driving a beat up car. His name is Jesse. Some things that went through my mind were “not sure this will go anywhere…”, “We’ll probably wash his windows like everyone has us do and then he’ll have us be on our merry way…” and so on. I was judging. I had no faith to see him in white or to recognize his eternal potential!
Now flash back to last week, we had a training in ZTM on this very thing; beginning with the end in mind and envisioning them in white baptismal clothes etc. I was so touched. I thought back to that moment and felt immediate regret and a desire to be better. I had a resolve to not judge anymore as we talked with everyone.
Now flash back to a few days ago. We visited Jesse! There he was again, still of course covered in piercings and tattoos, but it was a completely different experience as my mind set had totally changed. I thought of him with “the end in mind”. I saw him in white clothes, ready for the temple. My new, charitable and non judgmental mindset changed the way I taught and helped me to love him so much more! He was so prepared. He’s moved here a year ago after trying to get over his addictions and has been LOOKING for a church to join with his girlfriend. As we did how to begin teaching and invited him to be baptized, the Spirit was palpable as ever. It was like an electric shock in the room. He accepted the invitation. We set up a return appointment and he said the closing prayer 🙂
If you looked at Jesse without faith, without beginning with the end in mind, you would not see potential. You would see a rough exterior that cannot change. But when you change your perspective and you teach them WITH that perspective, you see that he has the most potential, eternal potential. He is a beloved son of God whose life can be changed through the atonement. We have to have the faith and love to teach him as such. Our investigators deserve nothing less from us as their missionaries.