Showing Love as Christ Would

    by Elders Stewart and Oler 

    Elders Stewart and Oler Poland Warsaw Mission
    Elders Stewart and Oler, Poland Warsaw Mission

    The six active members in Białystok, Poland have always been a closely-knit group and maintained good contact with the missionaries. When we were asked to not meet in person with anybody, we knew we still had to do something to minister and to give each member a chance to feel the Spirit every week. Because of age, family situations, a general fear of contracting the virus, and the lack of access to technology, most of our members were either unable to have an in-home sacrament meeting or they were not able to watch a broadcasted sessions of talks from other members in Poland. 

    Wanting to keep our group together, we established regular contact with all the members. We would call each person in our group once during the week to see how they were doing and to make sure they knew that we were still praying for and thinking about them. During this call, we would also establish a time to have a 15-minute discussion over the phone on Sundays, usually centered around Come, Follow Me. Each Sabbath day, we would then hold a short, spiritually uplifting lesson with each member. We have always been strengthened and humbled by the testimonies of these members--even in times of trial like this.

    We have loved having these brief conversations and short lessons with our members every week. Some of them have nobody else to talk with during these difficult times. We can sense their eagerness to share their experiences and questions about the Book of Mormon with us. This has been possible because there are so few members, but as we talk with them each week, they all have the opportunity to feel our love for them even though we can't be with them at Church.

    Recently, we were given permission to hold a very small sacrament meeting with our members in the chapel. This was our first in-person meeting in over a month. Because of the small size of our room, we actually held two services. To our delight, two less-active members with whom we had contact attended. One was the mother of an active member, the other was the husband of a different member. At first, my companion and I marveled at the miraculous arrival of these two people. We had so little contact with them. Our efforts had been focused on our few active members!

    After pondering the matter further, we tried to view it through the eyes of these members. Though less-active, they had spent the past month hearing our calls and over-the-phone lessons to their family members.

    They had seen the effort we had made into reaching out with love to their families. By witnessing that love and connection, they felt a desire to return to Church!

    Previous to this meeting, we were told by the less-active husband that we were not welcome in their home to teach, give the sacrament, or even visit. After this demonstration of love and after him being at our small and 'social-distanced' meeting, he told us we were again welcome to come and teach whenever we wanted! 

    The Lord works miracles when we are willing to show love!