I don't recall if I've shared this so I may as well, haha. There is a school up in Pierce for teenagers ages 16-18 who are either high school drop-outs or are at risk of dropping out. Most of them are trouble makers and some have been in trouble with the law. Its a very militarized school. The students wear army uniforms and the teachers were in the military. We go up there on Sundays to pass the sacrament and to teach a lesson. 5 people come, 3 boys and 2 girls. I've come to really enjoy going up there, The students who come to the service are awesome, and they really enjoy having us come up to teach them because we're their age and they feel more comfortable talking to us than the older ward members. They have been having to stand up for their faith a lot because a lot of the students have been teasing them and asking difficult questions about the church. So the fact that they still come to the service is awesome. One of the girls said that she almost didn't come yesterday because of how the other students made her feel and the things they were saying. Teaching them is probably one of the best experiences because you can tell that they really want to learn. They are all members of the church but none of them have been to church for a long time and have made a lot of mistakes in life. When we teach them, they are really involved in the lesson and ask lots of questions. We taught them about Christ yesterday and the Atonement he made. It really hit a couple of them emotionally.
We go up there right after church and it takes almost all of the rest of our day because of then drive there and back, but it is probably some of the best missionary work we could do. I gave one of them my Gospel Principles books, and he is going to be using it to teach a couple minute lesson on the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
I think that one of the things I've been learning the most so far is that when people feel the spirit and it testifies to them that the doctrines of the church are true, they can't deny it. We have one inactive member I've been working with who told us all about his conversion to the LDS church. He said that he first started going to a Pentecostal church when he was 11 and was active in it until his mid-30's. He became known as "Bible Thumper" in high school because he always carried a Bible with him and would tell all his classmates why they were going to Hell. He described how he has always hated the Mormons, not for any particular reason, just simply because they were wrong. He told us about how the missionaries knocked on his door and he decided to talk to them simply so that he could get more bad stuff to say about the church. He told us that he would never even touch the Book of Mormon, they were always trying to get him to read it but he never would, because he "knew" that it was an evil book. The missionaries finally got him to accept a copy and he started to read it. He told us about how he absolutely hated the book. He told us that it looks like scripture, and sounds like scripture but his mind kept on telling him that it wasn't scripture. But as he read it he realized that even though his mind was practically screaming at him, telling him that it was false and that the book was a fake, his heart told him that is was right. He said that as he read it, he couldn't understand why he would feel the spirit. It confused him that this "evil" book was making him feel so good. So one night he decided that he was actually going to pray about it. He said that As soon as he asked if he needed to accept the Book of Mormon as scripture, he got the absolute answer of "YES"
He wasn't happy about that, so he prayed again, and again he got the same answer. When the missionaries next saw him they asked what he thought of the book. He angrily told them that he knew the book was truly scripture and that he needed to join the church. So he stopped going to his church and started coming to ours. He said that he began to feel the spirit more than he ever has and so he got baptized. He actually became a very active member of the church.
As of right now, he is inactive. Disfellowshipped actually. I don't really want to go into detail, but he has a lot of aspects of his life that he needs to change. He has become really close to being ex-communicated. He has expressed to us that his life would be a million times easier if he simply left the church. He wouldn't feel guilty of his situation and many other aspects of his life would no longer haunt him. But he cannot leave because as much as he hates the Book of Mormon, and as much as he dislikes some of the doctrine. He can't deny how it makes him feel. He has decided that he needs to forget his emotions and choose to accept and act on what he feels.
We are working with another man who is excommunicated. But he has been working hard and he might be able to be baptized again here in a couple months.
My favorite work has been working with inactive members, Most inactive members have reasons for not going, that shouldn't even be reasons at all. Once someone realizes that, it becomes a lot easier for them to come back. Most of my work has actually been to reactivate members who aren't active. Simply because that is what I want to do. Baptisms are great and all that, and we do have some investigators who are getting there (slowly but surely) but I think that bringing people back to what they have lost is something special in itself.