The Story of Samuel Smith
Consider the story of Samuel Smith:
Samuel was the younger brother of Joseph Smith. Imagine how he must have felt when Joseph came home from the grove and told his family that none of the churches were right. Imagine standing loyal to your family and brother as those around you turned and persecuted you. Then one morning Joseph tells you that The Angel Moroni came and spent the night talking with him and told him of a book of gold plates.
Now the Smith House was not large and probably Joseph shared his room with some of his brothers so Samuel slept through the next phase. The persecution gets worse and you still stand by your brother. Finally the persecution gets so bad that Joseph leaves but Samuel is left with the persecution. Then finally Samuel gets to take Oliver Cowdery up to help Joseph with the translation of the Book of Mormon.
About the same time that Joseph and Oliver go to pray about their questions about baptism Samuel is praying to the Lord. His prayer is something like: Dear Heavenly Father can I have a witness. I have stood by Joseph all these years and I would like to know if it is true. Heavenly Father gives Samuel a witness. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery are coming back from being baptized and they meet Samuel. Joseph has been told by the spirit that Samuel has received the witness of this work so they take Samuel and baptize him. Samuel Smith was the first person baptized in this dispensation who had not seen an angel and the third person baptized in the church.
One day Joseph came to Samuel and said we want to call you to be the first missionary. Samuel asked where he was to go. (No one had been anywhere yet) Samuel accepted his mission call and went North east. His first day as a missionary he walked 25 miles in one day. He stopped that evening and asked an innkeeper for a room for the evening. He told the innkeeper that he was a missionary for Jesus Christ. He told him the whole story of Joseph, the Angel Moroni, and the Gold Plates and the innkeeper slammed the door in his face for saying such blasphemy. That night Samuel slept under a tree.
SAMUEL SMITH HAD NO BAPTISMS HIS WHOLE MISSION. He placed two Books of Mormon. One he placed with a Reverend John Green. John had listened to Samuel's story and said he wasn't interested but his wife was - Rhoda Green. He also said he would like a copy in case he ran into anyone who was interested. The second Book of Mormon he placed was to Phineas Young. He wanted the book so he could read it and educate his congregation to the false teachings contained inside. Samuel came home after many long hard months. When he greeted Joseph, Joseph asked him how many new members had he brought into the kingdom. Samuel replied - none and felt like he had failed.
What Samuel did not know but the Lord did was that Phineas Young and Rhoda Green were brother and sister. They had another brother - Brigham Young. They gave the book to Brigham Young who read it and gave it to Heber C. Kimball who read it and gave it to Willard Richards. Because of a missionary that had an "UNSUCCESSFUL" mission, never baptized anyone and only placed two Book of Mormons - over 7,000 people came into the church, several of whom would become General Authorities.
There is no such thing as an unsuccessful mission. There are days that are discouraging. Visiting authorities used to tell us in our mission that it sometimes takes up to 25 contacts before the gospel - Book of Mormon clicks in someone's mind. So any contact you do is helping the Lord's work along. You are now part of the "Missionary Chain".