So I typed up a nice, juicy weekly email. And then it deleted. So I
spent the next 15 minutes keeping cool by counting all the benefits I
got from what I wrote in the email. After all, it was really good to
see a broad summary of my week. It actually did good to solidify some
of lessons I learned.
That said, because that did take quite a length of time to write and I
don’t magically get that time back, I’ll have to make this email a bit
short than its predecessor.
3-hours with the Head of the Missionary Proselyting Department
As I’ve mentioned before, we are the first mission to receive
smartphones. As such, its easy to see why the missionary department is
pretty invested in helping us succeed. This last week, they sent head
of the Proselyting Department, Lee Donaldson, to our mission to hold
some spot studies with 3 random Districts. Ours was one of those.
The meeting was awesome. We got to give our input on how the
smartphones worked and give our two-cents on what we thought would
help. But that wasn’t the best of it. He taught us about being
missionaries and what that means. So between the meeting and when
Elder Barker and I gave him a ride into the city (directly following
the meeting), I had some of my long held questions answered.
One of the biggest things he taught us was connecting people with
Heaven. He said that the first thing we want people to do when we meet
them isn’t just to pray, to read the Book of Mormon, or to come to
church. We want them to connect with Heaven. Starting with
communicating with our Heavenly Father, he stated that the reason why
people don’t get answers is most often because they 1) don’t know God
for who he really is and 2) they aren’t praying correctly. Thus the
first thing we teach them is that God is our loving Heavenly Father.
We should teach them about who he is and help them connect to Heaven.
We then teach them about and invite them to read the Book of Mormon
because that is how they will connect with Heaven. When it comes to
inviting them to church, we invite them to connect with Heaven by
learning about the sacrament, hearing others testimonies, and feel the
Spirit in rich abundance.
Our purpose as members of this church is not to teach people about the
Restoration. It’s to help people connect with Heaven, and by so doing
we teach them of the restoration of God’s everlasting gospel in these
days. This is what teaching repentance is, and when this happens, we
Running on Fumes
I learned again, from trial and error, how important scripture study
is yesterday. We were answering some of Betsy’s questions she had and
I just couldn’t find any of the words I was looking for. All my
answers felt weird and the Spirit wasn’t as strong as I’d like it to
have been. The thought that came to mind was, “Running on fumes”. I
realized that in the middle of church, church meetings, appointments,
and a variety of other activities, we had neglected our scripture
study for that day.
This morning, I made sure to study.
The scriptures are our refuel. There is no day that is better off
without a scripture study. I can honestly say that here as a
missionary and even when I return home, I will sacrifice whatever is
necessary to have time to study the word of God. This might mean less
sleep, but a well-rested body won’t mean much if my spirit is tired.
I love the scriptures. By consistent study, I’ve been able to renew my
strength, change habits, and reshape myself. I reflected today on who
I was when I started the mission and who I am now and I know
consistent scripture study played a key role in the process. So if you
haven’t picked up the Book of Mormon today, take some time! Make a
habit! The blessings far outweigh the sacrifice.
The good ‘ole companion
Elder Barker is a good man. He is bold, courageous, and has a fire testimony.
We knocked a door two or three times, started walking away, and we’d
nearly gotten to the end of the driveway when we heard the door open a
little. Elder Barker turned around, yelled, “HEY! HOW ARE YOU?!”, and
full on ran back to the door. The man didn’t end up being interested,
but I was pretty impressed. Also, apparently I’m a quirky Elder and
I’ve had him laughing uncontrollably a few times this week.
So yeah, we’re having a good time and the work is moving forward.
Love y’all! Hope your dia is fantastico.
From the best island in the world,