"What’s Love Got to Do With it?" Love has EVERYTHING to do with missionary work. If I don't love the work enough, I don't work as hard. If I don't love my comp enough, the spirit can't be there as abundantly as we need. If I don't love myself enough, I'm way too hard on myself. If I don't love the Savior enough, I don't trust him enough. If I don't love the Gospel enough, my testimony won't grow and I won't want to share it. If I don't love the members enough the missionary work can't go forward, or at least not through me.
This week has been absolutely incredible. The Spirit has been so powerful this week, and I have loved every second of it. I'm just amazed by Heavenly Father and how much he continues to love me and to bless me. I am a very imperfect servant, but he continues to bless me and propel me forward. Seriously I don't know where I would be without him.
Tuesday we had interviews and they were great. I just love President Howes and Sister Howes to pieces. They have both blessed my experience as a missionary so much, and I wouldn't be who I am today without them. Something Sister Howes and I discussed is pride. But pride in a different way than I had ever thought about before. When we are so hard on ourselves and saying "Oh I don't need others help, I can overcome my weakness on my own." We are being prideful. By not letting other people help us, we are being prideful. By not confiding in those who are specifically sent to us to help us and to bless us. I certainly used to be that way with everything, but my mission certainly has changed that about me. Now, I let others around me help me. And you know what- it helps build relationships. So for that I am grateful. And I'm not sure that everyone around me wants/needs to know my problems, but on a mission things are certainly different then back home.
My core experience with God this week was Him really showing me His love for me. During personal study this week I just felt a bit weird, so I had the thought to pray. I literally poured out my whole soul to Heavenly Father. I got everything off my chest that I had been feeling. And he comforted me in a way that I haven't really felt before. Warmth just seemed to enter my whole body. Then I felt embraced by his love. It was literally an AMAZING experience. Every concern I seemed to have was swept from my mind. It was wonderful. :) I love Heavenly Father and I am glad he is watching out for me.
Wednesday we had Zone meeting and one of my zone leaders goes home in 2 weeks time. But I love that even until the very end he is serving the Lord. We have gotten to become quite good friends and it certainly will be an interesting experience without him in the zone anymore. But he gave a training on personal prayer and it was exactly what I needed to hear. He talked about the 3 elements that our prayers need to have. 1: Humility. WE should be humble. We are speaking to Almighty God. He has all power and can do anything and we, as the scriptures say "unworthy creatures", need to acknowledge that. We don't lead our lives, Heavenly Father does. He gave us the opportunity to come to the earth and gain a body and learn and grow. But He is still in control. So humility is key. When we are humble we receive answers to our prayers. 2. Virtue-Clean, Pure, Chaste, Undefiled and Modest. Clean and pure hearts, minds, words and actions are all part of this. Heavenly Father wants us to be clean and be the masters of ourselves, not Satan and the bad thoughts he puts in our minds. He asked us if someone were to walk into our brain, what would they find? Would they find clean and virtuous thoughts? Would they find negative thoughts about ourselves and others? Would they find anything vulgar, unclean or anything of that sort? Or would they find the Savior and his teachings, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our families and so on? 3. Charity. Without charity we are nothing. When we have charity we are like Christ. When we develop Charity we will know the Savior, and be able to stand before him with confidence because we did our best to become like him. So in our prayers are we asking for Charity, Virtue, and Humility? Or are we still thinking that we can dictate what goes on? I know this is something I need to work on. I need to let Heavenly Father be the one who leads and guides my life, not the other way around. "When we really understand the true nature of our relationship with God, then prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part." (Bible Dictionary Prayer) When we really understand that he is our Father and we are his children, it makes it so much easier to pray to him and have a conversation with him, tell him we love him, and so on. Not to just make him the repairman. Yes he does that as well, but He loves us, and he wants to know us!
This fast day I had a pretty powerful experience. I fasted for missionary work and the things that I could do to be a better missionary, and how I could propel the work forward. And literally all day, the idea of working with members kept coming back to my mind. And I know that that is something that is preached to us all the time, but I guess I just have to be whacked on the head to really understand. In sacrament meeting, all the moms who have children out on missions got up and bore their testimonies, and I had the thought there to work with them. Show you love them, help them do their missionary work as well. The Lord really is hastening his work and as President Monson said, "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together." It really is the time. And something we have been doing to get them excited for it, is giving them a BofM Shoe. We got old missionary shoes from our flat and we wrote scriptures and quotes about missionary work all over them. Then we gave it to 6 families in the ward and asked them to prayerfully invite someone to participate in some sort of Gospel related activity or anything like that and once they have done that they can then pass the shoe onto someone else in the ward, all the while sharing their miracles with the person they pass it to. It has gotten quite a few of the members excited and it makes us excited too. I love when people get excited about missionary work! :)
Thank you for all that you do for me. Love you Heaps