June 9, 2014

Well this week was certainly interesting, full of learning and heaps of miracles. 

My core experience with God this week was learning how to be a visionary missionary. I feel that this is something that I have lacked for most of my mission. It has been hard for me to see a vision of what I personally can become and for others as well. I knew the steps that people needed to take for conversion, I knew what needed to happen, but I just couldn’t picture it in my own mind. But this week the Lord helped me as I really put forth the effort to be able to see a vision of what I can become.

We had district meeting this week and we spoke about extraordinary missionaries and some of the qualities that they have. We talked about how we can better emulate them and then we were asked to think of the extraordinary qualities that we would like to possess, or to create a vision for the rest of our mission. I really wanted to do this, I really wanted to see what the Lord wanted me to do for the rest of my mission. I was praying and I was trying to listen to the spirit and this scripture in Alma 7 really stuck out to me.

 22 And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received.

 23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

 24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

 25 And may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of heaven to go no more out.

 As I read this I saw the line awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him. What I saw from this and from the rest of the verses is that it is my duty to God to return to live with him again. It is my duty to strive to live the commandments faithfully at all times, to be submissive and gentle, easy to be entreated, full of patience and so many other things. Heavenly Father wants us to return to Him, in fact he asks us to return to Him, so in so doing making it a commandment. He puts all these things in our path to aid us. He knows the perils of this world, He knows how hard it is to be a missionary, to be a good strong faithful member of the Church, so He draws lines. He puts things in our path to make sure that we have all we need to return to Him.

Of course it is our choice, but this is where the line is drawn. It is our duty to return to Him because He gave us all of this, we chose from the beginning to do this and if we follow exactly the plan He has laid out for us then we will receive the promise in verse 25, “that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of Heaven and go no more out.”

The Lord wants me to serve with all my heart, striving to become like Him, but not only that He wants me to do that for the rest of my life. To go on the path of discipleship and stay on the path, until I make it to the end.

I needed that reminder this week, I needed to remember how merciful the Lord is and how much He loves me and all of us. I needed to remember the reason that I am here, because only in and through His grace can I return. I’m not a perfect missionary. I wish I could say I was, but where is the fun in that! But I know that I’m here because I needed to change, to learn and to grow.

My experience as teaching as Jesus Taught was with some of our investigators. This family is amazing.  We taught them a couple of weeks ago about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about Baptism and they both said they had never been baptized by water, but they felt they needed to be. So we invited them to be baptized and committed them to pray about the things we had discussed. Then we had a couple weeks break from them because our schedules kept conflicting, but we got to meet them this last Friday on my birthday. Their lesson was the best birthday present I could ask for. We followed up with their prayers about baptism and they said they had discussed it and they felt they needed to be married before they would get baptized. I love when investigators just already know what to do. We then taught the Restoration. It was so powerful. One of the most powerful lessons I have probably ever been a part of. We taught and they were responding really well. But my favourite part was when we spoke of the Book of Mormon and they were just in awe of it. She even said, “I’ve got butterflies. Imagine if there is record of these people, there probably could be even more that we don’t know about.” Ahh. He said the prayer at the end and he asked to know that it was all true the things that we had talked about.

And to make it even better they came to Church on Sunday and they loved it. They were so happy when they left. They were so excited to see us again and it was wonderful. I love when Heavenly Father leads us to those who are ready and prepared to receive the Gospel.

 This week Sister L and I did a lot of evaluation on our companionship. We wanted to teach powerfully together and carry the spirit. We wanted to make sure we were being obedient and doing our best so that we wouldn’t hinder heaven from pouring down blessings upon those that we are teaching.

But because I’m natural and still striving, I got a little impatient. We weren’t really getting down to the core of what we needed to change. And we weren’t being unified in our vision. I felt a little helpless, because I felt like I had done all I could. But then I had this thought, “Sister Benjamin, have you really done all you could?” I then remembered that we hadn’t turned to the Lord yet. We were just discussing things without Heavenly Fathers help and that doesn’t work out. So we said a prayer together and then because of the inspiration from the spirit, our District leader called and said he had felt very strongly to call us and work with us on our companionship. My goodness, Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. We were able to really come up with some things that we could do better and I felt at peace.

I don’t share this experience to say that I don’t love my companion or that we aren’t working together, I share this to help you to see how we overcome the problems that we face. I do love Sister L, she is wonderful, and she is exactly what I have needed this transfer.

After this I was studying in the New Testament and these verses really jumped out to seem to describe exactly how I was feeling.

 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This week I was just a little bit foolish, and natural, but because of the love and mercy of the Savior, we were still able to work out the things that we needed to. And I love that no matter the problems we face, His grace will be with us.

I know that this Church is true, I know that this is the Lord’s work and I’m grateful to be His servant.

Love you

Sister Benjamin

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