March 8, 2015
We're in at the mission home right now with President and Sister Spendlove, their 2 kids that are still at home, and all of the 12 departing missionaries. They had a "departing testimony" meeting and now they're just playing board games until they crash. We have to wake up at 4am tomorrow to take everyone to the airport, and also pick up the new incoming missionaries as well. It's gonna be crazy tomorrow with transfers and whatnot, so I'll send a note now!
Another great week of serving the Lord has come and gone too fast. We have been busy touring the mission with President Spendlove and his wife, so they can attend all Zone Meetings to introduce themselves to all the missionaries. It has been a great. We can all feel the sincere love they have for us. I know the Lord is behind and supporting everything that has been happening in the Great Utah Salt Lake City Mission over the past few weeks. He has a much greater purpose in everything that we can physically see or comprehend. I know the Lord is very aware and interested in what His children are involved with, especially dealings within His Church. He is in charge.
I’d like to write a few things on an observation I’ve had over the past week while visiting and sitting in meetings with all the missionaries in the mission.. I’ve written on this subject before, but I feel inclined to mention it again. It’s been an interesting opportunity to see another side of missionary work, the administrative part for one, but also being able to see the more personal side of all the missionaries and what they are going through and feeling.
It’s been my observation that a lot of missionaries accept success in many different types of ways. For some, success is baptizing. For others, success is teaching a certain amount of lessons. Some see success as just maintaining themselves and staying out here in the field. Since being out here in the field, the Lord has helped me to come to the knowledge of what TRUE success is. True success, or God’s success rate, is what we achieve in an internal sense. I.E. our faith, testimony, conversion, knowledge, relationships, character (Christ-like attributes: faith, hope, patience, charity, obedience, diligence, humility etc.) etc. Things we are able to take with us after physical death. We can each ask the penetrating question within ourselves: If for some reason our mortal life ended in the next minute, would these internal qualities of ours be strong enough to support us in the afterlife and standing before our Almighty God? If not, then why are we not doing everything we need to be doing to strengthen them? When we stand before our Maker, these are the only things that we will have with us. Especially in the past month or so, I've learned that if the Lord wills it so, He can take us home at any moment. We much too often determine our success depending on and focus on external things. Things that don’t last. Things that we aren't able to take with us. Our jobs, money, comfortable living, schooling, sports, music, etc. Now I’m not implying that these things are of no importance. For example, these things can be used to strengthen family relationships. But, if we are placing any of these as priorities over our internal success, we need to do a self-evaluation and make necessary changes. Set goals and make plans. These external successes will only bring limited happiness, or pleasure. Internal successes bring an everlasting happiness, or joy.
Whenever we set any type of goal, we would do best to focus on the internal end of success. When we wish to set a goal of reading our scriptures daily, we should really be setting a goal to increase our knowledge, Christ-like character, spiritual sensitivity, etc. through daily scripture study. It's a mindset change that can make all the difference.
We must always see every situation in this mortal life, in an eternal perspective. Our existence is not about this current life. It’s about what is to come. The choices we make here, through our moral agency, determine our eternal destiny. I know that as each one of us focus and prioritize on, in this life, God’s measure of success, the internal, the successes we are able to take with us after death, we will undoubtedly find more joy in this life, and into the eternities.
As busy as we've been, the Lord has blessed us in our proselyting area. I'm in the same YSA stake (Downtown SLC) as I was before, but just covering 4 different wards. We were able to witness 3 individuals enter into the covenant and waters of baptism this past weekend! Gabby (19), Kate (23), and Elsa (20). And another on date for a few weeks from now! What an amazing opportunity it has been to be even a small part in His Great Work. I am eternally grateful for the mercy the Lord and for Him helping me learn lessons that will have an impact on me for the rest of my life and existence. He has helped me to see what truly matters most in life.
I love the Lord and I love this Work. Stay close to Him and I promise He will bless you.
"Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also." (Alma 60:23)