Monday, April 27, 2015

Week Seventy-eight

WEEK SEVENTY-EIGHT December 29, 2014

Last night we were released as full-time proselyting missionaries (MLS) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Below is our final mission picture. We are in the third row, left hand side. Elder Wilford Anderson of the Seventy and his wife were our conference visitors. (3 November 2014)

Things we learned as a Seasoned Missionary (MLS) Couple

1.     We must never put limitations on what God can do. Found myself answering questions many time saying, “I am unwilling to limit what God can do.”
2.     The value of relationships, even outside family ties, is must more worthwhile and powerful than I imagined.
3.     God’s love for us and desires for our welfare are far greater than imagine, we are the limiting factor. We receive what we are willing to receive. God’s desire is for us to receive all the joy and happiness that He has.
4.     Whereas the world teaches to know is to believe. It appears to us that to believe is to know. Mormon 9:25 clearly teaches we must believe in order to receive a confirmation. “And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.” So choosing to believe is integral to faith and knowledge.
5.     When our plan fails we need to make a new bow just as Nephi did (1 Nephi 16).
6.     Most need to first change their paradigms in order to see.
7.     We are all the same. We are unique.
8.     There are no stereotypical Mormons.
9.     Each of us has a part to play.
10. Hastening the work will require a cultural change if missionary work is to be everyone’s assignment in everything they do.
11. Blessings seem to multiply when we serve outside our areas of church responsibility and duty in addition to those assignments.
12. The Savior speaks of “living waters.” We learned one needs more than going to church to fill our reservoirs, but without church the waters are too difficult to navigate.
13. Our everlasting happiness is enabled as we focus on the little things the Lord does for us, in a very intimate way, on almost a daily basis. These “coincidences of life” are to be treated as packets of happiness that Father in Heaven bestows to remind us of His love and interest in our life and living. As we recognize daily our packets of happiness; and relish and fully enjoy them; all the while giving appreciation and gratitude to the Lord continually, we will see there are no coincidences. Rather the events and circumstances of our lives will be seen as love notes from our Heavenly Father, repeatedly and continually testifying of his love and concern for us individually. His expressions of love to us are to embolden and fortify us against the world’s onslaught and to strengthen our resolve to become what we are destined to be.
14. God loves and saves all His children. All will come to accept, confess and testify that Jesus is the Christ with the exception of the few sons of perdition.
15. To enjoy the grace that Christ proffers us we must first be willing to allow the necessary changes it effects.
16. Much more effort is needed within the church to sustain new members. The changes culturally, spiritually, and friendships are so vast that we underestimate them. They truly need the friend President Hinckley spoke of to always be there for them.
17. Unless we effectively teach the necessity for proper priesthood authority our gospel message does not sound much different to faithful Christians.
18. Perhaps we as members see things overly black and white and in explain the gospel message we put in peril the ability of those of other faiths to understand.
19. We find, we teach, we friendship
20. We found referring to ourselves as Seasoned Missionaries rather than a Senior Couple brought a smile and a warm response.
21. We learned that inviting others to come worship with us was much more productive than inviting them to come to church with us.
22. We were overwhelmed with so many members doing so much. As one investigator commented, “Your church really requires a lot of its members.”
23. Serving as an MLS (the senior proselyting version of missionary work) Seasoned Missionaries is like being a home or visiting teacher 24 hours a day. I suspect if you don’t like home and visiting teaching you will not like being a Seasoned Missionary. It’s all about developing relationships, loving and serving others.
24. No matter what fulfillment you receive as a Seasoned Missionary it is apparent you will never know, in this life, the effect your caring service has on others.
25. Likewise, only upon your return will it dawn on you just how many felt blessed by your service.
26. Instead of thinking how wide the divide the concept needed is how to build bridges that close the divide.
27. Even boring sacrament meetings are good. Investigators quickly see there is room for everyone to participate including a place for them.
28. Gospel scholarship is not necessary to serve.
29. There are no stereotypical missionaries either.
30. Perfection is not a requirement to serve.
31. God’s direction is very personalized.
32. Somehow the experiences, geography, work, schooling, family, interests, etc. that have become your life become the very avenues that allow you to enter the hearts of those you serve.
33. Many will conclude that you came to your mission just for them alone.
34. Every prayer does not have to be answered.
35. Distractions are Satan’s sharpest tool. He doesn’t have to get us to do anything if he can distract us from doing what is necessary.
36. It’s about being, by doing. By doing we become.
37. God is much more forgiving than any of us imagine.
38. The “true church” is not the reservoir of all truth, but all revealed truth.
39. Saying we are the one and only true church causes some to mentally bristle forfeiting their chance to receive the truth.
40. So many have so many needs.
41. When asked by an minister what will you feel if you learn you are wrong. I replied that with the peace the gospel has brought me and my family I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s been a very good life. But your suggestion is preposterous considering the witnesses that form the evidence of my faith.
42. It’s not just being in the church but having the divine currents of the gospel in us.

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