I actually like it when our lunch appointments get canceled because then we can have a picnic in our room!
Working the streets of Begonias
Before my mission I wish that I would have prepared better... a lot better! My mom makes fun of me because my goal before my mission wasn't to finish the Book of Mormon or read Preach my Gospel, my goal was to finish all 10 seasons of Greys Anatomy on netflix. I regret this choice a lot! And I'm here to warn anyone who is preparing for a mission to not waste your time. There are many things you can do to prepare. After being in the field for 7 months I have learned there are two basic steps that will help you become the best instrument in the hand of the lord. The first is know the doctrine! The second is learn how to use the spirit. Of course there are a lot of other things to learn along the way, Christ like attributes, how to teach, how to give commitments. But if you can master the doctrine and the spirit you have nothing to be worried about!
Mastering the Doctrine.
You cant teach what you don't know. You have to be an expert in all 5 of the mission lessons. "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosened then if you desire, you shall have my spirit and my word, yea the power of God unto the convincing of men." In my preparation for my mission, million of hours were wasted in front of the TV. I thought oh I have been a member my whole life! I've taken religion classes as BYU. I graduated seminary. I go to church every Sunday. Ya estoy bien, Im in the clear I know the church. I was completely mistaken. When I got into the field I realized that Ï really didn't know as much as I thought about the gospel. For example, What is a dispensation? And even more importantly how do I explain a dispensation to someone who has no religious background!
Here is what you can do, Study chapter 3 of preach my gospel, memorize the bullet points in the back of each lesson and find scriptures that will help you teach each point. Practice explaining every point to your grandma in a way that she can understand. Use examples and experiences to explain that we are Gods Children, literally spirit children of a heavenly father. The points may seem basic at times but there is ALWAYS more to be said. Explain how you know you are a child of a loving God. There are a lot of people out there that think that God is harsh and punishing. How are you going to explain and make them understand the God loves them? If you are serving in a different language memorize the points in the language of you mission. I promise you that if you can be familiar with the main points of every lesson you will be better prepared for your mission. I promise you that you will be able to learn faster, and adapt to the mission quicker. You will never be wordless. Alma 17 explains the keys of missionary work. The first key is in verse 2 "Änd they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures (and preach my gospel) diligently that they might know the word of God." Are you like Alma and the sons of Mosiah having a good understanding of the Gospel? What more could you study to understand the word of God better? I'm going to be honest there are a lot of ignorant people, that are hard to teach. Either because they cant understand the doctrine or they have a hard heart. You need to be a MASTER at the doctrine to be able to explain to these people the word of God. Because as a missionary their salvation is in your hands.
Okay so lets say you are a master at the doctrine. You have memorized all the points in the lessons. Do you think that's enough o be able to teach? If you don't have the spirit you have wasted your time. "Änd the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith and if ye receive not the spirit YE SHALL NOT TEACH" ¨D&C 42.14 I testify that it is impossible to teach without the spirit. If you as a missionary aren't spiritually in tune with the Holy Ghost there is no possible way that the people you are teaching can be. You will choke on your words, you will say the wrong things, and your investigatores wont feel anything. Investigators get baptized because what they feel is good So my question to you is are you prepared spiritually for the mission? You have to learn to rely on God for everything that you do. Gods ways are always higher than our own ways, we need to be doing things the way he wants and the only way that we can do what God wants is by listening to the holy spirit. But what do we need to do to hear this still small voice of the spirit? In Alma 17.3 it says ¨But this is not all they had given themselves to much prayer and fasting therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation. and when they taught they taught with power and authority of God.¨ To receive the spirit we need to be dedicated to fasting and prayer. When is the last time you prayed? How was your prayer?Was it under 3 minutes? In the mission you will learn to pray like Enos all the day long. I promise you that if you pray with real sincerity that you will receive the spirit. It is so extremely important to be able to learn how to listen and to use the spirit. To be able to discern what are your words and what are the words that God wants you to say. It is the only way that the work can be done.
If you can master the doctrine and learn how to listen and discern the spirit you will be well prepared for you mission! Finish reading Alma 17 and highlight all the keys of missionary work. There is a lot of good advice! Even to dump your girlfriend alma 17Ñ24'25. Also I would challenge you to read the talk The 4th missionary by Lawrence E Corbridge. ITS AMAZING!
I hope this helped any one who is preparing to leave on a mission! I know there are tons of you making the decision to go out and serve the lord! I'm so proud of my generation for all the work that is being done! The field truly is white and ready to harvest!
See you next summer!
This week I really focused on the role of the spirit. Galatas 5.22.23 is one of the best descriptions of the spirit. ¨But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against there is no law... If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the spirit.¨To have these feelings of peace we need to walk and live in the spirit. This week I really wanted to focus on how we can live in a home where we can feel this peace and tranquilidad.
When i first arrived in my new area my companion showed me all the people we were teaching from members, less actives, recent converts, and investigatores. It was amazing that with out her telling me, I could predict which houses were members and which were not! The spirit really does reside in holy places.
How can we fill our homes with the spirit?
When guesssing if we were in the house of a member or not there were always little clues. For example pictures of christ on the walls, peaceful music, but over all these houses had an indescribable feeling of peace and love. These homes had a strong spirit. By surrounding oursevles with uplifting pictures, music, etc we can make our homes a place where the spirit can reside. In John 14.27 it says "peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you NOT AS THE WORLD GIVETH...¨ The spirit will bring us joy that the world can't give us. We live in a time when there is a lot of technology, music, and distractions. We dont need to be completly shut out of all of these usefull tools, but we can use them to our advantage to help bring the spirit into homes. By suroudnding our selves with good music and pictures that remind of us the prophets and of the temple we invite the spirit in. Also the way we act towards one another either invites or discourages the spirit. Fighting drives away the spirit because the spirit cant reside in a place of contention.
We have been teaching an investigator, R for several weeks. She has 4 kids who are always fighting. When ever we go to her house things are crazy!!! Her kids argue and there is alot of contention. Its really hard to bring the spirit into our lessons. R is working the hardest she can to make her home a place where the spirit can reside. We gave her hymns to listen to, and we gave her pictures to hang up. When ever Hermana Pintado and I go over to her house we do EVERY thing possible to try to invite the spirit. Sometiems its really difficult and we need more than just pictures and music. D&C 42.14 really hit me this week, "And the Spirite shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith¨ Its through our actions. We need to have a home of prayer and of faith.
D&C 88 119 says "Organize yourselvesñ prepare every needful thingñ and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God."
I love this scripture because it uses action words. Organize, Prepare, Establish. We cant just expect the spirit to be with us. We need to be the ones to take action to bring the spirit in. We need to be the ones that invites the spirit.
I have found that bearing my testimony is one of the strongest ways to bring and fill a room with the spirit. I think that families need to focus more on sharing their testimonies with eachother. After doing family prayer and scripture, testify about what the scripture means to you, testify that you know the book of mormon and the doctrines in the book are true. Testimony is one of the strongest tools that we have and we can share.
I know that the spirit is a very important tool on a mission and in our homes. Hermana Pintado and I can feel a huge differece when we are teaching with the spirit and when we are not. The Holy Ghost has a still small voice. So we need to be taking all the steps we can to be able to pay attention and feel the blessings of having the spirit with us. As members of the church we are blessed with the constant companionship of the spirit. We should always be taking steps to invite this spirit into our homes. Its impossible to learn, teach, grow, recieve revelation with out the spirit. I know that God has given us this gift because he wants his children to feel his presence. It is through the spirit that we all know that God exsists. Becaue the spirit manifests these truths unto us. I know my heavenly father loves me.
See you next summer
Other things that are going on! We are splitting our area. The area that we are working in is HUGE! we have to take buses and moto taxis to get around our area and to all of our citas. So We are splitting the area and 2 more elders are coming into our ward. I'm excited for 2 more elders its always fun with 6 missionaries. I'm sad to be leaving our room because its big and beautiful but we are looking for another place to live hopefully we can find somewhere.