Quick notes from the week include our investigators who passed their baptismal interviews and are set for this Friday as well as meetings with the President and a split with the Songino Elders that allowed me to see a couple of new members in that area. I met with Bayarbold and Erdenebat each of who are doing great. This weekend was quick with church, a family home evening, and a great ward mission meeting that we ran successfully for only the third or fourth time since I've been in the branch . . . score!
So as the time marches steadily forward towards the close of the transformative two years that is a mission, it has become increasingly important in some small degree to document and determine what these two years have taught and meant to me. To fail to do so would be, I suppose, to risk forgetting in the ensuing years the things that have become so fundamental in the life of a missionary constantly immersed in the work of the Savior. To acknowledge that there has been some change in these two years is relatively easy especially in the terms of the tangible: a new language coupled with experience in a foreign culture, an increased knowledge of the scriptures and a greater capacity to express the doctrines of the gospel, etc. But where it is less apparent, and the part I see most fitting to share with you as I close out this blog is that of the less measurable. That of fortified faith and purified purpose, of relationships with deity and fellowman. In short, the change made from a distracted, disoriented teenager, who found it difficult to fulfill home teaching assignments, inconvenient to wake up for church, and completed the bare minimum of church callings and christian covenants only by the persistant persuasion of loving leaders and patient parents and into a disciple of Christ filled more fully with charity and an increased interest in the service of others. Ready to stand with Paul to "give every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is in me."
My mission means everything to me!
There's really nothing that compares in any stage of life to that of serving a mission. To wake up every morning, put on the name tag and ask the Lord to place in that day's path those who need the light of the gospel. Being a missionary is filling each hour of each day with activities targeted at building the faith and testimonies of others and watching it build your own in equal portion. It's being absolutely exhausted when you stumble in the door at night, attempting to stay awake on buses and yet waking up each day at 6:30 ready to give it another go. It's learning to love every facet of the gospel and wanting everyone around you to love it just as much as you do. Being a missionary is loving those around you and finding ways to serve, lift, inspire and help people everyday. It's being devastated when people chose not to follow Christ and overjoyed when they do. It's building a relationship with God and recognizing that you need his help as much as possible. It's praying like you've never prayed before. Being a missionary is being obedient because you want to not because you have to. Making obedience a quest not a burden. It's learning to live with, learn from and love a companion who you may never have even tried to be friends with otherwise. As a missionary you are put in a seemingly impossible situation being called to preach the gospel to every nation tongue and people; people who in many situations are more educated or at least more experienced than yourself. In some situations you may find the people speak a language so foreign you wonder if you'll ever learn. But the Lord knows and directs and shapes each missionary for his own purpose. He understands what such a task may look like through our very limited mortal vision and He allows us to take it on; perhaps for the very reason that when we do call upon the powers of heaven and they distill upon us as the dews from heaven as the scriptures say they must. We will then know that it was only through His grace and His mercy and His love that such a task was accomplished We must then in such moments, recognize what the author of a family favorite once penned. "That feeling of a sudden burst of wanting to do some great thing. We feel a wonderful happiness and then it passes, because we have said, "No I cant do that. It's impossible." Whenever something in you says "Its impossible," take a careful look around and see if it isn't really God asking you to grow an inch or a foot or a mile that you may come to a fuller life and know that the only possible way lies right throught the middle of impossible.
A mission...our mission is about enduring to the end.
5 Greatest things I've learned from my mission
1.That God loves every one of his children and is in the details of our lives.
2.That this church and the doctrine adjoined to it are a catalyst for joy and peace and the source of all true happiness in my life.
3.Families determine the states of physical and spiritual well being for those apart of them. In that sense who I want to be as a brother and a son and a father and a husband.
4.The Glory of God is intelligence. And knowledge coupled with faith is a principle of power.
5.No matter where you find yourself in life or on the map, you can find some one in remarkably close proximity that you can lift, inspire, help and serve.
I love missionary work! and its' difficult to see my turn as a full time missionary coming to a close, but I'm grateful for everything that it was. I know that God lives and the Church as it was in the time of the Savior and is now in these latter days is the true and living church. I know we are led by prophets even in this dispensation and that their words can act as a light in a darkening world. Missionary work is the work of our loving Heavenly Father anxiously waiting for our arrival back in our heavenly home.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Have a great week,