Good morning everyone! I sincerely hope everyone is doing well and has had a good week. Mine has flown by in some ways, but when I think back to the beginning of last week, it feels like two weeks ago! It’s been interesting. We have had a lot of good moments though. Two of our friends are progressing so well and when we met with them this week, they had so many questions and it was so nice to know exactly how to teach to their needs. We are so proud of them and the progress they are making towards developing a close relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
We have some members who are also doing so amazing right now and it feels like everything has been moving forward. Our recent convert has been progressing so much and is learning a lot about the gospel and putting into action! I could not be happier for them!
But with so much success, there’s been a little hardship along with that. We have a couple friends and members that we were getting closer and closer to, but we’ve had some ghost us, others have stopped meeting with us, and it’s been difficult for those relationships to stop growing. Of course, we don’t want to push any of our friends to something they don’t want to do or aren’t ready for. We are here to invite, live, and serve, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult for friends to walk away.
We’ve had our difficult moments this week for sure, but it doesn’t make the hood moments any less important.
We had a mission fireside last night where we had an opportunity to hear from two of President and Sister Heap’s sons. They shared experiences they had on their missions, at college, and advice they had for missionaries after they have completed their missions (and to keep in mind for missionaries who are still pretty new to the field for when they get back).
One of them while answering some questions we missionaries had, told us about some of the hardest things he faced on his mission. He was talking about being diligent and putting forth effort in the work. He said it was easy to have a few good days where you are putting forth every effort you can and giving your all, but that if you weren’t giving that every day, and it was only for a few days, then it wouldn’t be a sacrifice. I’m sure I heard it somewhere other than my head, but I just immediately thought,
“If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.”
I feel like there are many times throughout my week when I forget why I’m really doing this. Who I’m doing it for. I’m not just chillin in Michigan to make friends. I’m fulfilling a calling. I’m putting in effort to invite others to Christ. It’s hard sometimes. Granted, I’ve found a lot of comfort and strength in shifting my focus recently (which I’ve talked about in previous posts), but I still need to work on building that closer relationship to Heavenly Father that my District Leader described to me last week. I feel like that was an inspired comment and finding balance between giving your all and forgetting yourself, and making sure you are taking care of your needs, is hard. But I want to strengthen my relationship with Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
One of the Heap’s sons gave a list from their mission president for staying close to Heavenly Father after your mission (and I’d like to say, just developing that relationship in general). There are 11 as follows:
- Pray always
- Read your scriptures daily
- Keep God’s commandments
- Attend the temple often
- Attend church
- Accept callings
- Seek wholesome media (article of faith #13)
- Enroll in Institute
- Read your patriarchal blessing for guidance
- Count your blessings
- ☆”Stick with it even when you come up short, and don’t get discouraged when you do.”
I especially love that last one, but all 11 of them are things we have been asked to do throughout our lives, so I trust that doing those things and seeking earnestly to develop that relationship with Heavenly Father and His Son, will bring me closer to the Spirit and the work that I have been called to do. That relationship will also help me to develop Christlike attributes that I desperately need in my life, especially now. This reminds me of another thing the Heap’s sons talked about.
Humility was a theme through the fireside (along with diligence and effort). And actually, humility and diligence were just themes of my entire week. Last Wednesday, Elder Zacher gave us an invitation to read about accountability and diligence in How Do I Use Time Wisely? in Preach My Gospel. It started me out on focusing on humility this week which I felt like I studied in all of my activities on Thursday and continued to see a theme of the rest of my week. Last night, the Heap’s sons brought it up again.
One of them said, there’s a difference between confidence and cockiness. Cockiness stems from pride, but confidence is rooted in something or someone. He continued to ask where the root of our confidence as missionaries needs to come from (as confidence plays an important role in the Lord’s work). He told us the root of our confidence shouldn’t come from our abilities and our strengths. He said our talents gifts and successes come from God, so we should put our trust in Him. The Heaps later asked us, “who are we building up?” Ourselves, or the Savior? They shared a quote from Elder Uchtdorf that is definitely going on my wall.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking less about yourself.
I need to work on having more humility. It’s something I’ve struggled with for years, and I want to be better. I want to get to a point where I don’t have to pause and think about putting others before myself, but just do it. I want to serve the people here that the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel in some form whether that’s hearing about it and deciding its not for them, whether it’s having a good experience now with the missionaries or a member and wanting nothing to do with the gospel until years from now, or someone who has already gone through that and has gone on a journey that has then searching for it. Whatever the case, I want to give my all for this work. I want it to be hard some days, because it hasn’t been and I know that’s because I haven’t been giving my all. I want to be a better tool in the Lord’s hand, as we all are in some shape or form.
In Sunday school this week, we talked about missionary work as it applies to everyone. We have the ability to share inspired messages in the click of a button to people across the world. God has given each of us talents, gifts, and strengths that we can use to further His work. To build each other up. To edify one another. Like in the parable of the talents, I want to take what talents I have been given and pay them forward, and use them for God’s purposes. I want to strive always to build others up and to give my all to the Lord’s work. I want to be closer to him than I have been. And when I make mistakes, the Savior will have his hand stretched out to me, as he is always reaching out to you.
Know you are loved and worth everything to Heavenly Father. What has He done for you this week? I can promise you that He has had His hand in your life this week. It’s just a matter of looking for it.
My email is getting REALLY long, so I’ll leave it here. I love you all and I hope you have a good day and a good week. God be with you till we meet again.
Sister (Katie) Malan