We had a General Authority in the mission this last week. Elder Foster. He was awesome that was one of the most powerful meetings I've ever been in! Let me tell you what I've learned from it, and then show as to why we keep the commandments. From that meeting I realized that I know what our Bishop's goal is, but not his vision. We scheduled a time to sit down and talk with him and get his vision. He told us he wants everyone moving toward the temple ordinances of exaltation. Then we got to council as a district about how missionary work will help them get there. We realized that what missionary work does is it makes the gospel mean more for us, and we develop a greater love for God. So what missionary work will do for that vision is it will create more converted disciples of Christ. By the members doing missionary work they will become what bishop's vision is for them.
We had dinner with a member of the stake presidency's wife last night. It was my turn to share the spiritual thought so I asked her what her vision was for her spiritually. She's a regular temple attending person, she does her visiting teaching, she's a great member. She said she would love to be a better wife and mother, and just a better person overall. I read D&C 31:5 with her and it says "Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live." Sheaves could mean baptism, but I think the sheaves are a personal testimony of the gospel. As we continually thrust in our sickle, our testimony will continue to grow whether or not there's a baptism. I've been working hard on my mission and I wouldn't say that I've had a ton of sheaves, but my testimony has become stronger. As our testimony grows, we will naturally want to be better, we will naturally change and be more like Christ, because we'll want to. That's why we are commanded to do missionary work, because let's face it the Lord does all the work in conversion anyways. Nothing I said has ever converted anyone, it's always the Spirit. He has us do it so that we become like him, and change. It's a beautiful thing isn't it?
As far as the work went, we're blessed! Things were slow, but things are picking up again. I've realized that working for the members and helping them out is the only way to do missionary work. If we just do our own thing and invite the members to help us we'll continue to see no results. So I'm excited to see how the ward grows from this!
I wish I could really put into words exactly how much this gospel means to me. I've tried but I just can't say it adequately. I know its not the black name tag that's changed me. It's been sharing the gospel. I've been rejected a ton out here, and I know it's not about others' agency. It's about what sharing the gospel can bring into my life that I'm excited about. It just has to constantly be a part of us or else it just will never work. It really has been such a joyful experience. I just feel so blessed and to sing the song of redeeming love. I love it!