Last Sunday our Stake President spoke to our ward. I didn't include it in my email home last week, but I thought I'd bring it up this week. He spoke on short, powerful statements that are found in the scriptures that can become a motto when applied to our lives. He brought up Joshua saying "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" and Nephi saying "I will go and do". He said that his families motto was "We do hard things".
This week, many of my experiences come from a few simple powerful statements that have popped up in my life.
1. "Do simple things with great love"
On a mission I have become a journal lover -my current journal has the words "Do simple things with great love" printed on the front. At the end of each day I have to make sure that all my events are accounted for. At the end of every entry I include three things, how I saw the Lord's hand in my life, why it was the best day on my mission, and what I am grateful for that day. As I read back through my journal I've realized that this quote sums up my mission experience thus far... my days are full of simple things and that I have loved (almost) every minute! Sure, the big miracles are great, but the simple gifts from our Heavenly Father are just as awesome! This week one of the smallest and simplest things made my entire week! One of our investigators prayed for the first time out loud in front of her family. In Alma chapter 37:7 it says "And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation on many souls." I know that when we do simple things, or look for simple things with all the love we have, it brings something bigger than we can imagine!
2. "For real this time"
This was written on the board by our District Leader at the end of one of the best district meetings I've ever had... We had set some goals and made some plans to better our area, better our companionships, and better ourselves as missionaries! The words "For real this time" hit me and the rest of us, we need to apply these things because this time is so short and goes by so quickly; if we aren't doing all that we can to accomplish the Lords work we are going to be disappointed in ourselves. Another missionary said "We have 18 months or two years out here and the rest of our lives to reflect on our efforts" - Each of us can start now to be better and to work a little harder!
3. "Bloom where you are planted"
We had interviews with President Wolfert on Wednesday, last Monday I wrote him to let him know that I can never leave Hickory Flat, just like I could never leave Johns Creek. He told me that said a lot more about me than it did about the areas (SO not true.. I've just been blessed to serve in two of the best areas EVER.) Sometimes I feel far away from home here in Georgia and miss Utah and other times I can't picture leaving this place, ever! This week I talked to a guy and he said "Of all places you could go in the world you picked Georgia?" we explanied that we don't get to pick where we serve, or where we "are planted". I know I am here for many reasons and that every new day out here shows me another reason why the Lord needed me to serve in Georgia. Yesterday we had the opportunity to go on a tour of one of our sweet investigators gardens and it seemed to just fit right along with the words President had said a few days before.... Wherever you are, doing whatever you are doing, make the very most out of it!
4. "More purity give me, More strength to o'ercome, More freedom from earth-stains, More longing for home. More fit for the kingdom, More used would I be, More blessed and holy-- More, Savior, like thee."
Ok, so this ones not exactly short, but its powerful! It was so awesome to be able to listen to the Relief Society Broadcast and I was so grateful they closed with this hymn, which happens to be in my top five. I thought it was a perfect way to end a meeting focused on Covenants. I am so grateful for the covenants I have made... and I am so grateful to be out here helping the people of Georgia to make their first covenant! What a blessing it is to know that Heavenly Father loves us each so much that he has allowed us a way to bind ourselves to Him, and His son, Jesus Christ? I know that as we strive every single day to live up to the things promises we have made we become more and more ready to go back to their presense because we become more and more like them.
5. "Be Prepared"
So... this next weekend is like Christmas for missionaries! General Confrence! BE EXCITED!! For the past few weeks Sister Kelly & I have been preparing the Hickory Flat Ward and our investigators by using different passages in the scriptures to teach them about how we need to be prepared for general conference. We have encouraged each of them to make a list of questions they have and look for the answers in the words that will be spoken. I encourage each of you to be more prepared than you have been in the past by coming with questions!
I love you all.
Godspeed and Godbless.