Well this week was awesome! We had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) at the mission home and it was amazing. There's nothing like sitting at the feet of your mission president and feel the powerful spirit that he has. He spoke on many things but mostly on how we need to make sure we have the basic doctrines down and how we need to look, listen, and feel the spirit (he gave some scriptures describing those points but I don't have my notebook with me...We had a baptism on Saturday as well and it went great! Also we had a good Zone Training Meeting and Elder Tauteoli gave a farewell/last words of advice, talk to the Zone (he leaves at the end of this transfer) and he said to remember these three things always...
1) Don't push away the ones that love you most.
He then talked about the people of Ammon and how they had to bury their weapons and how we need to ask ourselves if we are still holding some weapons of war, whether it be disobedience, bad characteristics that halt our spiritual progress, etc.
2) Faith Precedes the Miracle
We've got to believe that we are the Lord's representatives because we are and that anything our President says is as if the Lord is speaking it.
And we do everything because of the Atonement ---> Matt. 26:36-39
3) We were meant to swim in "deep waters"
We were built for our challenges and struggles.
After hearing his final words it made me reflect on what I would share when I was near the end or what words of advice I would leave with future missionaries, members, etc.
1) I have learned a great lesson of what matters most in life, and that is the gospel and family. If we are constantly choosing the right and making the gospel the center of our lives we will never go astray and I wish in High School/College I would have spent more time with the family than worrying about trying to go at every spare moment and "hang-out". Although friends are fun and good memories are sometimes made...most of the time it is just a waste...spend time with the people you are sealed to for eternity! I think Heavenly Father cares more about the strength of our relationship and the time we spend with our parents and siblings than the strength of our relationship and time spent with our friends.
2) Do not take sacred things for granted. As soon as I entered the MTC and the gravity of going on a mission hit me I realized quickly that I had taken much---if not all---of what I had for granted, before my mission scriptures, church, temples, prophets, were all normal things to me and were part of everyday life <---they should never become "normal" or "usual" to us. We should revere and cherish the scriptures studying from them everyday! What strength and protection come from reading the words of the prophets! Church each Sunday is not to be instructed, to be entertained, etc. it is a time of worship where we go to partake of the sacrament and pay our devotions to the Most High. I look back and I often did not keep it holy...playing video games, watching tv, watching pg-13 movies, doing homework...I have much to make up for, for my lack of reverence. Temples are so sacred, so precious, I have been without one for 19 months and I yearn for the first chance to go to the Holy House of God...What power and blessings are given to us as we work for the salvation of others as well as for ourselves!
3) Small things have great impacts, often unseen. We might think that it is okay to watch a movie even though it "only has a few bad parts" or listen to profane music because it is considered "edited" or "clean" yet still gets the message of the song across, but those things and that type of thinking can lead us to forbidden paths and can be detrimental. Only view and listen to edfying things, if it is bad then turn it off! Music that is vulgar profane, or unedifying in anyway; Movies that are indecent, crude, innapropriate, etc....they just have no part in the gospel of Jesus Christ and they slow down our spiritual progression. Take a serious inventory of the Pg-13 movies you possess and ask yourself: if the Savior was here would he watch it with you? Does the movie leave you with greater faith? Should Pg-13 movies hold a part in the life of a Latter-Day Saint? Does this song invite the spirit? Does it run the spirit away? What am I thinking as I listen to this song? What does it make me want to do, serve or sin? <---all questions to be asked. I encourage you to do so. (video games included...)
4) The small and simple things of the gospel are the most important.
Daily Scripture Study
Daily Acts of Service
Daily Temple Worthiness
Going to Church
*if these things are done you will find strength, happiness, and more blessings than you have room for. Don't believe me? It's in the scriptures!
I have learned so many wonderful valuable lessons, and those are just a start to some of them. I have loved serving so much because my eyes have been opened and I now see. I am so thankful that I get 2 whole years of intense spiritual growth and service. It is shaping me and setting the foundation for the rest of my life!