I learned a lot about leadership this week and about understanding the purposes behind why we do things and what the objective really is. It's been enlightening.
I had the opportunity to attend missionary leadership council (MLC) where President Mortensen taught us and we learned more of what we can do to help the mission. President Mortensen has an outstanding vision of where this mission can be and how to get us there. He sees our potential and is doing everything in his power to help us live up to our privileges.
We now have a mission statement for the Texas Houston Mission:
"Our discipleship is settled. We are faithfully prepared, exactly obedient, and lovingly bold. We will see miracles and accomplish our Missionary Purpose as we unite with the Lord in hastening His work. We are the Texas Houston Mission."
I love the principles in these few sentences.
"Our discipleship is settled." We know who we serve. That's not even a question. We are in the service of the Lord and by definition (Mosiah, Matt 25:40) we are in the service of others.
"Faithfully Prepared" This reflects our diligence in our studies, the effort we make to focus on the individuals we teach, and even the preparations we made before the mission.
"Exactly Obedient" Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles. There is power in obedience. God works according to our faith and one of the most significant ways we show our faith is through our obedience to His commandments. Slight tangent here, but it applies... Saturday my companion and I decided to focus our efforts on talking to as many people as we could. (the goal everyday is 25, and we haven't gotten close to that lately) So during our time Saturday we talked toeveryone (25+). It was empowering! We got better at talking to people throughout the day as well. That evening we went to a YSA activity/party and our efforts that day resulted in some of the miracles that evening. We met a lot of non-members who we had great conversations with and at one point my companion and I were sitting next to each other teaching 2 different people. Our efforts didn't just bring the miracles, but they also prepared us to use the opportunities well. I've heard that luck is when preparation meets opportunity--I feel that miracles often work in the same way. God is preparing us and helping us to become better and he will continue to bless us with as much as we can receive.
"Lovingly Bold" As President Monson says, "love is the very essence of the gospel" Love needs to be the driving motivation behind all we do. Charity, the pure love of Christ, is what opens hearts. Charity never fails. If those we speak with can feel our love then we can and should also be bold. As we endeavor to help others to "come unto Christ" we will be bold in the things we ask them to do because we know that our testimony is strengthened when we act, and that this life is about progression. We're not just trying to return home to God, but also to become like Him. We are thankful beyond measure that we are saved by Grace, but we also need to be changed by it. As we are lovingly bold we can help people come closer to Christ by making those changes in their life.
As we do all these things and focus on our missionary purpose of "Inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." then we will unite with the Lord because this is truly His work and there are miracles happening!!
Another principle that I finally understood this week is that the purpose behind everything we're asked to do is to help us and to help our those around us. The invitation to act and become better is an invitation of love. The purpose of inviting 25 people a day to learn is to further lose ourselves in the work of the Lord and to find those who are prepared. If those things aren't happening we need to re-evaluate why and how we're doing things.
Our investigators are amazing. I don't know how I am so blessed to be here right now, but I am surrounded by incredible people. I know this was a very missionary focused email, but I would invite you to think of how the different principles in it apply to your life and the things you are involved in. I love you all!! Thanks for all you do!