This week was fantastic. We finally got LDSSA up and running on the North Harris Lonestar campus which means we got to be out there and invite people to come and attend! I love being on campus talking to people, it's invigorating and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I got to do it again for a couple days last week. It's the best. It doesn't quite beat A&M for the sheer number of people to talk to and the variety of ways to contact and just how big the campus is, but it's still great and I'm loving it! It's weird to think that over half of my mission has been working with the young adults and on college campuses, kinda unique. Besides just being on campus we also had our first LDSSA meeting, which is basically an institute class. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and had 3 members and 4 non-members there most of whom seemed pretty interested. Our Mission President is teaching the class this Wed and it should be awesome!
We also had one of the best missionary meetings I've ever been to this week. The missionary gurus from the head of the missionary department in Salt Lake came and talked to us and taught us a few things that I wish I had been implementing more throughout my entire mission. You live and learn, right? They talked a lot about planning (which I have definitely gained a testimony of) and how we begin teaching, but they put it in such a way that it made so much sense and I felt some urgency about it. I can't communicate everything in an email, but some highlights are: in order to find (D&C 35:12), teach (Matt,23), and work with members (D&C 88:81 change warn to warm) we need to plan effectively. If we're having trouble in any of these areas it's probably because we're not "studying it out" enough in our planning. Planning is a lot like a pilot taking off. You might know what you're doing and might have done this many times, but you still run through the whole checklist to make sure everything works the way it's supposed to. Also, as we teach we need to establish the right expectations with people. They need to know we're representatives of Jesus Christ and they need to feel it. They need to know it's important for us to meet with them frequently... I'm not doing this justice, but I learned a lot. Also, if the missionary lessons were to be described in one word (or two) each, it'd be Restoration=Revelation, Plan of Salvation=Atonement, and Gospel of Jesus Christ=The Way. It was a interesting way to look at the lessons we teach and where the focus is. The Restoration really is all about revelation. God speaks to man. He speaks to Prophets and He'll speak to you. The PoS is all about Christ's Atonement. Without it nothing else would be possible, and His sacrifice is truly infinite and affects all parts of the Plan. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is The Way. It is how we come to Christ it is the method by which we apply the Atonement, it is the process of becoming perfected.
One more thought. In the women's broadcast on Saturday the analogy was given of an empty can and a full can. Pressure is applied to both and the empty can is crushed while the full can withstands the pressure. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be filled. I found a wonderful scripture talking about us being "vessels" 2 Tim 2:19-21 "...be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." We can be filled with honor, grace, power, light, truth, knowledge, glory, charity, love, joy, peace, the Spirit... but we have to seek it. 2 Nephitalks about the Holy Messiah, "full of grace and truth" John 2 gives the miracle of water-wine. They had to fill the waterpots first. What do the waterpots symbolize? I'd love to hear your thoughts! What does being filled (with any of the afore mentioned good things) lead us to do? How are we filled?
Love you lots! This is my last full mission week, see y'all soon!!