odd experience, we were going to email at 1, but the second I touched the computer, the power went out, I guess I just static shocked the entire city's power grid? maybe, Father wanted a delay til 2 for some reason :D
I am forwarding my Grandma's talk, because with my one year mark coming up next month, it is a great summary of my mission thus far! enjoy!
I am excited to be a missionary grandma. We have three grandchildren out at the moment. We were privileged to have Andrew live with us for a few months before he left; so he actually is serving from this ward. I chose to give this talk by using excerpts from his letters. He left the middle of January and has been serving for about 11 months.
The MTC is about the hardest thing I have ever done. I think about having six weeks to learn Tagalog and start crying. But then I look back at the last four days and how much I have learned and realize: I learned more in four days than in my years of French study at school. The gift of tongues is real.
I am so proud to be an Elder in a district of all Elders. Only two people get called Elder – general authorities and missionaries, and as Elder Bednar says, “Apostles with a big A and apostles with a little a.”
Every time the class has a question, the teacher says, “Pick a chapter, first thing that comes to mind.” Without fail the chapter is always exactly what we need to hear. I have begun memorizing scriptures in Tagalog. Three in three days. It’s actually easier than memorizing in English, and I know what I’m memorizing now. It’s amazing to me that I can have conversations with native Tagalog speakers after only four weeks. It’s a beautiful language.
I am extending the invitation to you to real Page 121 of Preach My Gospel. It is a quote from President Ezra Taft Benson, and I have a testimony of how true it is. “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people, and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work – there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.” I am not homesick because of that quote. It is amazing to see how quickly the Spirit can change the lives of families, and when they are truly converted, it is beautiful to see their countenance.
I seriously enjoy Elder Bednar. In conference he is a caged tiger, but in the MTC talks he is let loose. It is worth looking up The Character of Christ and any other MTC talk you can get your hands on.
I have read Jacob through Mosiah this week, some of my favorite verses. The feeling I get when I read makes all of life worth it. Even if I can’t feel this way 24/7, it is beautiful for that one hour of personal study every day!
I have learned some really great things in PMG. First, "People won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care." Advice from Elder Holland. We applied this to our less active family, AND IT WORKED!
And the next thing I learned. A man went fishing. He left atand returned at . He caught one fish.
Another man went fishing atand returned at , but he caught 12 fish!
What's the difference here? The first fisherman left on time, but spent many hours traveling. He stopped for breakfast and stopped for lunch, snack and dinner. Altogether, he spent 2 hours with his hook in the water. The second fisherman packed a lunch the night before, woke up early for breakfast, and ate after he came home. With traveling he spent 12 HOURS with his hook in the water.
I have really seen the juxtaposition of a very successful transfer and a very minimally successful transfer. I will hold on to this lesson!
Moronihas answered a question of mine. HOW do we follow God’s commandments, when we have so many bad influences? This scripture was given me by the Bishop’s niece who is preparing to serve a mission. It is a perfect scripture to bring back advice given me … before leaving, quoting President Uchtdorf. “JUST STOP”. Any time you have temptation, just deny it. It’s easier than you think.
The number one problem in the Philippines (as far as the church is concerned) is not following through with commitments. They don't understand how important it is to actually keep the commandments, not just say they have faith and that is enough. So we stress how faith is a foundation, but not the building. Faith is the first principal, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but then we have repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, which may just be the most important.
I’ll start with transfers. I went with Elder Christensen, the one from Bountiful. After spending the whole day with him, I still don’t know anything about him. This is a fantastic thing, though! We didn’t have time to talk between appointments. We were running to the next one! We got five lessons in three hours, which is better than my average for a whole day! … This is what I always imagined missionary work would be like. Rushing from appointment to appointment, saying hello to absolutely everyone along the way, all the children love you, and most important, teaching with power, and feeling something beautiful in the lessons.
“Why are many called, but few are chosen?” We were discussing the Baptismal Covenant in Church, when Elder Masame of Australia told us a stranger on a bus asked him this question. The simplest explanation is that often the Lord would have gathered Israel as a hen gathereth her chicks. This is the calling. The choosing part is the answer. The Elect are those who keep commitments and covenants.
Good and evil are so obvious here. As President Holland said, “A mission is the most real your life will EVER get.”
I wanted to share a portion of my letter to my mission president, President Balledos. “I have learned a lot about humility and leadership this past week. What I learned I was lacking was love. Sometime along my mission, I realized that I stopped loving other missionaries who were disobedient. I am no better than them though, and I want to recognize not only what good they DO accomplish, but also the divine potential they have to do even more good, even if they are not fulfilling that potential yet. Compliments do what criticizing cannot, and this is encourage progression. When you chastise, it must only be when moved upon by the Spirit, and you must show an increase of LOVE.
I don’t know why I stopped loving people, but I have made a commitment to increase in Christ-like love.
[Then I added my own comments that our children have served missions, Dave and I have served a mission, and we have grandchildren that served missions. All of us have been blessed by serving those missions. And our families have been blessed by missionary service as well. I then concluded with your testimony writtenwhile you were in the MTC.]
I know that God loves me and called me on a mission. I know that my family and friends will be blessed through my service in ways we can’t anticipate. I know that I was called by God through a living prophet, and that he called us one by one just as the Lord touched the stones for Jared. I know that the atonement is real, and all you have to do is accept it and repent, and all your sorrows will be eased. Although the people rejected the prophets in ancient times, and our Father took his authority back to preserve it, I know that the gospel has been restored through a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and has ALL the answers to ANY question. … sa pangilan ni Jesucristo, Amen.