Thursday, November 13, 2014
AMMON: A MIGHTY MISSIONARY
Another week!!! It was transfers last week, but luckily nobody got transferred so I'll be finishing my training here with Elder W!!! This is awesome news! We reflected a lot on our past six weeks, and we've revised a lot of goals so that this transfer can be even better. It's amazing how quickly time passes, and it's amazing how much we can learn from our mistakes. I'm focusing a lot right now on trying to rely on the Atonement and the Holy Ghost so that when I do make mistakes, I can turn them into learning experiences instead of getting down on myself.
This week I decided to really focus on why Ammon was so successful as a missionary, because I want to improve a lot from last transfer and continue growing closer to the Lord. I studied mostly in Alma 17-20 and 26, and I'd invite all of you to do the same! The attributes that make him a good missionary can help us all be better, more Christlike people. There were a couple things that really stuck out to me that made Ammon so effective. He was constantly looking to serve others, and he never put his own personal desires before anything else. He denied the offer of a kingdom, he was King Lamoni's most obedient, hard working servant, and he never compared himself to others. He relied on the Holy Ghost and the Lord to receive instruction and inspiration, rather than turning inward and giving into the natural man desires inside of him. I know that Ammon was completely converted to the gospel and Christ. As a result, he was able to truly love others-he was willing to live among the Lamanites for the rest of his life!!
His love for the people led to his desire to serve them and teach them according to their needs. I know that as we become more converted, we will love others more, and we will find a desire to serve them. As we serve them, they'll love us, and become converted to the gospel. It's an amazing cycle that will work!!! I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the simple truths we can learn that will completely change our lives.
This week we were able to meet with a few people, but I want to share one lesson that really stuck out. An investigator that we have is someone who was taught by missionaries several years ago. They have been reading the Book of Mormon for the past few years, they have a greater knowledge of the Bible than just about anybody, and knows everything we've taught them. They'll even finish sentences for us! They know all about the gospel, but they still doesn't know that it's true. We've been trying to share with them how the Holy Ghost answers our prayers, and how sometimes we must take a step in faith. I was able to share my testimony, and I know that the Spirit was testifying that what we were sharing was true, but even after all that, they are still so unsure. I know that Heavenly Father loves each one of us and wants us to come back to Him, but sometimes we need to take the first step of faith.
One of the hardest parts of the mission is realizing that you can't do things for other people when it comes to making decisions. I can't force anybody to do something, and sometimes it's frustrating -- I can only imagine what Heavenly Father and Christ feel when I make stupid choices. I'm grateful to feel the Holy Ghost's presence, and I'd invite you all to write down an experience that you've felt the Holy Ghost so that you can remember what those promptings feel like to you. Do all that you can to keep the Holy Ghost with you!!
Another cool experience this week was going on a hike with an investigator on P-Day. He's normally a really shy man, but while we were hiking he completely opened up to us. He talked about his family and his work. It was awesome! I know that as we find out more about what people like, we will become better teachers and be able to help know how to apply certain gospel principles in our contacting. It’s another life lesson – get to really know and care about people and relationships naturally develop.
Lastly, while teaching a few people in our branch this week, I realized how bad I am at teaching sometimes. As missionaries, we try and extend commitments at every contact, invite people to read the scriptures, come to church, and many other things in order to come closer to the Lord. Unfortunately, sometimes I forget to explain WHY. If we can explain why each principle of the gospel is important to ourselves, we will be able to better help others come unto Christ. I want to really focus on gaining a testimony about every specific piece of the gospel so that I can know how to apply each part to investigators according to their needs. I'd invite you all to do the same! Focus on details if you want to truly understand the big picture! If sports taught me anything, it's that there are so many intricate little things that make up something bigger and seemingly simple. Becoming converted to Christ and this gospel is a lifelong process with constant refinings and necessary adjustments. Be patient with yourself and others you are trying to share the gospel with.
Zai jian from Tawau!
Love, Elder Lloyd