WOW SUCH A GOOD WEEK!!!
I am so obsessed with my new companion Sister Allison. We are already bonded and working together with such unity! It is such a blessing. She is a very strong missionary and natural leader. I love learning from her and I am begging to better understand how I can be myself in the work. We have a blast. Summer here in England seems to be over. We enjoyed it while it lasted (a week). The heavens are opened and they are POURING DOWN upon us. Literally. But I feel right at home :). This week has been one of great humility and new perspectives. I have been trying to focus myself entirely in doing what the Lord wants me to do and not what I want to do. As a missionary it is very easy to see your personal flaws, the Lord does not hesitate in bringing them to your attention so you can CHANGE. However it is very easy to get caught up focusing too much on ourselves, thinking I need to improve, I need to know more, I need to speak more simply, etc.. Something I am learning, as we reach outward and focus on lifting and developing others, THAT is when we learn and grow the most ourselves.
Belle Spafford General Relief Society President said:
The Lord's call "Follow Me" comes to us this day, as truly as it came to his early disciples...His work must go on. It's progress depends upon the strengths we lend it. Each of us is called to a particular work because of some strengths we posses. It is our responsibility to accept His calls, to grow in His service to such stature that our weakness and our limitations will not impede the progress of His work. We must not be so sensitive to our shortcoming that we fail to recognize and MAGNIFY our STRENGTHS. As we magnify our strengths our weaknesses will diminish.
As I have pondered the idea of magnifying our strengths to diminish our weaknesses I have refocused my study to the character of Christ, the ultimate example of strength in righteousness.
Elder Bednar said:
Character is revealed, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; in the ability to detect hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus, character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural and instinctive response is to be self-absorbed and turn inward.
Jesus Christ's character was/is the perfect example. The perfection of His character is what we are trying to become. Before my mission I thought of "Sister Lovell" as a character or role I was preparing for. I got a costume and lines to remember as if I would be "acting" as a representative of the Lord. But now I see so much clearer that as I not only learn about Christ but try to truly KNOW Him, only then can I become more Christ-like.
I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He is my brother, and suffered for me in a way that is incomprehensible. I desire now to know Him, his character, his motives. I desire to love people as He did, so unconditionally and selflessly. This transfer I am committing, with more resolve than ever before, to myself and to Him, to study, to pray, and to act as He would. Not only because I want to look like a missionary outwardly, but because my conduct, countenance and character should reflect my divine calling as a representative of Him. I share this commitment with you to increase my level of accountability. I know that as we show Heavenly Father our dedication in following through, only then can He assist us (we could all use more of that help).
I invite anyone reading this to join me this week in focusing your study on the Character of Christ, who He is, and what he has done for each of us.
As we study Jesus Christ more we can better know Him. I know that that this is His gospel and it is true. I know that it has been restored on earth today by Joseph Smith. I know that it is true because I see and feel His power everyday. Any doubt of truth I ever had is gone. It is not true simply because I want it to be or hope it is. I know it is true from the miracles I see everyday. From the clarity that the Holy Ghost brings to me when we align our lives and actions with God's will. I pray that all those who are doubting will just take the time today, right now, to read the Book of Mormon. Study it out in your mind and pray. Plead with the Lord for clarity, for discernment, acknowledge your mistakes, repent, plead for forgiveness, then let the love of the Lord heal you.
Spiritual knowledge is power. Focus on the things that matter, don't dwell on the details that are irrelevant to your salvation. When you have questions take them right to the source. When we are not praying we cannot receive answers to the questions that cause us to doubt.
I love this Gospel, I am honored to serve and represent our Lord and Savior.
I pray that all of you have a beautiful, spirit-filled day and truly ponder Jesus Christ's example.His purpose is to give us hope.
I love you family, I feel your prayers, they give me strength and comfort each day- keep smiling!