This was an incredible week! I won't go over everything that happened because I wish to try and verbalize some of my thoughts about a mission, but here are some highlights:
1. S's children moved in. We taught them and the F family the Restoration and it went super well. They all accepted everything and S really wants this for her kids. She seems to be doing really well. We stopped by later in the week and they had all read the first three chapters of the Book of Mormon. I cannot even describe how incredible it felt to teach a huge family of six like that who are so receptive. They weren't able to make it to church however, but it is a matter of time.
4. Luckily not many people in the ward know I'm leaving, but the ones that do are freaking out and trying to make us come over, but tonight is the last night so there's no way I'm losing proselyting time.
It was an incredible last week. I have felt the Lord's approval and I could never have imagined having such a life-changing experience.
I want to briefly go through President Slaughter's seven hopes and expectations for us, because I think he encompassed just about everything I have learned, although as President says, "fallen language cannot properly describe a Heavenly experience."
1. Know who you are and act accordingly
2. Discern the Spirit and submit to its promptings
I have learned that we must "walk in the light" (1 Jn 1:7) and that God has given us the power to choose for ourselves and we can do much good of our own free-will (D&C 58:26-28). He allows to do all things "according to judgment and the direction of the Spirit" (D&C 62:8). Powerful promptings are more rare, and commonly they come as simple thoughts or feelings. We must act on the promptings we receive because "unto him that receiveth I will give more" (2 Ne 28:30).
3. Unksaken and unwavering testimony of the restoration
I have no doubts that this is the true church. Joseph Smith was called by Christ to restore His church. We have the authority to act in His name. The Book of Mormon is the most powerful tool in conversion. I have often wondered how much stronger the church would be if every member simply read from its pages every day. Jesus Christ is our Savior and He lives today. I have experienced too much to go back on it all now.
4. Has a sound understanding and teaches with power and authority
I have paid the price to learn of Christ's doctrine and it fills me with joy to know the power of His gospel. I have "searched the scriptures diligently" to "know the word of God" and have given myself to "much prayer and fasting" (Alma 17:2-3) to teach with power and authority
5. Understands the doctrine of gathering and the principles of effective finding
6. Learn and apply the principles of leadership
I have learned to observe my leaders and the "unwritten order of things." I have learned that the Lord qualifies those he chooses. I've learned the best leaders "teach by example" (MH p 64) and there most important influence "comes through ministering to others in harmony with the Savior's example and teaching" (MH p 57). And "a leader helps other most when they feel the leader's love" (MH p 60).
7. Unending desire to improve
I have learned that the gospel is all about progression. It's about becoming something more. Probably the biggest thing that has changed about me is that I no longer will settle for being average. I want to build the kingdom at all times. I will always seek improvement.
I am so grateful for the blessings I have seen of serving a mission. Not only have I learned things intellectually, but I have felt it all in my heart. I love the Lord and I love this gospel. It is the way to salvation. It has changed me and those around me forever. May we all continue this great work!
Elder Pew will be speaking in church August 16th at 1 PM. You are welcome to join us after for visiting and some "grub".