1) If we want a stronger desire to teach and share the Gospel, we should learn and study more on the Atonement,
2) We are the instruments, not the Spirit, and
3) Commitments include: An invitation to act/change, a promise of blessings they will receive if they keep the commitment, a testimony of why the commitment is important, and a follow-up later on.
I really liked these points that we discussed during this Zone Conference because they answered questions I had and they humbled me. As I've mentioned before I don't like talking to people randomly on the street. I don't know why but it freaks me out and I hate doing it. I've been trying to get better at doing it but it's continued to be a large struggle for me.
1) If we want a stronger desire to teach and share the Gospel, we should learn and study more on the Atonement. This should have been more obvious to me in the past but I'm grateful it was mentioned in our training. It makes sense. If we want a greater desire to teach and share the Gospel with all those we come in contact with then we should study and learn about the Atonement. Why? Because if we have a greater understanding of what the Atonement really enables us to accomplish and become, we realize how imperative it is to share this knowledge with everyone. The ability to become clean from all sins, pains, afflictions. To start again and to progress. To be able to live with our Heavenly Father again. No one deserves to not have that knowledge and opportunity.
2) We are the instruments, not the Spirit. I don't know why this is a lesson I am constantly in need of being taught but hopefully one of these days I'll get it. For a lesson we prepare and go over what we are going to share, questions we want to ask, and the commitment we want to extend. One important thing to remember is that we as missionaries can only take the message to their hearts. It is the role of the Holy Ghost to take it into their hearts. For me it has been far too easy to think of the Holy Ghost as the cheat sheet or the backup. By this I mean that during a lesson if I would reach a point when I didn't know what to add or ask I would have a silent prayer in my heart asking to know what to say next. Instead I should always be asking and focusing on the Spirit as the lesson progresses to always be attentive to what He wants me to say next. He isn't there for us to use when we get stuck or lost, rather we are there to say the words He needs us to say so He can bear powerful testimony of their truthfulness. He is the writer and we are the scribes.
3) Commitments include: An invitation to act/change, a promise of blessings they will receive if they keep the commitment, a testimony of why the commitment is important, and a follow-up later on. I learned this for the first time in mission prep. before my mission from Jacob Ferrell shortly after he returned from his mission and since then I have managed to forget repeatedly to extend commitments in this manner. Extending commitments is good but without the promise of blessings and testimony there is less power and importance that comes with the invitation and without the follow-up there's almost no point in asking them to do something in the first place. When we invite someone to act we are helping them repent, or change their lives to be in accordance with the Lord's teachings. Too many times I have invited someone to read a specific chapter or chapters in the Book of Mormon without the blessings and testimony. To them it must seem like I'm giving them meaningless homework and without the motivation of getting a grade they may forget about it the minute we leave their homes. If we promise blessings however and testify it tells them the why. Why it's important to read or to keep the specific commandment. How I know this will bless them based on experiences from my life, and the Holy Ghost can bear a strong testimony that what we are asking them to do will bless them and it is what Heavenly Father wants us to do. 3 simple lessons that I continue to relearn over and over but someday I'll get them down.
One more thing I'd like to share from this week was a discussion we had with Michael (the member we have phone lessons with 3 times a week) from 1 Nephi 1. This chapter I've probably read more times than any other chapter in the Book of Mormon and it amazes me how what we talked about with Michael never came to my mind. Lehi is the prophet and he is praying for the people of Jerusalem when he is taken away in a vision where he is shown incredible things and is told to warn Jerusalem of destruction that will come unless they repent. Lehi then went and preached to the people to repent so as to be kept from destruction. The people reject him and seek to end his life but as the chapters go on the Lord warns him and his family to leave to the desert. What we discussed with Michael was the immediate obedience. He believed what he was shown. He could've passed it off as a weird dream but rather he accepted what he was shown and acted on it with obedience and faith. He was then rejected. He could've then dismissed what he saw in the vision because what he was instructed to do didn't seem to make any difference and that he was foolish for following that prompting but rather he continued to be faithful. He knew that the Lord's plan was greater than his own and he submitted to what the Lord instructed him to do. 1 Nephi "...But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." I know that was true in Lehi's time and I know it is true today.
The Lord's tender mercies are all around us because of our faith. He will deliver us as we strive to do what He asks of us. He may not deliver us in the way that we think He will, but He will deliver us.
Transfer calls are ! It's crazy how quickly transfers are going by. It's even crazier to me that I'm almost finished with my 7th month in Rimouski. Time flies!
I love you all and hope you all have incredible weeks! Stay safe! Stay faithful! I promise you that the Lord's blessings will be poured out upon you as you do what is right. I have seen it in my own life and I know it can be in yours too. God is no respecter of persons so if He is blessing me then each and everyone of you is able to be blessed. I love you guys!