hola hola hola todos!
Hermana Spackman and Hermana Clark are loving life here in Lynnwood and couldn't possibly be happier!! It's quite interesting serving Spanish-speaking in the United States because you don't just learn to speak and understand one type of Spanish, rather, a mix from every dialect out there! It's lots of fun! One of our current favorite things to do to be "latina" is drop the "s" on words (our Sinaloan investigators are teaching us!). Our favorite thing to say is the word "pues" (which is kind of a filler word...basically means like "wellllll"), but it sounds more like "pwehhhhhhhhhh" when you say it. All the latinos think it's a hoot when two little white american girls are trying to speak Spanish like natives...the mission is just too much fun!
On a more serious note, my gratitude has skyrocketed this week. The last few weeks of last transfer were slow and seemingly fruitless (it was a "dry-period" as we missionaries call it) and it dragged into the first few days of this transfer. But Hermana Spackman and I decided we needed to put a stop to it. We needed to find people to teach, but we needed to find those who were ready and willing. After much studying, we decided the way to show the Lord he could trust us with His children was to focus on developing Christ-like attributes. We decided to focus on obedience with exactitude and diligence. As we studied these attributes daily, personally and as a companionship, the Lord gave us revelation and insight as to how we needed to apply the principles we learned to effectively develop the attributes of exact obedience and diligence. I would like to share a few things that we learned about the Christlike attribute of diligencethat has blessed our area significantly and that we hope will be of help to all of you!
The Key to Success
On a Mission or Not
DEVELOP CHRISTLIKE ATTRIBUTES
(see Preach My Gospel Chapter 6)
Diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort, especially in doing the Lord's work. Our level of diligence is an expression of the love we have for the Lord.
With that in mind, we went to the scriptures to help us better understand the principle of diligence. In Mosiah 5: 15 we found: "...be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works." To be steadfast and immovable means to not be subject to change and to be loyally firm in our belief and determination. The phrase "always abounding in good works" signifies that at all times we will be plentifully supplied with good works. When a lesson falls through or when something doesn't go as planned-that doesn't mean it's break or lollygag time; it means it's time to get up and work twice as hard to use that time, the Lord's time, the way He wants it to be used. We need to have plans to continue doing good, even if our primary plan falls through.
The Savior further counsels us in Doctrine and Covenants 75:3 to, "...go forth and not tarry, neither be idle, but labor with your might." I like the word idle. Not because I want to be idle (although I'd be a huge hypocrite to say i never have been), but because it has taught be a great deal about what diligence is by teaching me what diligence in NOT.
The word "idle" when used as an adjective means:
- not occupied or employed
Yikes. If I'm not being a diligent missionary, I might as well call myself a groundless, worthless, useless, lazy servant of the Lord...however...I would rather NOT be that...simply this realization has given me a boost to strive to be more diligent and to live up to the title we hold as missionaries: representatives of Jesus Christ.
I also received a great insight from the the word "idle" when used as a verb: to run without being connected so that power is not used for useful work. This made me think. Sometimes we come home after a long day and pass out on the ground. Some days were productive and others not. If the end result (passing out exhausted on the floor as you stumble through the door at night) is the same either way, I would rather use my time during the day to work hard and be productive and diligent--especially so that I am not "running around without really being connected to by purpose as a missionary so that my energy and power is not used for useful work." That's wasting the Lord's time and that's not why I am here.
So what did we do to make sure that we weren't being "idle servants," but rather obedient, diligent servants of the Lord? We made the same covenant and promise with the Lord every morning that the Anti-Nephi Lehi's made with the Lord in Alma 24:18:
"...and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God... [that] rather than spend their days in idleness, they would labor abundantly."
And this is the same invitation that I extend to all of you this week: be diligent. Make this promise to the Lord each morning in your personal prayers. Maybe your purpose during the day isn't the same as mine--but you know what it is that the Lord needs you to do each day. Promise Him each day that you will do your best that you will not spend your day in idleness and that you will labor abundantly. As you do so, I promise that you will hit the pillow every night. tired and exhausted, but you will feel the love, satisfaction and appreciation that the Lord has for you as your do your best every day to be diligent.
We have seen so many blessings and miracles this week. We have been given the energy we need to make it through the days, we don't waste a minute, and we have found some very prepared children of God who are now receiving the blessings of learning about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that being diligent and obedient has made the difference this past week. Heavenly Father is mindful of us and our efforts and He will deliver as we do our part.
Being a missionary is the best:)
Have a great week!