Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What have I learned over the past year?........week 53

My wonderful family,

Well, I am going to dedicate this email to answer those questions that you gave me. The reason that I didn't write beforehand is because we had Counsel for the Zone Leaders and we were in Cuernavaca yesterday. I am going to do my best to answer your questions and I pray that I can do so in appropriately.

What have I learned so far... that it is an excellent question. I am come to understand in a very powerful way that was and still am nothing. I am come to realize how the Lord knows exactly who I am and gives me companions, investigators, members, leaders, and a President who teach me. I have learned and realized all of the defects that I have. Something that may seem very small becomes huge when we serve as missionaries. We are with people all day long. We are with a companion all of the time. I am learning more and more to invite others to come unto Christ more boldly and receive correction more humbly.

How has my perspective changed? Everything about my perspective has changed. I believe that I can explain all of this very simply with the word consecration. God gives us power and we become like Him when we are fully dedicated to bring about His work: which is the salvation of souls. It is a very simple concept yet it moves me deeply. God gives us families so that we can return to live with Him again. He invites them to live the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ which is an invitation to become consecrated in His work. God knows of our problems. We all have them. To change them, we become consecrated through the Gospel of Jesus Christ by helping others do the same. Or in other words, we invite others to be baptized. I don't know a whole lot however I know the source of my eternal happiness and how I am going to achieve it. As my family invites others to be baptized, we will obtain such joy that we will not be able to explain. My perspective has changed as I know exactly who I am, where I am going and how I am going to do it. I was not born in this time, within a family of the Church to waste my time worrying about money and the problems of every day. I was born in this time to learn the Gospel from choice parents of God, to receive the Priesthood, and within my calling and authority, invite everyone to come unto Christ through baptism. The Lord prepares His children to change a young man like me so that his worries of grades and future can be changed to inviting all to come unto Jesus Christ. It consists of the tutelage of the Lord and the decision of the student. The Lord will never leave us without His tutelage but I have already made my decision and there is no going back. There are two roads, one less taken. I have taken it and it has made all of the difference.

If I could change anything in the past year, I would want to focus more in my calling and my responsibility than try to change everyone else. I love this principle. I have learned that the most important thing that I can do to have a successful mission, career, and family is do with all of my heart what relates to me. For example, if I find that there are problems in a ward, although I may be teaching in the primary, I am going to teach in the primary with everything I have. If I want to help a brother, son, wife, father, mother, friend, etc to be better, I must focus myself in my own responsibilities. By so doing, I will help them to realize their own potential. I find that it really can be defined like this. Instead of criticizing someone, I am going to inspire them. The latter shows a personal responsibility and a deeper faith. If I want to have an excellent family, ward, work group, etc, I am going to inspire them. Simple, but only the Lord knows why I took so long to learn it :)

This is all that I have time to answer right now but I hope that you can feel what the mission has meant for me so far. I was rather emotional when I realized that it was already half over. I love you family, but I don't want to go home. I will return but I promise you that I am never coming back (to who I was before). God lives. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know it. Share it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Russell