Monday, March 5, 2012

We only limit ourselves by our own Heart........week 84

Dear family,

Wow, what an amazing week of service in the Lord´s vineyard. The Lord told us what we needed to do and we did it. And as such, we achieved more this week than any other week in my mission. The lesson that we learned was simple. It is the principle of the flecks of gold that spoke Elder Ballard a few conferences ago. Often times we look for great and marvelous events that will make us to make a change. We look for the great blocks of gold in the river. However, as we do so, we forget that there are thousands of tiny flecks of gold amongst the rocks. As we patiently accumulate these flecks of gold, we begin to find that we have gathered a great wealth. What does this have to do with missionary work? Well, it comes down to three things in my mind: goals, planning, and discipline. We set goals as they demonstrate the desires of our hearts, we plan according to what is most important and what is relevant, and we discipline ourselves to complete every daily goal. It is truly simple. What are my goals? Which are most important and which are relevant? In all the ways that we have to plan in order to complete our goals, which ways are the most effective and which are relevant? And finally, when we have our goals and our plans, do we have the humility to ask God that He help us to make it all happen? We did it this week and we felt a great spirit of power and guidance as we embarked in the service of the Lord. Honestly, it became one of the greatest lessons of my mission as well as for life.

What do I want, what is the best way to do it, and do I really show that I want it? I felt a great peace in knowing what is really important as a missionary as well as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. We do not obtain something for nothing. We achieve what we have put our minds to do every single day of our lives. There are no unimportant days. And the Spirit has born testimony to me that we cannot organize nor prioritize all that we must do unless we have goals and plans. When the temptation comes to do something that does not benefit one or more of our daily goals, do we have the courage to say, ¨Thank you, but this will not help me to become the missionary, father, son, employee, etc. that I desire to be.¨ We realize what amazing power that there is in a daily goal. If there are no daily goals, then we cannot show our desire right now that we want to accomplish our goal. What was so impactful to me is that the only real difference between someone who achieves extraordinary things and someone who only gets the minimal done is the degree of our self discipline. We can put our goal, we can plan correctly, but what makes the difference is my agency today. The difference lies in focusing my efforts daily to complete my goals. Why are these goals so important? Because as I go through the day moment by moment, I am not able to think about all that I want to and be as a servant of Jesus Christ. However, I can have the faith that my goals will help bring me and those who I teach closer to the Savior. If I have such confidence that my goals will bring about my purpose and my desires, then it becomes easier to reject whatever influence which invites me to be lazy or not complete. Thus my days become very real and very important. Each day becomes the most important day of my life as it will reflect my desires towards God. I love how Paul explains it: ¨that we only limit ourselves by our own heart.¨ If we didn't have the discipline to achieve our goal, then humble yourself, get on your knees, repent, and get to work. In so doing, we receive the inner strength or discipline to do daily what is really important.

Well family, I warn you beforehand that setting goals, planning, and self-discipline have become forever printed in my soul. Forgive me if the subject becomes overdone :)

As I mentioned, I felt a tremendous peace this week as the Lord answered a question that I had had for a very long time. How could I become whom the Lord expects me to be and how could I properly prioritize my daily efforts in order to do so? The answer is goals, planning, and self discipline.

Family, I invite you to look at your goals. Which ones do you have? In what order are they? If something is out of place, put it into place. When you have your goals in the right order, plan what you will do everyday starting with the most important until you reach the last to reach your daily goal. When you have those goals for the following day, pray specifically to your Father in Heaven for the discipline to make it happen or to follow your plans. In doing so, you will see everyday as a blessing from our Father in Heaven. You will understand more clearly why we are here. You will love the Gospel with more devotion than ever. You will become who you and your Father in Heaven hopes of you. You will live the Gospel and will experiment immense joy. It is my pray that we may all do so. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Russell