I have really enjoyed the Christmas Holidays! As a missionary I feel it has been an exceptionally blessed time for me as everything has seemed so much more simplified. I have not had to worry about getting gifts or decorations or any of the usual things which come with the season. But I feel it has been a very blessed time for all of us here to experience a little more what the real meaning of the Christmas Season is. It has led me to ponder a little more about the future, it seems this Christmas season I have gotten a lot of warnings about preparing for the future, and establishing a sure foundation on Jesus Christ as the scriptures teach us. Even the board game my parents got for us to play here seems to teach this principle.
The game is called “Feast and Famine.” It is basically playing out part of the story from Joseph and the Old Testament. The first part of the game players are trying to collect pieces and tokens during a time of plenty to prepare for the impending famine. The next half, players try and use the preparation they have done to save the house of Israel. As is logical, the person who has acquired the most in the first round is able to be most successful in the second round, it is about preparing and planning ahead. While the game is quick and fun, it has led me to think about how we can establish a sure foundation for the hard times in our lives.
The sure foundation we need in our lives is on Jesus Christ. Recently, with the cancer treatments I have gone through, I feel I was in a time of famine or testing. The foundation I had was tested, I feel blessed because of it, and I feel it helped me to see the foundation I had at that time. As it is not something which bothers me now I feel I am in more of a time of plenty, and the Lord is warning me to prepare for trials ahead. Or rather, He is telling me to build my foundation! In a recent conference talk, “The Transforming Power of Faith and Character,” Elder Scott talked about how trials affect our Character. One thing I found interesting was that he talked how it is the trials which reveal our character, but not shape it. Our character is built on a daily basis. He says “we become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” As I talked earlier, our faith grows on a daily basis, through making little efforts. We all need to take time for daily prayer and scripture study, going to church and taking the sacrament, taking time to serve others. But more than that, we know God does not command us in every good thing we need to do, but we need to do many things of our own free will.
As a mission, we have set a goal to reach a certain number of baptisms within six months. However, in setting goals, I have also found it very important that we set little goals to help us reach the large goals. I am so grateful for the inspired District Leaders we have, and how they have helped us to reach to set these goals and make plans to reach them. As we have the goal of baptisms in six months, we also have goals for how many investigators we want in a week, how many potential people. More than that, we know we need to be more focused and work harder. We have set a goal to have a break every day at dinner and come together as a mission for a prayer—to renew our focus and spirit with those we work with. We have talked about making sure we take time to take time everyday to recharge and switch our focuses, so we can work hard on everything we do. We have the district leaders who we can account to every night on how diligent we have been. And we even have a motivational scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 103: 36.
While I doubt many other readers of this blog are setting goals for people they want to bring into the church, I feel the principles we have found are things which can be applied into all of our lives. In a recent letter from my Dad, he reminded me of how we don’t need to know everything at once, but we learn a little at a time, line upon line, and precept upon precept. Goals are things we can do to help us learn and come closer to Christ. Some things I have found helpful with setting goals is making sure they are;
- Help us stretch and grow
- Something we are committed to
- We have a plan to reach the goal
- We notify others of our goals
With it being the New Years, we all have time to set some goals. As none of us here are perfect, we all have something we should be working on. The best goals are those we set with God’s help. Each of us can take some time to pray, and search and see what God wants us to do to improve and focus our lives. I feel God is directing me to solidify the foundation I have on Christ. I know our District Leaders were inspired to help us set a goal and a plan for the baptisms. I know God loves all of us, and I know God has something He wants to help each of us with, and I know as we take the time to ask Him, He will be there to guide and help us in everything we do.