Things I Learned on My Mission

  • Jesus is sassy.
  • Inspiration from the Spirit is real – trust it will come and don’t over-think it.
  • Faith brings miracles.
  • Remember – people have their agency.
  • How to properly eat an apple.
  • No matter what you do as a missionary, even if it’s not your best, God uses every ounce of your effort for good. Continue reading
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Fired-Up

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Aragorn:  “The beacons. The beacons of Minas Tirith have been lit! Gondor calls for aid.”

Theoden: “And Rohan will answer!”

 

So, my mission president summoned all of the veteran missionary leaders to Lyon this week for a special Leadership Council. Every single missionary I go home with has been a Leader at some point in their mission, which doesn’t happen often, apparently. And all of us were gathered at this grand meeting for the sole purpose of figuring out what we could do to fire-up the missionaries.

Finding the Fire
Fire was a big part of the conference. There is a rising number of missionaries who have lost their spark and are struggling.  And with a large batch of new missionaries coming in, well, the president’s charge to us was to inspire others to rise up, and ignite the work again.  We all sat down in council and discussed it.

How do you inspire someone out of a slump?  What does it take to get someone from the doldrums on to high ground? From snuffed-out to burning bright? Continue reading

Forest Man

photo: Huffington Post

photo: Huffington Post

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“The purpose of life
is to contribute
in some way to
making things better.”
Robert F. Kennedy

“Are we being good ancestors?”
Jonas Salk

 

What would you do to save your home?

One man planted trees. His name is Jadav “Molai” Payeng, and his story is a remarkable one.

His home is in northeast India on Majuli Island. Though Majuli is the largest river island in the world, its position makes it vulnerable to flood waters that recede its shores every year. So vulnerable, in fact, that in the past 100 years, Majuli has lost 70% of its landmass, and at this rate, scientists predict that in the next couple of decades the island could completely disappear.

Rather than sit idly by, waiting for powerful river waters to wash his home away, Payeng planted trees. Continue reading

Holy Week

Garden Tomb by J. Kirk Richards

Garden Tomb  by J. Kirk Richards

Happy Easter week everyone!

Most of the Christian world refers to the week preceding Easter Sunday as Holy Week.  I concur.  Scan back through time 1983 years, and you will find Jesus in his final week upon this earth. It is a solemn time.  A holy time in which he is spending his last days teaching his disciples everything they must know to lead His church. Their task of spreading the gospel message to all the world is just beginning.  Christ’s earthly mission, however, is coming to an end.  Continue reading

Persevere

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Persevere:
Patient endurance of hardship:
Persisting in a state of enterprise in spite of difficulties and discouragement.

“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Hebrews 12:1

So a bunch of us missionaries were on our way to leadership training in Lyon (very cooly referred to as Jedi Council by my mission president) when I receive a phone call from my mission president.  We small-talk for a sec and then he asks me a question about a letter I shared with him a couple weeks back. It was a portion of my pep-talk letter to my brother, Connor, in which I shared my personal difficulties. Apparently he loved it and wanted me to read it at Jedi Council.

Even though I was slightly freaked out, I said yes cuz I didn’t want to decline and weird out his presentation. So I prayed about it that night and felt good, but that didn’t remove my nerves the next morning. This would open me up to huge vulnerability.

Yikes. Continue reading

Omit “Overwhelmed” from Your Vocabulary

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“I’ve got my country’s five hundredth anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped.”
Prince Humperdinck, The Princess Bride

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of Overwhelming obstacles.”
Christopher Reeve

Yeah, I know. ‘Tis the season…for BUSY. Am I right?  Your plate is full.  The lists, the planning, the work, the assignments.

Then…it gets fuller.

Expectations, duties, obligations, requirements, want-tos, have-tos. Then comes the proverbial curve-ball and things get officially wack-a-doodle. And you are tempted to say, because you have every right to, that you are honestly and truly “Overwhelmed.” But don’t. Continue reading

Giving Thanks

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“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
Maya Angelou

Ah, the season of Thanksgiving. Yes, I know it’s an American holiday, but the world could benefit from gathering and breaking bread and reminiscing on things for which they are most thankful. The great thing about gratitude is that you don’t need a feast to inspire you, just an open heart and observant eyes.

We touched on this subject in a lesson for one of our investigators here in France. The topic: Faith in God can shift our perspective to see struggles as actual blessings. Continue reading