Tag Archive for: feelings

New Arrivals

Last Friday, we welcomed 10 new missionaries to the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
Being with them was a real joy! 😍
Picture for a moment that you put your heart out in front of you, so that you can take a long look and carefully consider what is inside.
That is what each these young people will do for the next 18 or 24 months, exploring and sharing the feelings of their hearts.
They’ll consider…
– their hopes
– their dreams
– their feelings
– their faith
– their fears
– their desires
– their attitudes
– their opportunities
– their purpose in life
– their futures.
Along the way they will speak with thousands of people and help each of them to come to know Jesus Christ, better than they know Him now.
Look out for each one of them and ask them why they came to Belgium and the Netherlands – they’d love to speak with you!

At the Front Door

10 seconds into your car journey, you get that sneaky feeling…
You recognise the whispering thought, before it was too late!
Did I forget anything?
Did I remember to close the windows at home?
Did I turn the lights off?
Is the door locked?
Is my passport in my bag?
Do I have my house key?
You turn around just to make sure, only to discover that you have everything after all!
Relief, happiness and joy fill your heart having endured a few challenges and moments of doubt.
It wasn’t too late, to make sure and be certain.
Fast forward, to that event, that all of us will face one day.

At Death’s Door

Many years into life’s journey, you get that sneaky feeling…
You recognise the whispering thought, before it was too late!
Did I forget anything?
Did I remember to open the windows of heaven?
Did I turn those spiritual lights on?
Have I unlocked my heart to the enticings of the holy ghost?
Sacred covenants – did I make, keep and honour them?
Is my temple recommend current?
You reflect back just to make sure, only to discover that keeping covenants means you have everything after all.
Relief, happiness and joy fill your heart, having endured many challenges, by staying firmly on the covenant path.
It wasn’t too late, to make sure and be certain.
Our covenants with God did not start here and will not finish here – they are eternal in nature.
Making and keeping covenants are the key to eternal life, just ask a missionary – they can help.

Handwritten

“Thank you” I said.
I was moved by another handwritten note.
It contained a thoughtful message of love, gratitude, and appreciation.
What is it about receiving a handwritten note?
There is something so special and powerful about it.
It is a labour of love.
Knowing that someone has sat down, taken time, crafted some words, written by their own hand, and then either posted it or given it to you.
Seeing actual words, penned in their own writing, somehow conveys feelings in a much more powerful, intimate, and personal way.
It indicates a deeper investment of time, in you.
The words used, can speak volumes to your heart, conveying deep meaning.
Such as, “I can’t even express…” or “You won’t even know…”
It is something unique.

I care

It also says something about you, that you care enough to make a genuinely personal gesture.
Recently, I have counselled with a few missionaries about taking time to craft a handwritten letter to a family member or friend.
In our digital world that feels increasingly disconnected, and impersonal, a handwritten note, really can make all the difference.
In fact, these notes grow rarer, day by day.
Each handwritten note, says “𝓘 𝓬𝓪𝓻𝓮.”
A handwritten note may seem like a small gesture, but I know it can have a huge impact on both the sender and the receiver.

They’re all about love

They are special messages for you and me.
I’ve kept all of the ones I’ve received in the mission field.
When I’ve felt a little low, I’ve reread many.
They act as a powerful reminder that others love and care.
All I have to do is open them and start reading.
In a similar manner, the scriptures are like special handwritten, crafted messages from our Heavenly Father for you and me.
All we have to do is open them and start reading.
In the Book of Mormon, we read in Nephi 4:15 “I write the things of my soul…”
Consider your feelings…
Craft a handwritten note, by sharing some things from your soul.

Notetaking

It is an interesting little four-letter word “note.”
There are all kinds of notes, including bank notes, musical notes, people of note, promissory notes to pay a debt, or a brief record/memorandum used to assist our memories.
In my lifetime, I have sat through all kinds of meetings, thousands of them.
Note taking has frequently been part of my routine.
I know that by listening to and then summarising what you hear can help you understand and remember the information later.
I have probably filled up 100’s if not 1000’s of notebooks too.
Some of which I treasure to this day.
I’ve gathered action points and insights galore.
Taking notes can help you to concentrate and listen more effectively.
In fact, notetaking can also help keep you awake at times and even forces you to pay attention!

Paying attention

Growing older however, I’ve recognised that the most thoughts, impressions and feelings come gently, very softly even.
Last week whilst in a zoom call with Elder David Bednar, with other European mission leaders, he encouraged us to do something different.
Previously, sat in these kinds of meetings my experience is that there is an in initial rush to capture what an Apostle is saying, and like many others I found myself trying to keep up.
This time however, he invited us not to take dictation style notes, but rather to record personal impressions, as President Russell M. Nelson has challenged, so that “I know for myself”.

Knowing

I started to look for and listen for those customised messages, specially crafted so that I could “know for myself” what I needed to learn in that very moment.
As I listened to learn, my note taking changed from words he stated, to personal meaningful impressions that came.
I recognised that there is a space between the words that someone uses to the feelings of the spirit that can stir our souls into action.
Still, small, whisperings of the spirit came.
Why not consider your note taking in your next meeting, seminar or class, consider not recording the words said, but rather the feelings or impressions that come.
Listen to learn and learn to listen.

The Enos Challenge

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲?
“Studying – the act of texting, eating and watching Netflix with an open textbook nearby” – that’s one definition at least!
Growing older, I’ve discovered that I love to study, i.e., “devoting time and attention to gain knowledge” – perhaps that is a more traditional definition!
In Doctrine & Covenants 88:118, the Lords describes how to learn the gospel “…yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
Reading and studying are both part of the learning process.
So – is there a difference between the two?
Another definition I found suggests that – Studying means to concentrate and devote time in completing or researching any task; while reading means to understand and grasp the meaning of any content without devoting much time to it.
In simple terms, “you’re only going to get out of this what you put into it.” – Boyd K. Packer.
Whilst listening to a podcast in our pre-mission training, we were encouraged to take the Enos challenge.
The invitation was to study the one chapter of Enos in the Book of Mormon for 30 days.
My immediate thought was “How can I study Enos for 30 days, there are only 27 verses!”
However, I accepted the challenge and learned many wonderful lessons, as I slowed down and studied those verses, one by one.
The book of Enos is like a pure journal entry and is a very personal chapter of scripture.
There was indeed much to learn.

The Process of Studying…

The process of studying the scriptures has three important parts:
1 – Understanding the background and setting of the scriptures.
2 – Identifying the principles and doctrines being taught.
3 – Applying those truths to our own lives.
I learned that studying is better when you take your time, by looking out for key words, you’ll discover that truths about Jesus Christ are everywhere.
Recently I invited all of the missionaries to complete the Enos challenge.
I love this piece of street art graffiti in Friesland.
It was a timely serendipitous find by Tess Flake upon her completion of the challenge!
Have you ever taken time to study the scriptures?
Enos may be a good place to start!

Do, Feel, Learn….

I have listened to hundreds, if not thousands of workshops, talks and conferences throughout my life.

At the end, frequently I’ll ask myself the following….

  1. What did I feel as a result of this experience?
  2. What am I going to do as a result of this lesson?
  3. What did I learn as a result of this teaching?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Through inspired teaching, feelings motivate us into action.