Tag Archive for: Joy

New Arrivals

Last Friday, we welcomed 10 new missionaries to the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
Being with them was a real joy! ๐Ÿ˜
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!

Joyfully United Together

On Saturday, I travelled to Vienna in Austria, with my fellow church leaders from Belgium and the Netherlands.
Starting very early, and finishing extremely late, made for one very long day!
Why go all that way for a few hours, I hear you say?
Well, we were able to meet with Elder D. Todd Christofferson, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in an Area Leadership Meeting along with other General Authorities of the church.
We gathered with other country church leaders from throughout Europe.
One word was prevalent throughout the sessions โ€“ ๐‰๐Ž๐˜!
How do you find joy today?
The answer was clear and simple.
Begin with your focus on Jesus Christ.
Connect to Him.
Connect to Him through the ordinances of His Gospel.
Connect to Him through the community of Saints.
Being together was not only a spiritual feast, but it was also a joy to associate with so many great friends from throughout Europe.
I especially loved meeting up with my dear friends Signe and Mike, who Iโ€™d last seen 5 years ago in Vienna, whilst we worked together in our respective Public Affairs and Communication roles.
A day never to be forgotten for sure.
I was grateful the next day, Sunday, our Sabbath day, its also well known by an alternative name โ€“ a day of rest!
I was in need of a bit of that ๐Ÿ˜Š
If you are looking for more joy in your life, then speak with the missionaries โ€“ they will help!

The Multiplier Effect

I offered a 1 Euro coin to the missionaries on Friday.
โ€œHow much is that worthโ€ I asked?
โ€œ1 Euroโ€ came the reply.
I inquired further, โ€œAre you sure?โ€
โ€œYesโ€ he said.
I responded, โ€œItโ€™s actually worth a lot more than that, let me show you how.”
I purchased a random item from the first missionary with the 1 Euro coin.
Then he purchased an item from the second missionary in line with the same 1 Euro coin.
The second bought something from the third, and the third bought something from the fourth, with the same 1 Euro coin.
As if by magic, the 1 Euro coin had now become worth 4 Euroโ€™s.
Repeating the process, 1 Euro can become worth thousands of Euro’s.

The Multiplier

In economics itโ€™s called the ๐’Ž๐’–๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’“ ๐’†๐’‡๐’‡๐’†๐’„๐’•.
Multiplying means to increase or cause to increase greatly in number or quantity.
Iโ€™ve learned that there are, earthly economic principles and divine eternal principles of multiplying โ€“ it depends on who is doing the work.

Scripturally

For instance, the scriptures are filled with stories of multiplying.
In each of the Gospels, we read about the ๐‘ฎ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’• ๐‘ด๐’–๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’“, our Saviour Jesus Christ, feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes.
We understand that after the breaking, came the giving.
In Mark 6:42-43 we read โ€œAnd they did all eat and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.โ€
The multiplication was a result of His work, not our work.
To meet a great need, He always starts with what we have.
I know that Jesus Christ is an expert at multiplication.
Time and time again, our Saviour takes something small, ordinary, seemingly irrelevant, and multiplies it into something amazing, remarkable and of eternal significance.

Starting Small

I find it interesting that He always starts small.
The loaves and fishes were broken by His hands.
Sometimes we are broken too, before we see the blessings of the Great multiplier.
Tenderly, He will multiply your faith, your hope, your love, your joy and your worth.
He can supply all that you need, in abundance.
Let Him be your ๐‘ฎ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’• ๐‘ด๐’–๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’“.
Ask the missionaries โ€“ theyโ€™ll help you understand.

Christmas Eve

It was noisy.
Then it changed.
Missionaries arrived.
Our focus changed.
Beautiful melodic music filled the air.
Cellos.
Piano.
Singing.
Joy. Love. Peace.
Together.
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour is born
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Angelic. Glorious. Inspiring.
Thank you, dear missionaries.

Back 2 Basics

Yesterday in our mission leadership council, we met together with one simple message, it was time to get “๐๐š๐œ๐ค ๐Ÿ ๐๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐œ๐ฌ”.
Sometimes it can appear to be a little overwhelming to serve as a missionary, especially as we look all at once, of all that is expected of us to do.
Perhaps it is the same in life for you too?
Is it time to give your attention to the simplest and most important matters, that you may well have ignored for a while?
As we counselled together yesterday, when we get back to the basics, we discovered within ourselves an enhanced capacity to cope with our busy, complex world.
And what are those basics?
Well, they are all found in Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon.
Why not speak with one of our missionaries today, they’ll be more than happy to share some of the basic principles that will bring you real joy in your life.

His hand to the Plough

Around 1 year ago, whilst preparing for Zone Conferences, an image came to mind that Iโ€™d seen many years ago.
My good friends Gary & Jo Griffiths had used it when they presided over the Scotland Ireland Mission.
I scoured the internet to try and find a copy of the image and reached out to Gary too. But alas, I was unsuccessful.
A few days later, one of our missionaries Atticus Snow, mentioned to me about a blank canvas he had, and asked if he could paint anything for me. A serendipitous moment, if ever there was one.
I then shared with him the image I had in mind.
Time passed by
And for a while I forgot about the image and the painting.
More time passed.
Earlier this year, I asked if heโ€™d made any progress with his โ€œdrawingโ€. Heโ€™d been busy and had only made a little bit of progress.
Even more time passed and the time for him to return home was approaching.
Again, I asked about his โ€œdrawingโ€.
He told me progress was being made.
A few days ago, I asked โ€œDid you finish the horses?โ€
He replied, โ€œNo itโ€™s not finished.โ€
I was a little disappointed.
Returning home after a busy morning on Thursday, Monic said that there was something in the office for me.

Surprise

And there it was. Heโ€™d surprise me!
The most exquisite painting of the image I had described 12 months previously.
I must admit that I shed a tear or two.
Later that day, at our departures meeting we asked everyone gathered to share their own impressions of the painting, and what it meant to them in regard to missionary work.
Many poignant thoughts were shared, things of our souls, touching all of our hearts.
Consider, Luke 9:62.
Atticus told us about the research he did for the painting and a few finer particulars.
If you look closely, those details will emerge.
It is a labour of love.
One meaning, I see symbolically, is two strong missionaries, straining to fulfil their purpose, as the Lord directs them in their work, guiding the blade true and straight, with His eyes future focussed, fixed upon the furrow to be cut.
Let you heart ponder for a while.
What do you see?

An example of the Believers…

There is never a typical week in missionary work.
And there is also never a dull moment as they Preach the Gospel.
This week was busy, very busy, as more people than ever responded to their message of hope.
From singing in choirs, playing violins, serving cookies, street contacting, knocking doors, reaching out on social media, serving in the community, teaching Dutch or English classes, biking everywhere and occasionally a flying kick, missionaries serve and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ through their actions and service.
They are called to represent Jesus Christ.
Day in, day out, missionaries work tirelessly in their efforts to โ€œInvite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.โ€
The message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses individuals and families.
Their message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that all individuals are part of Godโ€™s family and that families can be united now and in eternity.
We believe that โ€œHappiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.โ€ โ€“ The Family A Proclamation to the World.

Joy in Action

Missionaries are to go โ€œin the power of the ordination wherewith [they have] been ordained, proclaiming glad tidings of great joy, even the everlasting gospelโ€ (Doctrine & Covenants 79:1)
And as the Lordโ€™s representatives, they are to be โ€œan example of the believersโ€ (1 Timothy 4:12).
They honour Christโ€™s name by their actions.
During His mortal ministry, the Saviour โ€œtook upon him the form of a servantโ€ (Philippians 2:7). He went about โ€œdoing goodโ€ (Acts 10:38) and โ€œpreaching the gospelโ€ (Matthew 4:23).
Through their service, they fulfil the two great commandments of loving God and their neighbour (see Matthew 22:36โ€“40).
โ€œTrue Christianity is love in action. There is no better way to manifest love for God than to show an unselfish love for your fellow men. This is the spirit of missionary workโ€ (Gospel Ideals p129).
If youโ€™d like to know more about why they are so happy, I suggest you stop and speak with one of them today.

4 Ingredients for Success

As a child, I enjoyed baking scones, cakes and biscuits under the watchful eye of my mother.
It was fun, and a great way to spend Saturday afternoons together.
Licking the wooden spoon at the end of the baking was always the best part!
As I grew older, I recognised that in order to bake a delicious banana loaf, the best way to ensure great results was to follow a good recipe with exactness.
Over many years, my banana loaf has now become somewhat of a Daryl Watson classic in our family!
The result, a happy family, especially my wife, with her gluten free version – (that is a fine art in itself!)
Following a simple recipe, oftentimes leads to great success.
And so, it is in our home, family and business life.
For me, there are 4 simple ingredients to ensure happiness throughout our journey in life.
1. Do something you love – Just like baking banana loaf, I love coaching!
2. Find your purpose – Why are you here? Determine that & follow it!
3. Serve Others – That will help you find joy in your journey.
4. Act – Do not be acted upon – take ownership of your own journey.
Mix them all together and the result will be scrumptious.
Enjoy!
What is included in your simple recipe for success?

A treasured delicacy

A new fresh nut stall has appeared outside our local supermarket.
For the last few weeks, after finishing the shopping, I visit the stall.
Iโ€™ve discovered my current favourite, the tropical mix.
Yesterday, knowing that I had a meeting to attend in Zwolle, I bought extra to take with me, so that others could enjoy my newfound discovery and admittedly, I could eat a few more too!
Prior to the start of the meeting, the nuts were dished up and placed on each of the tables.
The meeting went well, it was insightful, and we made some positive progress together.
However, over the passage of time, it was fascinating to watch how the bowls of nuts gravitated to certain individuals!
In addition, it was clear that there was one particular favourite for everyone โ€“ dried bananas!
Simply stated, the tropical mix didnโ€™t contain enough.
Soon, the dried bananas were all gone.

Treasured Delicacy

For centuries dried fruit has been a treasured delicacy.
During His earthly ministry, the Saviour compared good fruit to things of eternal worth.
We read in Matthew 7:16, โ€œYe shall know them by their fruits.โ€ And in verse 17, โ€œEvery good tree bringeth forth good fruit.โ€ Then in John 4:36, He encouraged us to gather โ€œfruit unto life eternal.โ€
In my lifetime, Iโ€™ve discovered that the fruits of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are real, for many they are a treasured delicacy.
I know when people live the gospel, no matter their age, they always enjoy the fruits.
In John 5:15 Jesus said, โ€œHe that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.โ€
Unlike yesterday when we ran out of dried bananas, the fruit of the gospel is readily available, abundant and there is an endless supply.
The fruits of the gospel are what we become.
May I invite you today to examine the fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ, there are a divers range of tasty discoveries to be made and countless waiting for you to enjoy.

Glorious!

๏ผง๏ฝŒ๏ฝ๏ฝ’๏ฝ‰๏ฝ๏ฝ•๏ฝ“๏ผ
Friday was a long day of missionary interviews in Rotterdam.
Arriving back at the house late afternoon, the mission home was filled with missionaries busy transforming the living room into a film studio for a Christmas video.
Observing from a distance, my first tuneful thought was, โ€œItโ€™s beginning to look a lot like Christmasโ€ฆโ€
It wasnโ€™t long before a beautiful Christmas Carol was sounding melodically through the mission home, filling it with love, peace and joy.
โ€œ๐‘ฏ๐’‚๐’“๐’Œ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘จ๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’๐’” ๐‘บ๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ, Glory to the new-born Kingโ€ฆโ€ they sang.
Many beautiful truths and countless Christmas traditions are even more powerful because they have been set to music.
We sing songs of praise, worship, and gladness as we recount the events of the glorious birth of Baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

Remember these inspiring Christmas carolsโ€ฆ

โ€œ๐‘ฑ๐’๐’š ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐‘พ๐’๐’“๐’๐’…, the Lord will come, and earth receive her King!โ€
โ€œ๐‘ถ ๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’•๐’•๐’๐’† ๐’•๐’๐’˜๐’ ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ฉ๐’†๐’•๐’‰๐’๐’†๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž, How still we see thee lieโ€
โ€œ๐‘ถ๐’‰ ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’ ๐’š๐’† ๐’‡๐’‚๐’Š๐’•๐’‰๐’‡๐’–๐’, Joyful and triumphant!โ€
โ€œ๐‘จ๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’๐’” ๐’˜๐’† ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’… ๐’๐’ ๐’‰๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰, sweetly singing oโ€™er the plainsโ€
โ€œ๐‘บ๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’๐’• ๐‘ต๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’•! ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’๐’š ๐‘ต๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’•! All is calm, all is brightโ€
โ€œ๐‘จ๐’˜๐’‚๐’š ๐’Š๐’ ๐’‚ ๐‘ด๐’‚๐’๐’ˆ๐’†๐’“, no crib for his bedโ€
โ€œ๐‘ญ๐’‚๐’“, ๐‘ญ๐’‚๐’“ ๐‘จ๐’˜๐’‚๐’š ๐’๐’ ๐‘ฑ๐’–๐’…๐’†๐’‚โ€™๐’” ๐‘ท๐’๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’”, Shepherds of old heard the joyous strainsโ€
The Lord has said that the songs of the righteous are prayers unto Him and they should be answered with blessings upon the heads of those who sing them. (D&C 25:12)
The missionaries singing, brought greater peace and harmony into our home.
There was even more…
As their sweet voices, elegant music and sacred words passed through our ears, they penetrated deeply into our hearts, drawing each of us closer to God.
It was beautiful.
What is it that brings such love and joy into our lives?
It is the Spirit of Christmas.
Drop the last syllable and that becomes the Spirit of Christ.
His spirit had just entered our hearts once more.
One of the greatest glories of Christmas is the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came to earth to help us get His glory into our lives.
Enjoy singing many carols this Christmas Season โ€“ they are truly ๐ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ!
What is your favourite Christmas Carol?