Tag Archive for: missionary

Relentless

Its been a great week in the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
On Monday we held our last Mission Leadership Council (MLC) at the Mission Home in Leidschendam. There was lots of counselling together and discussions on our plans for our final full transfer, including setting some stretching goals for the mission!
On Wednesday we held our last Orientation meeting with our new arrivals in Gouda, followed by a Temple trip in Zoetermeer.
Then, on Thursday and Friday we were in Apeldoorn to complete our final coaching interviews with all of the missionaries in the Apeldoorn Zone. For some of our missionaries it was not only their first, but also (sadly) last interview with us, as we prepare for our own departure in a few weeks time.
Life as mission leaders may be unceasingly intense, but it is also a real joy and delight to work with some of the most incredible young people on planet earth! ๐Ÿ˜

Set Apart

In our recent missionary zone conferences in Antwerp and Utrecht, there were many wonderful sessions of training and instruction given.
In one of my own, I focussed on the term “๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ ๐š๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ” and I asked the question….
“What happens when you are set apart as a missionary?”
In my pre-mission life as a coach and facilitator one of my favourite coaching practices was to consider how far people can go in their own thinking, before they need my thinking…!
What followed was a lively exercise of very insightful thinking!
Having missionaries together in zone conferences are some of my most favourite moments of mission life.
So what does it mean to be set apart?

Heaven’s View

They came.
One by one.
Hesitating for a moment.
Apprehensive.
Nervous.
Suddenly, it was time.
The departing interview.
How could it be?
Instantly, in the blink of an eye, 18/24 months had passed by.
Genially, I invite them into the office, โ€œcome into my den of tears!โ€
A prayer is offered.
We reflect upon times past.
We talk about the present moment.
And we consider the future.
From our first to final interviews โ€“ everyone changes.
Theyโ€™d submitted and given their โ€œheart and soulโ€ to the Lord.
Theyโ€™d grown wiser and matured.
Sometimes, I shared a scripture.
โ€œTreasure these things up in your hearts and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your mindsโ€ (D&C 43:34).
Implying that we forgo having other things โ€œrest upon our mindsโ€ by putting the things of God at the forefront of what we think about, as theyโ€™d been doing daily.
Life looks much different from the ๐’—๐’Š๐’†๐’˜๐’‘๐’๐’Š๐’๐’• ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’—๐’†๐’ and eternity.
Each realise that they cannot handle life without help, particularly ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ฏ๐ž๐ง’๐ฌ ๐ก๐ž๐ฅ๐ฉ.
We ponder about the eternities.
Treasuring up those eternal truths in our hearts.
Our understanding of our position as children of God changes everything!
Consider the Apostle Paul, in Colossians 3.
โ€œWhen you make choices, I invite you to take the long viewโ€”an eternal view. Put Jesus Christ first because your eternal life is dependent upon your faith in Him and in His Atonement.โ€ โ€“ President Russell M. Nelson.
A Priesthood blessing is given.
Words are spoken, insights are given, feelings are touched, and tears of joy are often shed.
A loving embrace brings our time to a close.
Closing one chapter, a new adventure is set to begin.
With a new perspective they move forward taking ๐‡๐ž๐š๐ฏ๐ž๐ง’๐ฌ ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ.
How can taking ๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’‚๐’—๐’†๐’’๐’” ๐’—๐’Š๐’†๐’˜ change your perspective?

Fires and Flames of Faith

A few days ago, 12 new missionaries arrived at Schiphol Airport.

Their flame of faith aglow, spiritually they were on fire!

Each of them with a burning desire to share their knowledge, eager to communicate gospel truths by talking to everyone.

Years of preparation and several weeks in the Missionary Training Centre (MTC) fanned their flame of faith.

โ€˜Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,โ€™ (Mark 16:15) โ€˜for ye shall โ€ฆ [witness of] me โ€ฆ unto the uttermost part of the earth,โ€™ (Acts 1:8).โ€

Fire

โ€œFor a piece of wood to catch fire, it must first be heated to a temperature at which it ignites, then burns by itself. The initial heating requires energy from outside. When it is ignited, it becomes self-sustaining and gives beneficial light and heat.โ€ โ€“ Richard G. Scott

Having been around the new missionaries for a few days this week, their flame has certainly been ignited.ย  Just like their other missionary colleagues, they’re now providing โ€œbeneficial light and heatโ€ to many people throughout Belgium and the Netherlands.

Your own fire of faith may be small, but I know that making principled choices, brings greater confidence in God, and then your faith will grow.

Flames of Faith

Never let your fire of faith be quenched.

How we choose to live our lives, can either increase or diminish our faith.

If its diminishing, donโ€™t despair.

A flame of faith can grow from a tiny spark.

Missionaries come to ignite the flame of faith in some and rekindle the flickering flame of faith in others.

โ€œFirst and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.โ€โ€”Jeffrey R. Holland

Missionaries can help you fan the flame of your flickering faith, and catch fire, even if you feel lonely, like an isolated ember.

My experience is that embers burn much brighter and glow stronger when they are closer together.

Come and join us.

Keep your spiritual flame burning brightly.

Why not reach out to one of our new missionaries today and let them rekindle your flame of faith and ignite your fire.

Valiant Hearts

I am grateful for the rhythm of my heart.
It beats about 65 times per minute and has done so, constantly, day after day, for over half a century.
Whether Iโ€™m sitting, walking, running, or sleeping, it adjusts itself to the right speed for every situation.
As far as I know, my heart has never missed a beat.
Itโ€™s never been cleaned, repaired, or even adjusted.
Its steady, regular, and true.
Day or night, without sleep, without rest, it pumps blood and controls the temperature of my body.
I donโ€™t know exactly when it started to work, how it really works, or even how it continues to keep going, but I am so grateful for the wonder and steadiness of my heart.
On Friday in Antwerp, Monic and I finished our 100+ missionary interviews for this transfer.

Hymn

Meeting them one by one, I recalled the words from Hymn #256 โ€œAs Zions Youth in Latter Daysโ€.
The first verse reads:
โ€œAs Zionโ€™s youth in latter days,
We stand with ๐’—๐’‚๐’๐’Š๐’‚๐’๐’• ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’•,
With promise shining in our eyes,
Resolved to do our part.
Upon a noble past we build;
The future fills our view.
We face the challenge of our day
And pledge we will be true.โ€

Valiant

๐•๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐š๐ง๐ญ: possessing or showing courage or determination.
I am a witness that every missionary, who serves so willingly has a valiant heart, filled with great courage and determination.
Just as I am uncertain how my heart keeps going, regularly beating day in day out, I look on in wonder at the pulse of their big hearts and work rate of each incredible missionary.
I am grateful for their valiant hearts.
They fill me with wonder.
Whether they are sitting, walking, running, or sleeping, their heart rates adjust to meet every situation and they never miss a beat.
With promise shining in their eyes, each one of them are steady, measured, and true to their purpose to invite others to come unto Christ.
I hope and pray that the message of truth they share from their hearts, will touch your own.

Priesthood Keys

Yesterday, I travelled to Frankfurt in Germany, to meet with Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along with Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy and our own Area Presidency.
Priesthood Leaders from all-over Europe gathered together for instruction and an opportunity to counsel with one another.
The meeting lasted for 4 hours.
There were no prepared talks.
It was a simple gathering.
The counsel, discussion and instruction flowed by the power of the holy ghost.
A few key themes emerged.
One of which was ๐๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ ๐Š๐ž๐ฒ๐ฌ.

Priesthood Keys

Elder Bednar taught some important principles.
Take a look at the picture above at the “House of the Lord” in Friedrichsdorf. Youโ€™ll recognise a few familiar faces.
How many people in the picture below hold priesthood keys?

Who holds keys?

Priesthood keys are held by Temple presidents, mission presidents, stake presidents, district presidents, bishops, branch presidents, and quorum presidents hold priesthood keys of presidency.
Our Area Seventy Elder Joep Boom does not hold priesthood keys. He acts by โ€œdelegated authority.โ€
Just as a counsellor can act by the authority of the keys of the Stake President, so a Seventy can act by the Authority of the keys of the Apostles when they are sent under their direction.
The temple president does not hold the keys for temple work. He holds the keys for the work in the temple. The stake president holds the keys for temple work in his stake.

Missionary Work

Elder Bednar taught there is a difference between the keys for missionary work and keys for the work of missionaries.
The stake president has the keys to direct missionary work in his stake. The primary work of members in missionary work as directed by the keys of the Stake President is to find and prepare people to be taught by the missionaries.
The mission president has the keys for the work of the missionaries in teaching and preparing investigators to be baptized.
As Mission President, my key question to ward and stake leaders has always been, โ€œwhat can we as missionaries do to help you fulfil your missionary responsibilities?โ€
I learned that when priesthood keys are aligned properly, when members and full-time missionaries work together in unity and harmony, then the work is blessed by heaven in a powerful way.
Daily, it is my experience as Mission President, that priesthood keys allow you to think, to see, to say and to feel things that you just normally would not think, see, say or feel. And yes, it is a sacred honour every day, to serve.
In what ways are you blessed by priesthood keys?

Information leads to Inspiration

โ€œ๐†๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.โ€โ€“ Russell M. Nelson
Serving as mission leaders, our time is planned around a โ€œtransfer cycleโ€ of 6 weeks or 42 days to be precise.
This last transfer cycle has been unquestionably the most active of our mission thus far.
With mission conferences, meetings, travel, tours and sadly a period of sickness this transfer, time was always, extremely precious.
During the transfer, every missionary has a 1-1 interview.
Each interview provides us with good information.
In preparation for the next transfer cycle, Iโ€™d normally sit down about 10 days in advance to pause, reflect and study things out in my mind, all of the necessary moves required to accommodate the arrival of new incoming missionaries.
This transfer was different.
New arriving missionaries werenโ€™t confirmed until very late in the process, plus with only 5 days left in the transfer cycle, we were still completing the last of our interviews.
Subsequently, the information gathering process was hampered.
This last week, we met together to review the transfer moves and did our best to complete the exercise of new assignments and moves.
Admittedly, we felt a little discomfort, that stretched our spiritual capabilities.
Life has taught me that you cannot force or compel spiritual things, you just have to let things develop, nurture them, and allow them to grow in their own time.
A couple of days later (Friday, only 2 days ago) interviews were completed.

Listening

And then I stopped to really ๐’๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’.
As yet I still donโ€™t fully comprehend the working or wonder of it all, but pausing once more and studying it out in my mind again, vivid impressions came.
I wrote out the thoughts, noted my feelings and followed through with the actions I was prompted to take.
Reassignments and moves for the next transfer cycle were completed and shared yesterday.
My experience is simply thisโ€ฆ
I have complete confidence now, that good inspiration can only come from good information.
How does good information, help your inspiration?