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The Master Puzzler

“I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about the church, why people stay, why they shouldn’t stay, church doctrine vs. church policy, the list goes on & on.
I heard a powerful analogy at church today that I want to share here for myself to look back on, and also for those who may need to hear it.

The Analogy…

The analogy, or parable if you will, was to think of the gospel, the church, God’s plan or even just LIFE, like a puzzle. When you start a puzzle, you start with what you know. You work on the outside pieces, pieces with clear edges, pieces you are confident belong.
As the puzzle continues, you may run into various pieces that don’t seem to belong, that fit weird, or don’t make sense. But you don’t throw out the entire puzzle just because you can’t figure out where that piece goes. You know there’s a bigger picture coming into place. You set aside that puzzle piece and keep working at the rest of the puzzle. Eventually, the picture will become more and more clear and it will be obvious where that seemingly unimportant, or incorrect piece goes. You’ll be glad you didn’t give up or throw that piece out because you’ll see the bigger picture.
There are many things I don’t have the answers to, but I know that God is the master puzzler, if you will, and every piece of this life; the gospel; and his plan is there for a reason. (1 Nephi 11:17❤️) Even if we can’t see where it fits now, don’t let what you don’t know or understand stop you from what you do. Keep doing the puzzle. Keep all the pieces in sight until you know where they go. I have a feeling it’s going to be worth it. 🤍 ”    – From a social media post by Emma Hixson

Transfers

“𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫?”
It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot recently.
Transfers in the mission field come around every six weeks.
And they come ever so quickly!
They are always on my mind.
In our missionary service, this is already our 10th cycle, of 27.
Questions to consider include…
What area should they serve in?
Who should be their companion?
What do they need?
Will they bring out the best in each other?
You simply don’t know all the factors that determine who should serve with whom.
Preparing for and planning for transfers in the mission field is time consuming.
There are a lot of moving parts and factors to consider, but ultimately it is a spiritual process.
Prayer is a constant.
It is always the best solution.
Seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost is critical.
Remembering that it is the Lord’s transfer of missionaries is vital.
I am comforted by a verse of scripture in Matthew 6:8 “ for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
Considering the needs of each missionary and thinking about each of them, one by one, is also key.
Information precedes revelation.
Regular interviews and weekly communication really help.
Hence the question “𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫?”
Life moves so swiftly.
In the lasting things of life, do we help each other to be at our best?

Curiosity

Out for a walk in the Scheveningse Bosjes yesterday, “that’s an unusual looking dog” we said to each other.
It looked a little bit like a labradoodle.
Curiously we asked the lady walking her dog’s “what kind of dog is that one?”
“He’s a curly haired retriever” she said.
We’d never heard or seen that breed before.
Many curious questions followed, and the conversation flowed easily.
Curiosity was driving our questioning.
Curiosity – “A strong desire to know or learn something.”
Curiosity is a genuine spirit of open enquiry, mixed with a keen desire to learn, all of which is centred upon a willingness to discover new things.
Prior to serving here in the Netherlands as missionaries, genuine curiosity, was an essential part of my coaching practice.
Frequently we learn by simply being curious like a child.
Yesterday, curiosity was driving our questions to the lady about her dog. Subsequently, I researched a little more about the breed.
In a similar manner, many people often ask us questions about our church service here in the Netherlands.
• Why are you here?
• What do you actually do?
• How long do you serve?
• What is the Book of Mormon?
• Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
• What does your church believe about life after death?
• Why do you build Temples?
All these are great questions driven by curiosity.
So – what are you curious about?
If you’d like to find some answers to these questions or more, simply pm me. I’ll be happy to answer any genuinely curious question about our faith and service in Belgium and the Netherlands. 😊
PS – post mission life, this may be the type of dog we’ll be looking for!! 😉

Asking Questions

“What questions do you have for me?”
I asked that question several times yesterday in numerous interview sessions, phrasing it in such a way that I expect to receive some questions. And on nearly every occasion I did.
Have you asked any good questions lately?
Questions can be extremely powerful. They help us to think, feel, see and do things differently.
We all need to learn how to ask great questions….
Some professionals like doctors, lawyers and journalists are taught how to ask great questions as part of their training.
In my own professional career through sales, leadership and coaching, and now as a Mission Leader, I have found it equally important to be able to formulate and ask the right questions.
Questions aid performance, develop relationships, help provide inspiration and direction, they even help to build trust and rapport.
“Management teams aren’t good at asking questions. In business school, we train them to be good at giving answers.” – Clayton Christensen.
It’s time to be a little more curious. Asking questions is an important part of life and learning.
I am constantly asking questions to help others move forward.
“What do you want?”
“What do you need most right now?”
“So what?”
“Why now?”
“How can you be truer to yourself?”
“Can you tell me more?”
What question can you use today to unlock your potential and help you or others to move forward?

Asking Questions

What will you do differently because of what you learned today?

Asked any good questions lately?

Questions can be extremely powerful. They help us to think, feel and do things differently.

We all need to learn how to ask great questions!

Some professionals like doctors, lawyers and journalists are taught how to ask great questions as part of their training.

In my own professional career through sales and coaching, I have found it equally important to be able to formulate and ask the right question.

Questions aid performance, close sales, help provide inspiration and direction, they even help to build trust and rapport.

“Management teams aren’t good at asking questions. In business school, we train them to be good at giving answers.” – Clayton Christensen.

It’s time to be a little more curious. Asking questions is an important part of life and learning.

As a coach, I am constantly asking questions to help clients move forward.

– What do you really want?
– What do you need most right now?
– So what?
– Why now?
– How can you be truer to yourself?
– Can you tell me more?

What question can you use today to unlock your own potential?

Reflective learning

“So, what have you been learning about yourself through this last year…? I’ve asked that question so many times recently in coaching sessions. So, how about you……?
Consciously I make time for self reflection daily. Although it’s been a practice for a while, it has become much more meaningful during the last 12 months of the pandemic. Reflection has been described as a process that helps turn experience into knowledge. So, what are you learning?
Paradoxically, looking inwards, helps me to look outwards.
As you look in the mirror of self reflection, consider these questions:
…Am I using my time wisely?
…Am I living true to myself?
…What am I doing about the things that matter most in my life? …What do I need to change about myself?
…Have I made someone smile today?
It is so easy to get caught up in the daily vicissitudes of life.
Self-reflection is the key to help you understand what you stand for, what your values are, and in essence what matters most.
It’s a time to consider your behaviour, your goals and whether you are on track. The more self-reflective you are, the easier it becomes to make choices in line with your values which will impact all of your decisions now and in the future.
Our learning in life comes from our daily experiences, so take time to self-reflect, daily!

Are you asking the right question?

Asked any good questions lately? As a coach, I am constantly asking questions to help clients move forward.
For example…”What do you want?” “What do you need most right now?” “So what?” “Why now?” “How can you be more true to yourself?” “Can you tell me more?” “How are you, really?”
Querying something can be extremely powerful. They help us to think, feel and do things differently. The best ones usually start with “why.”
Some professionals like doctors, lawyers and journalists are taught how to ask great questions as part of their training. In my own professional career through sales and coaching, I have found it equally important to be able to formulate and ask the right question. Questions aid performance, close sales, help provide inspiration and direction, they even help to build trust and rapport. It is a useful skill to be able to ask great questions.
Its time to be a little more curious. Asking questions is an important part of life and learning, it shows that you want to improve.
What question will you ask today?

Good enough?

I have realised – its actually okay for me not to know the answer!

Several years ago, starting out in the coaching profession, I got a little concerned about how I can help others, when I knew very little about them, their profession, their situation or even their capabilities. In the beginning of my coaching career it did create a little personal anxiety!

As time passed, this may sound kind of strange or unusual to anyone not in the coaching world, but one of the greatest lessons that I have learned as a coach, is that I really don’t need to know the whole story. Nor is it for me to come up with answers!

As a coach I have to establish a safe space, build rapport, listen to understand, ask questions, guide, challenge and along the way, I may provide suitable interventions. My role is in fact to help every coachee to learn, grow, draw up their own answers, create a plan of action and follow up to achieve their aims.

If you are in need of some coaching – please do get in touch, I’m here to help!