Hello Everyone, apparently NYC is getting a lot of snow so everyone assumes we have a ton. Nope, I still see grass outside. Yeah it's cold and the wind is awful, but no snow!
I'm going to take some time now to create a scenario:
Imagine you're on the varsity [insert sport here] team back in High School. You performed well in the tryouts and easily made the team. You've got your jersey and you're feeling pretty good about yourself. During the season you play your games and tend to come out on top. Not always, but more often than not you do pretty well in your games. One day you're invited to a tournament from outside your region, you accept and show up to the tournament, unaware of who you'll be up against. You walk onto the [court/pitch/field/arena] and wait for the opposing team. Eventually the opposing team enters and you realize that you're playing against world class athletes, not High School students. The game begins and immediately you are shown how the game is really played.
A situation like the one above took place not too long ago in our mission. Out mission has a lot of great missionaries. There are a great deal of missionaries that are dedicated, obedient, faithful, and loving. I feel as though a lot of us assumed that we were doing pretty good, I know I did. So when the opportunity arose to learn about Chapter 8 in Preach My Gospel titled "How Do I Use Time Wisely?", I was excited, but felt that I was already competent in my planning and preparation skills. To play into the scenario above I walked right into the match with a little swagger in my steps thinking that I'm well prepared and capable. Nope. Before my mission I would likely have said that I was got 'shown up' by the instructors from Salt Lake City. But I've realized that instead of showing me up they instead showed me how. It was in no way they're intention to crush what effort I was putting in, but to help me reach higher levels. There's a very large difference between showing someone up and showing someone how, but sometimes it can be hard to discern.
I was shown, not just taught or told, how to plan effectively. Examples were given, videos were shown, and the Spirit was felt in great measure. Leaving the training session I felt in awe of how far I yet had to go to reach the level of proficiency in planning that I want to have. But I was shown that it was possible to reach that, so I determined to become better. And since that moment I have gained a greater understanding of verse 34 from the 29th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, which reads:
These principles of planning and goal setting are eternal and spiritual. The application for missionaries is specific and direct, but the general principles lead to wonderful growth, and more importantly growth and improvement in the areas the Lord thinks we need work on. It's my hope that I'll get down the principles of Chapter 8 well enough to be a blessing in the lives of those that I serve so that when I return home eventually I will have the skills and experience necessary to do great things in my life and be a blessing in the lives of those around me.
Preach My Gospel teaches amazing things. For those of you that teach classes, study Chapter 10. For those of you that struggle with effective personal study of the scriptures, read Chapter 2. If you feel that you want your prayers to be more heartfelt, read the Pray with Faith section in Chapter 4. If you want to use time more wisely, for the amount of time we have on this Earth is unpredictable, then a thorough study of Chapter 8 and the principles found therein will help and bless you throughout your life. I know that Preach My Gospel is a tool for members and missionaries, and teaches correct and eternal principles and I challenge you that if you don't include it in your study to use it now and again. It explains things with clarity and power, and is a wonderful study guide and reference material.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Gailey