It's been a really good week! On Wednesday, we had a specialized training for leaders that have been called in the last little bit. It was awesome! Pretty much like a mini MLC (Mission Leadership Council). We had great training as always. A lot of the meeting was focused on the relationship between trust and love and how, in order for the people we serve to really trust us, they have to feel loved by us. There is no other way to earn trust but through love, not just in missionary work but in life. If the people we lead don't know we love and care about them, we can never succeed to the point we could or that the Lord expects.
We also talked about all of the meetings we do as missionaries. I think one of the hardest things about missionary work is that it is pretty repetitive and it's easy to get stuck into a routine. Our schedule is so planned out and tight that it's easy to slip into just going through the motions. Sometimes we forget that the Spirit needs to be infused into every aspect of this work. So, like I said, we talked about that in terms of meetings and how to make sure we have Spirit filled and led meetings. These are the principles we discussed and, really, they apply to everything: meetings, lessons, classes, everything.
1. Moral Authority- You have to have the moral authority to teach whatever it is you're going to teach. If you don't understand or believe what you're trying to share, it'll never have the power to help anyone else.
2. Preparation of Learners and Teachers- Everyone must come prepared to be edified together. One of my all time favorite stories of preparation is the Brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon when he's preparing the stones. He did everything he could before he asked the Lord for help, he worked hard to prepare to the best of his capabilities. Likewise, we need to exert ourselves fully and then the Lord can help make our preparation more than we ever could.
3. Personal and Done in Love- There was a sister in the mission who used to say "The gospel, Preach My Gospel, the scriptures are general until we actually put people in it." If what we're teaching isn't applied and adapted specifically to the PEOPLE we're teaching, it will have little to no meaning for them.
4. Focused on Fundamentals/Doctrine- It all comes down to the basics. It's the basic doctrine and principles, when understood and applied, that really changes people's hearts. God is the author of simplicity.
I know I'm definitely going to work on applying these principles more to be able to feel the Spirit more abundantly in every part of this work, even the parts that seem mundane.
I love you! Have a great week!
A surprise text with photo this week from a friend of Hermana Gifford's grandparent who lives in Oregon. They stopped in for a visit: