Monday, September 8, 2014

#61 September 8, 2014

Hello Lovely People,

I hope you are having a wonderful day and that those of you that have started school are having a smashing time! This past weeks has been a massive learning curve for me. It was a great moment for me to recognize where I wasn't and to try and look forward to where I would like to be in the future. The Lord is working to make me a humble-bee in His lovely deseret (it's not even that clever, but if you laughed I would appreciate it).

I think that maybe the biggest point of the week was going on an exchange this week with the assistants. They are great missionaries and have the huge blessing of working one-on-one with President Weidmann a lot. I think that in short this is what I learned: they aren't perfect missionaries by any means, but looking at how they were doing what they do, I saw that they were on road leading somewhere that I wanted to go. I caught a glimpse of a higher plane of missionary work and living, and it made what I knew seem inadequate and long for change. President Weidmann has been putting a rather massive focus on spirituality in missionary work and this was one of the big times that we were able to be trained on it. One of the big points that he focuses on is planning. I think that this is often one of the most glided over parts of the work, because it is really easy for it to not feel like work. I mean, you can just call up the people that you are supposed to call, and that's it. However, as we learned a little bit about the role the Spirit can play in our planning as well as in all aspects of our missionary work, I have learned more and more of the inadequacies of trying to do the work without doing all we can to invite the Lord of the vineyard in with us.

Really, when it comes down to it, I don't think that putting a ton of planning in really changes what our efforts would be on our own a ton, but if we show the Lord our plans and then ask for His confirmation and further guidance, that makes all the difference in the world. Working to hear the voice of the Lord and distinguish the promptings in both big things and small things has been taking up my thought space for the last couple days. Think about the possibilities, if we were so in tune with the whisperings of the Spirit that our footsteps would lead to those that needed the Gospel, our mind would know those that we would need to seek, and our words would be led totally by Him who's Gospel we are spreading. I was able to share this scripture in Mission Leader Council this past week and it is such an incredible promise (D&C 68:3-5)

3 And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
4 And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.
5 Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.

All that we have to do is learn how to indeed be moved upon by the Holy Ghost ( a more difficult process than I would imagine). I don't know if he is my favorite missionary in the Book of Mormon, but one of them is Nephi (the son of Nephi, the son of Helaman). We read in 3 Nephi 7 of this man's conversion to his Savior and his dedication to declare it to all men.

17 And he did minister many things unto them; and all of them cannot be written, and a part of them would not suffice, therefore they are not written in this book. And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.
18 And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily.

I wanna be like that. How often do we put barriers upon ourselves saying that we do not want to bother God or that we frankly don't think that talking the extra time to say a prayer and listen will do anything, we are already trying to do what we are supposed to, isn't that enough? Elder Lee and I are really trying to overcome these natural tendencies and be more than just us. To become someone like Nephi who was so connected to the Lord that the Spirit had to testify to those within the sound of his voice that it was true. Kind of crazy that the omnipotent Creator of the universe asks us to bind Him with His word as we follow His commandments (D&C 82:10). As we do that however, we find power and heavenly authority in all that we do. Though man is nothing, the Almighty God exercises His power through us. We truly are blessed with a loving Father.

Well everybody, I certainly hope that you have a wonderful week. Love each other and remember that One much greater loves you too!

Elder Ostergaard

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