Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Opportunity and the Treasure

(find the talks here – Missionaries are a Treasure of the Church – and here – The Opportunity of a Lifetime)

Over at Diapers and Divinity, we’re winding down General Conference Book Club (GCBC) – finishing up the last few talks in time for April General Conference! Who’s excited?! I am so ready for General Conference again. I think I get this way just before General Conference. It’s kind of the same feeling I get a few weeks before my birthday or Christmas. That excitement in the pit of my stomach that fills me up and makes it hard to think about anything else.

Okay, I know – I’m a Conference nerd. I know it.

Well, one thing I kind of miss when I’m participating in Steph’s GCBC is studying the talks from the Priesthood session as well as from the Relief Society and Young Women General Sessions. So when I noticed the talk for this week was Missionaries are a Treasure of the Church it reminded me of a talk I have been listening to from the Priesthood session called The Opportunity of a Lifetime (which has been on my mind lately anyway). So I decided to study both for this week, and I am glad that I did.

Your Mission – the Best Two Years For Your Life

missionWhile I liked Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita’s talk, it wasn’t one of those “Wow, this is amazing!” talks for me. However, Elder W. Christopher Waddell’s? Like candy. Especially because around the time leading up to October General Conference I had kind of got on to my husband for saying things like “On my mission I studied the gospel all the time.” “On my mission I was such a good time manager.” etc etc. Finally I told him, “Well, you know, you were supposed to be learning those things on your mission so you could do them for the rest of your life. For instance… when you became a husband and father.”

Elder Waddell talked about how to apply your mission to the rest of your life. I loved how Elder Matthew Richardson said it was “the best two years for [his] life.” DSCN6330Elder Waddell echoed that sentiment in his talk. He likened missionary service to the sacrifice of the unspotted lamb of the Passover, but how simply sacrificing the animal wasn’t good enough – the blood had to be applied to the door posts. This is where my husband has been struggling to apply his mission to his life now. Elder Waddell said “the ongoing blessings associated with missionary service require application after the sacrifice.” One way he encouraged his missionaries to “apply” the sacrifice of their mission to their lives was to have them “take time to consider the lessons and gifts provided to them by a generous Father in Heaven. They were asked to prayerfully list and consider how to best apply those lessons in a post-mission life”. However, Elder Waddell went on to say that, “there is no returned missionary for whom it is too late to consider the lessons obtained through faithful service and to apply them more diligently.”

The Lord Knows Where He Wants You To Serve

In Elder Waddell’s talk he mentioned that “Prophets, seers, and revelators assign missionaries under the direction and influence of the Holy Ghost.” If you have ever wondered exactly how this happens, I encourage you to read a talk give in the Priesthood Session of April 2010 General Conference given by Elder Ronald A. Rasband called “The Divine Call of a Missionary” – you won’t be disappointed. It is a really touching talk, and if you received a mission call and didn’t think it was where you should go, his talk will definitely remedy that emotion!

If you ever served a mission in a “hard” area with not many baptisms, or felt like you didn’t make a difference in your mission, please read Elder Waddell’s talk. His story of Elder Misiego is poignant and powerful and it is definitely a testimony that “the Lord knows where He wants each missionary to serve.”

I wrote a bunch more about these talks and how they applied to motherhood, but then the post started getting too long, and I am trying not to have overwhelmingly long posts, so I decided to post them separately, and I will probably post the motherhood one later this week.

Did you serve a mission? Did you feel like it was the best two years for your life? Did you feel like the Lord had called you to your specific mission purposefully? How did you prepare for your mission?

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