I've been in the dark for over a month, but I aver to ameliorate! The gospel is rolling forth here in Africa, and it's never been quicker! The Johannesburg Mission has just been given Swaziland to further the work with the Swazi people!! I've spoken to a handful of the missionaries that side and they are more than excited to become part of the Joburg Mission. They are a mix of Brazilians, Hondurans, and Americans whose ages vary from a month left to six months out, yet all prepared to kick it into the next gear.
We've finished missionary interviews workshops today President Leavitt interviewed 120 missionaries in four days! That man is remarkable! We are holding two Zone Conferences tomorrow and Thursday, and we are traveling to Swaziland for their Zone Conference this weekend! We're always busy, which is to be expected when you're on the Lord's errand, and we are exhausted, which is to be predicted when you're on the Lord's errand, but we've never been happier, which is guranteed when you're on the Lord's errand.
BTW: 97 days 16 hours 14 minutes and 09 seconds left until I depart this great land of South Africa (but who's counting, right?). It's such a long time, but I know it's going to go by so quick, as have the past three months.
As I've looked over the times in my mission that have flown by the quickest, there's no time that has passed quicker than during my study! I honestly wish that the alloted personal study time would be two hours! During various exchanges and splits with other missionaries, I've seen that when a missionary spends their studying time focused on others, they are never left with any spare time to study for themselves. As we lose ourselves (and our study time) in the service of others, the Spirit will aid us in both our studying and our teaching.
We watched a video during MLC this week that can aid all of us in how we study for others. It was a Elder Renlund's talk from the recent Mission President's Training. (Fun fact: Elder Renlund was the Area President here in the Africa South East Area just a few years ago! He was much loved of the people here, almost as much as he loved them.) His aim was to encourage Mission Presidents and missionaries alike to 'treasure up' the simple doctrines and principles of the gospel. In this sermon, he revealed three questions that can aid us in our studying of the gospel in preparation for various teaching scenarios. These are the three quesions:
- What is the invitation that will be extended?
- What doctrine, correctly understood, will motivate the investigator to accept the invitation?
- What blessings has God promised for accepting and keeping that invitation?
Stick to these questions, and I know you will be given inspiration to aid you in what to study, how long to study it, and why it applies to those of whom you are studying for.
There's another apostle of the Lord that has suggested a wonderful subject of study. Elder Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has repeatedly exhorted all of us to study all 'Jesus Christ' subtopics in the Topical Guide. These are his words to us concerining this study:
“To those of you who feel you don’t have time, if you will make a sacrifice, you will be well rewarded and very, very grateful for the change of perspective, increased knowledge, and improved depth of your conversion.
“…In a coming day, you will present yourself before the Savior. You will be overwhelmed to the point of tears to be in His holy presence. You will struggle to find words to thank Him for paying for your sins, for forgiving you of any unkindness toward others, for healing you from the injuries and injustices of this life. You will thank Him for strengthening you to do the impossible, for turning your weaknesses into strengths, and for making it possible for you to live with Him and your family forever. His identity, His Atonement, and His attributes will become personal and real to you.
“But you don’t have to wait until then. Choose to be one of His true disciples now. Be one who truly loves Him, who truly wants to serve and lead as He did. I promise you that if you will study His words, your ability to be more like Him will increase. I know this is true.”
I also know that his words are true. As I have undertaken to become a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ by treasuring up his words, my love for him has escalated, my prayers more sincere, my faith uplifted in my Savior. I challenge everyone reading this letter to take on this challenge, if you haven't already done so, beginning this Sunday! Download this study help that will aid you in your study of the Savior of the world! It will change your life! Note: the study aid is for 90 days and begins Sunday, 16 of July.
Love you all loads! I aver to amerliorate my weekly letters for the remaining months!!