Monday, August 3, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Work Itself is a Key to Overcoming Discouragement
Ukraine Kyiv Mission
3 Aug 2015
Elders and Sisters,
What a great day for the Kyiv Mission! We have 12 amazing missionaries finishing their missions who gave the Lord everything for two years. They return home having finished a very important work in their lives. They return home to a life that will be much better because of the things they have learned on their missions. We are sad and will miss them but proud of each of them for finishing strong. Really, a mission is a small example of what life is like. If each of you finish your mortal lives like these missionaries have finished their missions, you will be welcomed into heaven with much rejoicing.
I have had more than a few of the new missionaries express a feeling of emptiness as they go about the work. None of them are giving up, they just don’t feel like they are feeling the Spirit as much and having a burning desire all of the time to do the work. My answer to them is always the same, “You are normal!” I is OK to be discouraged sometimes. The real waste of time is when we are discouraged about being discouraged. We all go through times where we feel the Spirit more strongly than others. As we become accustomed to the feelings of the Spirit and it is not new to us like it was before we may believe that there is something wrong. No. If we are obedient and we are repenting, we are then moving forward in our lives. Don’t waste time worrying and thinking something is wrong.
Sometimes, discouragement comes from seeing our weaknesses. As we come to know more about the Savior we recognize how really far we are away from becoming like Him. Noticing our weaknesses is a good thing. It means we are coming closer to the Savior; not moving further away from Him (Ether 12:27). Please don’t talk yourself out of this truth and become discouraged because you see a weakness. Do the opposite and thank the Lord and ask Him for help.
I have learned that there are other reasons for a troubled heart. Sometimes evil is trying to make a move into our lives or sometimes the Lord prepares us for something that is coming in the future. In our family, Sister Packer is much better at feeling when there is a change coming in the future. I believe this is one of her spiritual gifts (Companionships are the best). Growing up my father taught us to recognize times when evil was pressing in on us as a family. I am eternally grateful to him for this important lesson.
So what can you do as a troubled heart comes? Arm yourself with the Spirit. You must pray with more fever. When the Savior was in the garden, He prayed more earnestly. “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44. Fasting, as we did yesterday, also brings Spiritual strength to our work. Work itself is a key, “The secret to missionary work is work. Work, work, work!” (Ezra Taft Benson) Another key is to be patient and trust the Lord and His timing, “And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. (Mosiah 24:15)

Lastly, if there is something in your life or work that is amiss then fix it. “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!(D&C 18:10-13) There isn’t anything that the Lord can’t fix that is broken. Sometimes it takes time, but in every case, the Lord can fix it as good as new. What a blessing a great blessing and peace when a person is clean.
You need to know and believe that you have power and authority from God. If you are living the commandments, living the mission rules (white handbook), and repenting daily (including confession), then you have God’s strength and you need not fear. “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.” (D&C 6: 9) The Savior has been given all power from the Father-- power over death and power over sin. This is His work. We are building up His kingdom. I know we are! I am so grateful to be a missionary and serve with all of you. Have faith and take courage!
President Packer

Quote: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 

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