Sunday, March 29, 2009

Growth of a Missionary

This morning I was reading the March 2009 First Presidency Message written by President Monson, and as I read the first part of his message about rising above trying times through prayer and faith, I thought about how this relates to the growth of a missionary and the purpose of missionary work. President Monson began his message with counsel given to us from past Prophets, such as Solomon's words which say, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." He goes on to share this example to remind us of how we can apply this counsel in troubled times: "One human resource officer assigned to handle petty grievances concluded an unusually hectic day by placing facetiously a little sign on his desk for those with unsolved problems. It read, “Have you tried prayer?” What he may not have realized was that this simple counsel would solve more problems, alleviate more suffering, prevent more transgression, and bring about greater peace and contentment in the human soul than could be obtained in any other way."
As I read these words I thought of my little brother serving a mission, and how much he has grown spiritually, and the blessings that have come from him applying this "simple counsel." Brent, like most missionaries, struggled for the first few months as he adjusted to life as a missionary, and learned his purpose for being out on a mission. As I read his first few letters home, it was as though I was reliving the first few months of my mission in Germany, and sometimes I just had to smile, knowing that he was being molded into the missionary the Lord wanted him to be. Although it was difficult to see him struggle with homesickness and still wondering how this could be "The Best Two Years" of his life, I knew that Heavenly Father was allowing him to be torn down, so that Brent could be built back up one prayer and testimony building experience at a time. As I have pieced through Brent's letters to find experiences to put on this blog, it's been neat to see the change he has gone through as he learns to put his trust in Lord, and forget himself and go to work as he helps younger missionaries to learn their purpose, and to put their full trust in the Lord to guide them in this work, while continuing to teach the people to "Come unto the Lord in Prayer and Faith."
"Those who feel that prayer might denote a physical or intellectual weakness should remember that a man never stands taller than when he is upon his knees."

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