Dear Elders and Sisters,
It has been great to see each of you in zone conferences over the past two weeks. I enjoyed the insightful comments and questions that came up as we discussed various topics. I am always renewed and inspired as I interact with you. It amazes me to think that the Lord’s expectations for you are so high, and you do so wonderfully well as you respond to challenges and work through difficulties. I cannot think of a better way to learn, grow and deepen your own conversion than serving a mission.
As I read last week’s emails, I noted that several missionaries commented on how hard they were working, how tired they were, how good they felt and how happy they were. I can’t help thinking there is a connection between all of those things – a pattern for our work. Diligent missionaries are often very tired, sometimes so tired they wonder if they can do it all over again the next day. They don’t hold anything back; they give all that they have – every day. They find, sometimes unexpectedly, that they always seem to have strength for the next day. Their fatigue is a rewarding kind of fatigue; it comes with a sense of satisfaction. These missionaries are always happy – they don’t have the time or the inclination to complain. They are lost in the service of others. They are intent on wasting and wearing out their lives (see D&C 123:13) in proclaiming the gospel to all who will listen. They seem to understand what the Lord said in a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith” (D&C 103:36).
In Preach My Gospel we read, “Diligence is an expression of your love for the Lord and His work. When you are diligent, you find joy and satisfaction in your work” (p. 121). I also love the statement that, “The attitude you have toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and His Son and your respect for the priesthood” (PMG, p. 151). Our attitude and work ethic is a pattern that we may establish on our mission that will continue with us throughout our lives. I invite you to establish attitudes and habits that will enable you to feel happy, productive and successful in the eyes of the Lord.
Here is one of my favorite excerpts from this week’s emails:
It is SO true how there is NO greater feeling than to humbly kneel before the Lord each night, completely exhausted and account to him that I have used every bit of energy to invite others to come unto His son Jesus Christ! [My companion] and I LOVE working our very hardest every single second of the day! I have LOVED serving with him!!! We can't believe it's already been 3 weeks!
A missionary who can account in such a way at the end of every day can know their labors have been accepted of the Lord as they experience joy and fulfillment in hastening His work. This joy and fulfillment flows to us through the Spirit, that fills our hearts as we feel the Lord saying to us, “Blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit… ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard” (Jacob 5:75). I promise you that as you labor diligently alongside the Lord of the vineyard this last time, you will partake of this great joy and affirmation of His love each day.