Monday, 2 February 2015

02/02/15 - Northampton Stake Conference

Good morning,
We just had stake conference last week. We went to both sessions and they were very good! They talked a lot about ward councils and serving the Lord. One of the youth gave a really good statement - "today's test is tomorrow's testimony". I like this because it reminds me of how a testimony starts/grows. It doesn't normally happen immediately, but through testing the gospel and through life's experiences that our testimony is strengthened. President Jordan also spoke about trusting the Lord. We have trials that our designed for each of us. He spoke about Alma the elder being in bondage with his people in Helam (Mosiah 23) and how the Lord didn't deliver them immediately from bondage, but eased their burdens first. He said that we don't control God's watch. We have to be faithful and patient putting our trust in the Lord. An elder talked to him on the phone and told him that he's not getting anywhere in his area and that nobody will listen to him. The elder asked for advice and President Jordan told him the first thing to do is to look at yourself in the mirror. Are you doing everything your suppose to be doing? Are you being exactly obedient? Sometimes we have to exam our life and align it with the Lord's will. Even then we shouldn't expect immediate results, but eventually we will see the Lord's hand in the work.

Here's an extract I like about goals from President and Sister Jordan: 

Preach My Gospel teaches us:

“Carefully considered goals will give you clear direction and will help you fill your days with activities that help people strengthen their faith in the Savior and progress toward baptism, confirmation, and full activity in the Church. Challenging goals will help you work effectively and lead you to stretch and grow.”

Goals keep us focused on our purpose, on the things that help people progress toward conversion. The key indicators all have something in common--behind each number is a son or daughter of Heavenly Father. “Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish.” The way we view our goals reveals our true motives, our real intent. In a recent address to young adults worldwide, Brother Randall L. Ridd of the Young Men General Presidency shared this insightful story about the importance of real intent:

I learned the importance of real intent when I was a young seminary student. Our teacher challenged us to read the Book of Mormon. To keep track of our progress, he created a chart with our names down one side and the books listed across the top. Each time we read a book, a star was placed by our name. At first I didn’t put much effort into reading, and it wasn’t long before I found myself getting further and further behind. Spurred by a sense of embarrassment and my innate competitive spirit, I started reading. Every time I got a star, I felt good. And the more stars I got, the more motivated I was to read—between classes, after school, in every spare minute. This would be a great story if I could tell you I finished first in the class—but I didn’t. (I wasn’t last either, by the way.) But do you know what I did get by reading the Book of Mormon? I know you are thinking “a testimony,” aren’t you? But I didn’t. I got stars. I got stars because that was why I was reading. That was my real intent.

Years later when Brother Ridd was trying to decide whether to serve a mission he read the Book of Mormon with the real intent to know if it were true. His prayers were answered and he served a wonderful mission.

What is your intent, elders and sisters? Do your goals “help you stretch, work effectively, and reach higher levels of performance” or are they “used to receive recognition”? Do you measure your success “in achieving goals alone” or “in the service you render and the progress of others”? (PMG p. 146).

Moroni reminded us:

6  For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.

7  For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness. (Moroni 7:6-7).

To make an offering acceptable to the Lord, it must be done with real intent, with the right motives. Praying throughout the day and acknowledging the Lord’s hand in your work will help you purify your motives. As you and your companion kneel in prayer before you leave the flat at 10:00 in the morning, think of your brothers and sisters around the Mission who are kneeling with you. Pray for another companionship. As you unite together in humble prayer, with real intent, committed to your goals, your work and the work of every other mission will be blessed in a miraculous way.
Transfers will be next week and Elder Judy will have about a 99% chance of leaving, because he would be finishing 6 months in the Bletchley area. I'm grateful for being with him and for the example he has set. I hope I can continue the work when I take over my first area. The mission is helping me change my life so that I have more real intent and more commitment to goals. I know that in life with obedience and with trusting in the Lord, who is all knowing and all powerful we will be on the right path. Always remember that anything that is good comes from God and we should act on those feelings and thoughts we receive from the spirit.
Elder Chew
Elder Judy Camouflage cake

Missionary Snowman

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