Monday, March 23, 2015

3/23/15 – Being Converted to Missionary Work – a Reminder for Us All…

District meeting in the American Falls district. 
We used the coins (A Four Leaf Clover for Good Luck)
as a reminder to invite someone to the waters of baptism that day 
and throughout their missions. 
A token of good fortune and blessings even...

I have often felt inadequate as a missionary set apart to teach the gospel. I never really learned a whole lot about 'the basics' before I left to the Missionary Training Center. I was not prepared and it was evident as I made attempts to open my mouth and expect the words to just come out without having prepared beforehand. It turned into a lot of gibberish is really what it came down to. I did have a testimony that this church was the restored church of Jesus Christ in these latter-days. I did know this was good, I received a witness of that fact. I did know that serving a mission would bless others and myself. I did know I wanted to bring the light of the gospel into the lives of those that don't have it. Then I was called to Idaho. EVERYONE here has had some sort of affiliation with the church. What could I possibly bring to them that they haven't already heard? A lot of them have been around the block a few more times than I have and could out scripture any day if they wanted to. The thought of my beliefs being challenged was scary because how would I defend them? The older and wiser I've gotten throughout life, the more I've realized I truly don't know anything. I've since learned... I am firm and steadfast. I am stiffnecked yes... But I learned. I've been blessed so much. I've truly been able to see the crowning events which have inspired change and correction throughout my life and especially my mission. I still at times feel inadequate as I stand in front of people and teach. At times I feel hypocritical. I always strive to remember the promise of the atonement. Change is possible. It is not easy, it requires a great effort... struggle even. As I have kneeled in council with my Father in Heaven for the well-being of others and myself I have found great peace of mind. "Sincere prayer requires great effort" - Preach MY Gospel.

Prayer has probably been the biggest internal struggle I've dealt with throughout my life. I have felt, in the past, a lack of the supposed 'answers' we are to receive. There were months on end, especially the year previous to my mission departure, in which I pleaded sincerely for His help and felt left alone and in the dark. I felt powerless at times. I did not feel as though there was any heavenly help or guidance. I don't know exactly why that is other than the probably of my lack of diligence and follow through. I know I had received answers, I know that I had received guidance. I lacked the part where you are supposed to ACT. Pray like everything depends on God and work like everything depends on you. But how do you get the drive to work when you are already brought down into the depths of despair? Try looking at life in a different light. Try to look at every promise that God has made to us and live worthy of the blessings promised. Just watch and see them unfold. "Enduring large tests, while failing seemingly small quizzes just won't do" Neil A. Maxwell. The best way to gain motivation to do anything is to do. Start moving and the motivation will follow. Put these gospel principles to test in your own life and see God work wonders. Just watch and see. I testify to the power of prayer in our lives'. It may require great effort for months on end. It may require great effort for YEARS! Heavenly Father is watching and He is lending that guiding hand. Take hold of the good things in life. Grasp firmly the principles that have been given us for the eternal salvation of us and our families and we will find a joy never felt. A challenge I extended to you. Help someone to fill the void that have in their hearts. The way is given clearly, we are all to be missionaries, we are NOT to be selfish, we can only fully experience the blessings of this gospel as we share this light with others, especially those whom hunger and thirst after righteousness. I truly believe that. I say these things as a representative of Jesus Christ. I humbly pray I may stay true and strong to the testimony that I have developed. I love and pray for each and every one of you. 

Love,
Elder Gillespie

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