Today we stayed in Yakima to meet with more of the Yakima Spanish missionaries. Elders Gaburel and Wilson are the Zone Leaders here. They are Great! We had an excellent day.
President Benson, BYU Devotional Speeches, 1 Oct., 1983
Paul, en route to Damascus to persecute the Saints, saw a light from heaven and heard the voice of the Lord. Then Paul asked a simple eight-word question–and the question changed his life. “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). The persistent asking of that same question can also change your life. There is no greater question that you can ask in this world. “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” I challenge you to make that the uppermost question in your life.
How have you changed since coming on your mission?
Elder Gaburel and Elder WilsonElder Gaburel: I have a greater appreciation for the gospel. I understand more now. I’m still learning and I love it. Before I just went to church with my family. Now I take the Doctrine of Christ and love how it actually applies to me personally. Repentance is a gift we have. I didn’t really have much faith before and I was terrible at praying. Now I know that if I ask, He is there and He will help me. I’ve also gained a greater desire to be obedient. (11 mos.)
Elder Wilson: I have been trying hard to learn about and live the Christ-like attributes taught in Preach My Gospel, chapter 6. I hardly had any of these before my mission. I only tried when I wanted to be good or when there was something in it for me. Now my focus is on these attributes. I check myself through the day, and I keep doing what the Spirit says. I’m trying to become more perfect, because I believe we can. I’m making small steps and trying to recognize what Jesus would do. (20 mos.)
Hermana Luevano, Hermana Clark and Hermana HarstonHermana Luevano: I didn’t know who I was before. I had a good life, but I didn’t take advantage of things or embrace the gospel. I just went through the motions. It’s like I was painted pink and purple on the outside, but was dark on the inside. I read my scriptures but didn’t understand them. I didn’t pray much. I went to church because I had to. When I got my Patriarchal Blessing and it said to go on a mission, I didn’t want to. Know I know the gospel actually does apply to me! Now I have a desire to know what’s in the scriptures. I embrace the knowledge that I am a daughter of God. I have a goal to live the Doctrine of Christ daily. (10 wks.)
Hermana Clark: I wasn’t strong, but did what everyone around me did. I had no LDS friends and there was temptations. I wanted to be my own person, and just enjoy life. I didn’t like people nagging me to do things. I liked living on my own. One night I felt prompted to get my scriptures and drive to the temple. I had never done that before. Long story short, it let me to pray about going on a mission. (I hadn’t been to church for a long time.) I love my mission. I can do hard things. (1 yr.)
Hermana Harston: Before my mission, I was a big follower. I followed the crowd and had no voice. I didn’t speak my mind. I didn’t know who I was. I adapted to the friends I was with. I loved my scriptures but didn’t really study them. I did home seminary. I didn’t know that the Spirit spoke to ME. Heavenly Father knew what trials I needed to prepare me for this mission. I’ve learned I have a voice. I’ve learned to be more humble and submissive. I can stand up for what’s right. I love missionary work. (17 mos.)
Elder Buchanan and Elder KiserElElder Buchanan: Before I didn’t know how to receive the Spirit. I kinda had a testimony of the Book of Mormon–I trusted my parents and others who believed. I didn’t really stand up for what I believed in. I just went along with what others did. There were little mess ups I could have avoided. Now I know when the Spirit speaks to me. Thoughts come into my head. If I’m prompted to talk to someone, I do it (before I was very very shy). Now I can start up conversations and teach people. I like it. It’s an awesome change. My parents would be shocked at how much I talk now. (9 mos.)
Elder Kiser: Now I’m keeping the commandments! I have more love. I don’t just know the Spirit, I understand it. He speaks to me. I feel like I have a purpose in life. Before I just did what I wanted to do, not what God wanted me to do. I have a testimony of Heavenly Father and His love for me. (10.5 mos.)
Hermana Bangerter and Hermana TorrezHermana Bangerter: Before I was going to college. I was good. I was comfortable with myself. I loved studies and school, exercise and cooking. It was hard to leave my good friends. I love my family and love my parents. Life was good. But now I rely more on my Savior on a whole new level. I pray and study more. I befriend people. I’m learning to love random people. I feel like before I had a limited capacity to love people and now that love is increasing. My focus on myself is shifting to others. (3 wks.)
Hermana Torrez: My priorities have changed. I just finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time! My understanding and appreciation for the scriptures has increased. My focus has changed from just what I want to do. I find myself asking Heavenly Father who I am supposed to visit. I rely on Him. I’m getting my life in order. (6 mos.)
Elder Turley and Elder NajarianElder Turley: I think the biggest change is that I’ve learned what true happiness is. I’ve I’m not happy, it’s because I’m not serving. This has been the best, happiest time of my live because I’ve been helping and serving others, not focusing on myself. Nothing is about me. It’s about other people, Jesus Christ, and serving others. (23 mos.)
Elder Najarian: I’m a much more patient, loving person. Patience is huge, huge. I’m trusting Heavenly Father’s timing. If I follow his plan, it will all be good. Before I just worked. I didn’t rely on God as much. I wasn’t very grateful about what He’s given me. I’m more grateful now for what I have. (9 mos.)
Elder Miles and Elder Harman
Elder Miles: Before, my life revolved around soccer, training, and preparing to play in college. Mission prep took a back seat. Soccer is still part of my life, but not the focus. I love to help others find what I’ve found. I love the Doctrine of Christ. It all clicked for me in the MTC. My identity switched. My focus and desires have turned to who God needs me to be. (6 mos.)
Elder Harman: I’ve learned to be patient with myself, with the Lord and with other people. I’ve learned to rely more on the Lord and have more trust and faith in Him. I thought I had more control than I really do. I’ve learned what is really important, what really matters and the reason for Everything. (7.5 mos.)