Take the Plunge! Zone Conference November 2017

Here are the notes from my training this week in our zone conferences.

2017-11-11 ZC Training (4)

Taking the Plunge

There are about 60 new missionaries in our mission right now.  It’s interesting to watch old missionaries leave us, bold, strong and confident, and the new ones arrive, excited, nervous, anxious and sometimes a bit hesitant.

You who have recently arrived have no idea who you will become during the next 18 to 24 months while you serve here.

On 1 Oct 1981, I entered the temple for the first time as I prepared for my mission to South Africa.  The kind, wise gentleman who helped with the orientation that day in the Los Angeles Temple told me something I have never forgotten.  He said, “The Blessings of the Temple have always been here.  Today is the day you have come to claim them.”

I believe the same is true of missionary work.  It has always been here.  Jesus commissioned his apostles to go into all the world to teach his gospel.  Missionary work is evidence of His gospel and His church.  There is not one without the other.  Many of you had parents or grandparents who served missions.  Some of you are the very first in your families to serve and become a part of this divinely-sanctioned movement.  Whatever the case, now is the time you have come to claim the blessings that come from doing missionary work.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is like a great River that flows–like the great Columbia River, –bringing life to everything it touches. It’s like a current flowing through the land.  We can stand on the banks and watch it flow, or we can dive in and immerse ourselves in those living waters.

I want to talk today about The PLUNGE
Diving in, trusting, and doing it!

What makes us hesitant to take the step, accept the call, fully engage, or make the plunge?  Why do we linger on the banks?

Is it because we can’t see Exactly where the current may take us?
Perhaps we can’t see around the coming bend?
Maybe we don’t know how deep the water is or if we can touch the bottom?
Maybe we have to leave things behind–Habits, stuff, friends, maybe even loved ones?
Are we scared or afraid of the unknown?
Or do we think we might miss out on something happening along the river bank?
Do we have friends there? Our lounge chairs, Our music or video games?
Is our family there, roasting marshmallows around a campfire?
What things cause us to turn away, or look back?

Elder Maxwell spoke of this in 2 great talks, “Settle This in Your Hearts” 1992 and  “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father” 1995.  He said he once plead with those who “stood indecisively on the porch of the Church to come fully inside.  Then he said:2017-11-11 ZC Training (1)

He speaks of those:2017-11-11 ZC Training (2)

In the second talk, Elder Maxwell speaks of those who are:2017-11-11 ZC Training (3)He teaches:
“Each of us might well ask, “In what ways am I shrinking or holding back?” Meek introspection may yield some bold insights! For example, we can tell much by what we have already willingly discarded along the pathway of discipleship. It is the only pathway where littering is permissible, even encouraged. In the early stages, the debris left behind includes the grosser sins of commission. Later debris differs; things begin to be discarded which have caused the misuse or underuse of our time and talent.

Along this pathway leading to consecration, stern and unsought challenges sometimes hasten this jettisoning, which is needed to achieve increased consecration (see Hel. 12:3). If we have grown soft, hard times may be necessary. If we are too contented, a dose of divine discontent may come. A relevant insight may be contained in reproof. A new calling beckons us away from comfortable routines wherein the needed competencies have already been developed. One may be stripped of accustomed luxury so that the malignant mole of materialism may be removed. One may be scorched by humiliation so pride can be melted away. Whatever we lack will get attention, one way or another.

CONSECRATION is both a principle and a process, not tied to a single moment.
We may not always understand, but we trust God’s hand in our lives.”

So, for  me the key is TRUST.  Believing  in Him.  Believing we are on His errand.  Jesus said, “Be believing and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly”  (D&C 90:24).

Do we have to know everything before we take the Plunge?
Do we need to be in control?
Is it necessary to know the end from the beginning?
Or to know where the river goes, or what’s around the bend?

What do we do if we’re just scared??

President Ezra Taft Benson:
“Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their visions, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life.”

TRUST is the key.
Can you Trust Heavenly Father will make more of your life than you can?
Why is it so Hard to let go and Trust Him??

The Greatest Challenge Ever: (Especially for teenagers)
Heavenly Father created us to be intelligent, to have agency, to figure things out, and to make our own choices.  But then He asks for our Will.  He asks us to submit, to put Him first, to let Him direct us, to consecrate our lives, and to live for and serve others.

How do we reconcile the two??

Experience of the train tracks in Springville:
It was in broad daylight, the lights were flashing and the dinger was dinging.  I looked to the right and to the left.  There was no train in sight, so I crossed.

I almost died an ugly death that day.  A train came out of nowhere, and almost took my life.

Sometimes our perspective is limited.  Sometimes we think we can see/understand it all
so we don’t listen to those who see more than we–like parents, teachers, prophets, or like Heavenly Father.  That day I learned something about Trust and Perspective.  As I pulled to the side of the road, with my heart shaking, I determined that I would never again trust my judgement over that of the ding-a-linger at a train track.  I feel the same about Heavenly Father.

Proverbs 3:5-6
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.

The Path is like the River, it’s the WAY. The Way that leads us Home.  This is His work.  He is with us.  He will surround us with His arms like a life jacket.  He will fill our mouths if we open them.  He will comfort and bless us and His angels will be round about us to bear us up (D&C 84:42).

Trust Him.
Let Go.
Dive in, Plunge.
Give all.

You decide why that’s important and if it’s worth it to you.

I know it is.

2017-11-9 Zone Conf Zillah (143)


About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoy the things shared here.
This entry was posted in Missionary Work in the Yakima Mission, Thoughts and Insights. Bookmark the permalink.

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