Thursday, September 15, 2016

Week 105 - Highlands Ranch - On my way home.

Sister Brierley
Hello everyone,

This was my last week. I will be coming home on Wednesday around 5PM. This was a good last week. It still has been difficult but it was a good last week.

Two years has flown by. The mission experience was nothing close to what I imagined. It has been the best two years and the hardest two years. I honestly will cherish my mission for the rest of eternity and it has been the best experience of my life. I have come to grow closer to my heavenly father and have learned his Gospel. I have found that God has taught me very valuable lessons which I can apply for the rest of my life. I noticed there tended to be one lesson per transfer. So here we go

20 lessons of a Full-Time missionary
People can Change
The District
I have learned that change is ever present. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can repent and change to become more like him. There is no lost cause. I myself have changed into something much better than I was before, and I can continue to change.

Love the People
I have learned to love the people. People I would have never expected. I will miss them and that is one of the major reasons I don't want to come home. It is hard to say goodbye, but I can leave knowing that I have made a difference in their lives. When we love someone it gives us the opportunity to lift them higher. You are able to sympathize and see where they are coming from. This allows you to see a little bit of what God sees in them.

I Know Nothing / Humility
The Lennburgs
I have learned that I know nothing. I thought I knew the gospel really well back home but I have realized that I can continue to learn. This helped me to make a goal to read the entire standard works. I accomplished my goal with the exception of the second half of the new testament which I will be taking a class on in school. I have also learned to be humble and if you want to be humble, then prepare, because it will be hard.

This has been the Christlike attribute I have worked on most of my mission. I have learned to be patient with those I teach and with myself. The biggest trial with patience was with companions. I had some challenging companions which required me to be patient. If we are patient we can withstand many of the challenges of life.

I've Been Blessed Beyond My Own Understanding
The Price family with Catherine
I have come to realize that God showers blessings. Just like rain you can't comprehend all the rain at once, however it touches you and is all around you. That is very similar to God's blessings. I often would recognize these as I wrote one miracle of the day at the beginning of my mission.

Hard Work
I have learned to work hard. I had many things that held me back, such as companions and illness/injuries, but I have found that you can still work hard with those. Hard work also encompasses smart work. If you are struggling, God can increase your capacity to deal with hard things.

God is in Control
I have learned that God is in control of everything.
I often would work hard and some of the things I did would miraculously work out. I was never a good finder but God would often lead or put people in our path that we could help. A mission lets you see God's hand in many different things and makes you realize that you are merely a tool in His hands. 

Joy and Pain
On my mission I have been the most joyful and most miserable. It really is a roller-coaster. The Joy out ways the pain so much more but in order to feel that joy you have to understand pain.

Companions: Learning and TeachingThe only thing I remember from my setting apart blessing is "companions" repeated multiple times. I have helped many companions on my mission
with many different things, such as giving them hope, teaching, obedience, and other things. I in return have learned many valuable lessons from companions which many of the things in this list came from. I have understood that you can learn from and teach anyone.

Don't Be to Harsh on YourselfI am a perfectionist and on a mission that is pretty much impossible. A mission is designed to have some failure. This got me really down at times. I realized that I was being very self-critical and that it was holding me back. We often times have to change our twisted perspectives on what success is and  see ourselves through God's eyes. One of the hardest things about repentance is forgiving ourselves. My favorite quote talks about this. It is "Let go of the past and Keep Moving Forward" ~ Walt Disney.

Perspective and AttitudeLike I said before perspective is so important. But along with that we must have a great Attitude. A positive attitude allows us to see the world in a much brighter context. It keeps us happy as well and when challenges come we can conquer it.

Communication and Working in UnityIf you want to work in unity you have to communicate. Most problems come from miscommunication. Effective communication can bring a new perspective into another's intentions and allows you to resolve issues.

I'm Here to Help Other's Come Unto ChristEveryone is on a different part of their journey. I have found that the journey has many steps. Faith, Repentance, keeping and making Covenants and Ordinances, Following the Holy Ghost's promptings, and enduring to the end. Missionaries don't just baptize but bring others to Christ by helping them develop these things. I often found that I helped members Endure to the End by helping them embrace the gospel more and missionary work.

Trials Help us GrowI can't say I enjoy trials, but they help us grow and become more like the Savior.

Godly Sorrow/ Don't Let Mistakes Define YouI realized that I was letting some mistakes of my past define me. After talking about it with my favorite companion, Elder Legler, he taught me about Godly Sorrow. If we can see ourselves through God's eyes then we will understand that he wants us to succeed. He will forgive us quickly. Every night if we account to the Lord the good and the bad and then let go and improve we can have the burden of sin lifted. Forgiveness includes forgiveness of one's self and of others. I have learned to define myself by who I am and not from evil past deeds.

Me MyselfGod sent me here to be Myself and to use my talents and skills to help those around me. There were some people that only I could influence on my mission. I have had the opportunity to use my talents to bless others and to help the work move forward. I have opened up a lot on my mission and if someone can see the genuine feelings and attitudes I have I can connect with them better.

The Will of God, Is Not MineGod has a unique plan for me. That plan is different then mine. There were situations that I was placed in on my mission that I thought would not work at all. However, they each had a purpose. God can see ahead and knows what is best for us, so we must turn our will over to his.

Endure to the EndThe end of my mission has been so difficult. With injuries, and challenging companions, it has been hard. Endurance is not easy, but it requires all the lessons learned above. Really it requires the accumulative lessons learned. We must apply them all to endure to the end. I am at the end now and it was so worth it.

This is the One and only true church authorized to do God's work.
God's Love and the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us be saved from all things.

I love you all, but more importantly I love God. This has been the greatest experience  of my life and I am sad to leave. I have loved my mission and it means the world to me, But I am ready to move on. now it is time to take the lessons I have learned and apply them as the foundation for the rest of my life. I know that this work is important, that God love's us, that Jesus is the Christ and that this is the only true church of God.

Till Wednesday
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher