September 15, 2019 - Missionaries in the New York Syracuse Mission gathered to be taught by the servants of the Lord...
This was the first mission wide gathering of the New York Syracuse Mission (remember we merged the Utica & Rochester Missions to form the Syracuse Mission on July 1, 2019). What a wonderful spiritual feast for each of. What a privilege and blessing. Let me share just a few nuggets:
Elder Gay told us:
The Book of Mormon is an instrument to bring people unto Christ. Conversion begins with feelings before knowledge. We have to be a witness of the power of Jesus Christ. We stand for the Savior.
Elder Johnson shared some words of advice - 5 things that we should do as missionaries:
1. Remember who you are.
2. Exact obedience is key as we become instruments in the hand of God.
3. Remember your purpose as a missionary: you are to find, teach repentance & baptize.
4. Use the Book of Mormon in all you do.
5. Don't waste your time.
Elder Christofferson spent most of his time doing Questions and Answers:
Question: How do you receive personal revelation?
Answer: President Nelson addressed the importance of personal revelation after been sustained as the prophet in his first talk in April 2018 General Conference - "In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost."
Elder Christofferson continued, There is no single way to receive personal revelation. He then listed four ways to consider:
1. Doctrine & Covenants 9:8 - "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."
Study it out in your mind, ask the Lord. When you get an answer, ask if there is anything more that you should know or understand. Many times there will be - write it down. This shows your interest and the Lord may give you even more.
2. Studying the scriptures. As you study you will be in a condition for the Lord to speak to you. That is one reason we study the scriptures, to receive inspiration and revelation.
3. Prayer. Praying creates situations when you can take time. The Lord will sometimes tell you what to ask. This process prompts where the prayer takes you and helps you to pray by the spirit. And allows the Lord to give you even more.
4. Service. When you are serving, he can prompt you.
Elder Gay added to this question about revelation:
Elder Gay is responsible for sending out Missionary Surveys which include a question about what concerns the missionary the most - the answer that comes up most often is: How do we recognize personal revelation? Elder Gay's answer:
You can recognize promptings by their fruits - what happens if you follow a certain prompting? Is this inspiration or just a good idea? It doesn't matter, just do it!
Elder Clay added:
Keep a 3x5 card in your pocket. Write down every time you are inspired during the day. Review the card at the end of the day. You will be able to better recognize inspiration as you acknowledge what you are already receiving each day.
Elder Christofferson closed:
I bear witness that you are called by the authority of Jesus Christ to teach and to testify, just as the Apostles. You are engaged in an Apostolic work under Apostolic keys. I am a witness of your callings.
The Savior's capacity to save and to redeem is infinite. You are standing at the door with the Kingdom of Heaven in your hands. You have the power to give it to the people.
Jesus Christ is resurrected. His resurrection is the proof of everything else he taught. The resurrection is the seal.
In less than 3 weeks we will have the opportunity to listen to our prophets and apostles in General Conference. As you take the time to carefully watch, I promise you that you will receive answers to your prayers and peace and comfort in your hearts. You will be inspired to move forward in your lives and you and your families will be richly blessed as you watch conference and heed the words of those chosen by God to lead His church.
On our way to conference in Syracuse, we drive through Mexico, NY. So, I play the Mexican Hat Dance. So, we got Sisters Wiese and Penrod to reprise a previous version performed by Sisters Black & White!
Our new found baby turtles first swim (Tom put in a little worm type thing to see if the turtle would eat it - the turtle totally ignored it.)
We pray for peace and comfort for all those that mourn the loss of Reggie. We say good bye to our dear friend, Reggie - but just for now. We will meet again. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, died for us. He was resurrected on the third day and each and everyone of us will live again. We look forward to a great reunion with Reggie.
Another busy week in paradise! A few of our non-pictured service opportunities this week: We took Everette to Canton to meet with his counselor that handles some benefit programs that he is working on. We had several virtual student visits with our students from BYU PathwayConnect. At Young Women's meeting, Broderick offered to give all the girls back to school blessings...it was very sweet and appreciated by the girls. We had our Virtual Orientation meeting with our BYU PathwayConnect group - it was awesome, we're going to have a great year with them. There were more piano lessons for 2 of the branch children. And we drove to the Malone Branch (about 50 minutes away) and did a BYU PathwayConnect presentation to the Young Men and Women of the Branch as well as a few interested adults. What a great additional opportunity for our youth to consider as they decide what they are going to do after high school.