I had another miracle happen this week....wait that needs some background.
Brat Seitz pulled my aside a few days ago to tell me about the . . . Mission. He gave me some great advice but the most important thing he shared was 10 things that are called "The Mission Culture." These are 10 things that every missionary in the . . . Mission should be striving for.
1. We obey with exactness
2. We baptize worthy investigators
3.We love whom and where we serve
4. We seek the spirit
5. We act in faith
6. We offer a more excellent sacrifice
7. We are master teachers of the doctrine of repentance
8.We are master planners
9.We witness miracles
10.We match the grandeur of the message.
Some explanation of what these mean. First, we obey with exactness. Brat Seitz said that the . . . Mission is one of the most obedient missions in the world. He said that when his friends talk about things that elders did in their missions, he just shakes his head. He told me that the . . . mission is only for those who follow the mission rules with exactness. Second, we don't baptize just anyone. We make sure that anyone we baptize has a strong testimony and a desire to serve Christ to the end. Third, we don't complain about where or with whom we are serving. We love and dedicate our all, no matter where we are. Forth, we need the spirit because it is the true teacher. "If ye have not the spirit, ye shall not teach." Fifth, we put ourselves out there and act in faith. We know that through Christ all things are possible and we act in faith so that He can bless us. Sixth, we give up anything that isn't exactly in line with God's commandments and our calling as a missionary. As we sacrifice those things that may be important to us but are not necessary or distract from our calling, the Lord will bless us. Seventh, we know that repentance is an essential part of God's plan and we are prepared to teach with power and with the spirit. We want those we teach to KNOW how and why to use repentance. Eighth, we are master planners because through effective planning, we can be inspired to teach with power and be directed where the Lord wants us to go. Often the difference between a missionary with power and a missionary that goes through the motions is how well they utilize the tool of planning. Ninth, as we do our part, we expect miracles. We witness miracle because we have done all that is required to bind the Lord and call down the powers of heaven. Tenth, we dress, speak, and act to match the importance of the message that we bear. As we make sure that we act as Jesus Christ would, we will have people notice that we carry a light in our eyes and a spring in step that marks us as representatives of Jesus Christ.
These things have really stood out to me and reminded me that the . . . Mission is truly one of the most elect missions on earth. I have been called to serve and I am assigned to labor in the . . . Mission and I know that as I give 100% of myself to the Lord, he will multiply my efforts beyond my wildest dreams.
I decided that I was going to obey with exactness, witness miracles, and offer a more excellent sacrifice. I re-committed myself to all of the above on Sunday. I acted on my commitment on Monday and onTuesday I did indeed witness miracles. I was able to understand more Russian than ever before and I was able to say what I wanted to say in return. Now, it is far from perfect but it is like someone flipped a switch and now the language makes sense! I know that obedience bring blessings but exact obedience bring miracles.
Another thing, God grants us our desires, I KNOW that this is true. God always has blessed me with what I most desire. Whether it is to get in shape, fix a personality flaw, learn a language concept, or make a friend. I testify that truly desiring something is a sure way to call down the Lord's blessings. Now, you have to want it enough to make sacrifices but when we do our part, the Lord truly does offer us miracles.
OK, now on to the coolest part of this week. I wrote about doing music for the 4th of July...well..I've dropped that because I am too busy. Here's why. I have been chosen to sing in a special choir that will be singing for the mission presidents conference this next week. This choir has 36 singers(9 of each part) who were chosen because of their musical training. We get to sing for the entire first presidency and all 12 apostles. Yep, that's right. All 15 of them. And they will be about 10 feet from us! We will sing Sunday through Wednesday and sing before each of the first presidency member's talks. We have to learn and memorize 5 pieces of music this week...that's more than one a day, and we have been told to drop anything else on our schedule that is needed so that we can be prepared. Elder Meredith is also in the choir. It gets better, at least in my mind, because there will be some ridiculous security around this next week and we have each been given a letter that will get us through all of it. What an amazing chance this is. This could be one reason that I entered the MTC in May is because God knew that I needed this chance to share my talents and I wouldn't have had it if I had come in earlier.
OK, now that all the exciting stuff is shared, let me close with a powerful thought from Elder Ballard who spoke this week.
"You can always follow the counsel of the apostles and prophet. We will not and cannot lead you astray. Know that we speak for the Lord and 'whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same' ."
I know that I have been called by a prophet of God and that I have a special mission to perform in . . . I know that the Lord has multiplied my abilities and he will continue to do so as I offer a sincere effort, a broken heart, and a contrite spirit. I have a testimony that the atonement of Christ is the enabling power to allow us to improve, repent, and find happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.