Monday, November 24, 2014

A Learning Experience...

Alright, so this week has been what you might call a LEARNING EXPERIENCE. I'll share a small portion of it. 
   This last week we had the opportunity to attend a monthly meeting with leaders from all over the mission. It's called the Mission Leadership Council, and although about 30+ missionaries attend, our mission President really does treat it like a church council in which we have a guided conversation as we try to resolve difficulties or different things with the mission. More than anything it was amazing to me to see how the Spirit guided. This time the main issue we discussed was how to help missionaries use their time more effectively between the hours of 10:00 and 5:00, when many people are working and not available to be visited or taught. More than once I had a specific thought that I felt needed to be shared but couldn't find a window to do so with all the comments that were flying back and forth, when someone else raised their hand and shared the exact same thought!
     At the end I was especially amazed. The meeting ended up running going three mornings straight, and at the close of the final council, during the closing prayer, I had the question come into my mind, "Ok, we've figured out a good way to balance our time as missionaries, but how much should I dedicate to the zone? I know at the moment it's not enough." As the closing prayer ended, President Taylor stood up and said, "We could spend another three days talking about this, but I'll keep it down to 2 minutes. How much time do you think you should dedicate to helping your zones?" People began to suggest time percentages and it was quickly agreed on that about 25% of our time was reasonable. President Taylor seemed to agree with it, and that was the last thing discussed. Incredible, right? 
    Also, Elder Del Aguila. The truth is, as a missionary there are a lot of things we are instructed to do, be, and teach, and report, and if you're not careful, you can become more caught up in fulfilling the things you've been trained to do than really worry about the eternal welfare of the souls of the members and nonmembers with which you work. Elder Del Aguila is a convert to the church of about 5 years, and is different than many missionaries I have met in his way of thinking about the work, teaching, and interacting with his companion. During the last two weeks as we've come to know each other, I've been able to reflect upon and see more clearly the priorities I've had as a missionary, and take off the "missionary goggles" that can sometimes actually impede us from having true charity and a focus on the eternal well-being of others. I've reflected a lot recently on the follow scriptures:
2 Nephi 2:30
And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls.
2 Nephi 33:3-4
But I, Nephi, have written what have written, and esteem it as of great worthand especially unto my people. For pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and cry unto my God in faith, and know that he will hear my cry.
And know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.
That's about all for this week! But I'm doing well, and the people we're working with are coming along line upon line. 
Love you! 
Elder Gaughan

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