Well hello again! Another week has passed! I feel like I just wrote to everyone yesterday. That’s crazy!
So this week was super exciting. Sorta. We spent a lot of time in Bucksport. And when you don’t have a lot of investigators it’s hard to be in one place for a lot of days in a week. There are things to do, of course, but it’s really REALLY hard in the evening because in this part of the country, everyone goes to bed with the sun. They think that 6:00pm (which by the way, is a decent hour for DINNER) is “late”. It’s so strange. Sooo knocking doors isn’t exactly the ideal way to find new people to teach, particularly after 5:00. 😛 We usually spend time in Bucksport on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays because everything is so spread out and we only get 1300 miles a month, so the other days are spent mostly just in Ellsworth. Those times in Bucksport, we usually drive at least a little bit because it’s a spread out town, but on Wednesday, we woke up to snow and news that schools were closed… which meant we weren’t allowed to drive. Hooray… So now we had an entire extra day to spend in Bucksport. That was interesting. We were able to teach a recent convert, James, and spend some time walking and trudging through the snow on the ground and blowing in our face, which wasn’t too bad. It was actually entertaining because the nice fluffy snow covered the solid masses of ice that covered the streets. I’m proud to say that I haven’t fallen yet this winter! (knock on wood) So anyway, then we also spent some time working on the song we wrote for Zone Conference. We didn’t finish it that day. Which then got super interesting because Zone Conference was on Thursday. Well, I did finish writing it out! Two minutes before we got to the building in Augusta! Whoo… Talk about stress and time-crunching! We actually almost didn’t do it, but once President Stoker spoke about choices, which is the name if the sing, we knew the Lord had definitely been inspiring us as we wrote, so we did perform it, and it went pretty well. A lot of people told us it was great and that they wanted a copy of it. We’re going to revise it and then we’ll record it for you to listen to. 🙂
So Zone Conference. Boy oh boy do I LOVE missionary meetings! I got to see Sister Buxton!!! She’s still serving in Portland and this zone conference was for all the zones in Maine. This Zone Conference was dedicated to helping us become the fourth missionary. Now, I’m not sure who knows what the fourth missionary is. I didn’t exactly, so I’ll explain.
Let me start with the first, second and third missionaries. The first missionary is one who came on a mission because of peer pressure, for the praise of others, etc. He/she did all the right things so they could come on a mission. They get sent home or they go home of their own choice. They go home and they usually go inactive. The second missionary is much the same as the first, but he doesn’t go home but he is counterproductive because he doesn’t want to be obedient and he doesn’t do the work he was called to do – he finishes his mission, but he has internal guilt and shame. Both the first and second missionaries are disobedient to the mission rules and the commandments. The third missionary is obedient and submissive, but he wants to do what he wants to do, not what the Lord wants him to do. He does what he needs to do as a missionary but he doesn’t give his heart to the Lord. He does his duty – a duty suggests an obligation. In the church, we don’t do things out of duty, we do them because we love the Lord and because we want to serve Him. The third missionary is always looking towards the future, saying “I’ll be happy when…” He compares himself to others and that’s how he measures his success. As a result, he is frustrated and discontented. He isn’t changed by the mission – he wants life to go back to the way it was before his mission. He might appear happy, but he’s always looking for more. The fourth missionary does more than his duty – he makes his duty as a missionary a privilege. Duty makes you do something, but love makes you do it well – the fourth missionary loves his mission. He kills his natural man and becomes a saint (Mosiah 3:19 – “the natural man is an enemy to God” because the natural man is the opposite of what God is. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16). He lives the message that he teaches. He acts like a missionary, not like a man. His desire is to serve the Lord completely, to develop charity and love for all. The fourth missionary measures his success from within – if we don’t make mistakes, we’re not working on hard enough problems, and that’s a big mistake. Because of his choices on his mission, he loves the scriptures and feasts on them (2 Nephi 32:3) – you are what you eat, so FEAST on the words of Christ! he does great good, he is HAPPY because he does the Lord’s work the way the Lord wants and needs him to do it, and he is changed because of his choices. Even after his mission, the fourth missionary does his best to continue being the fourth missionary.
I want to be the fourth missionary. There is always something to be working on. The fourth missionary is not perfect, but he is working hard to achieve perfection. He submits his will entirely to the Lord’s. And that is how I want to be throughout my entire life. Even though this is called being the fourth missionary, you could really call it being the fourth person. These principles don’t just apply to missionaries, just as the gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t just apply to certain people in the world. All principles of the gospel and all principles of becoming the fourth missionary (of becoming Christlike) apply to each and every person to ever come to this earth and receive a body. They apply to every single one of God’s children. So this week, I’d like each of you to think of one thing you need to do to become more Christlike, to strive for perfection, to become the fourth person. I referenced Mosiah 3:19 a little while ago which says: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever unless he yields himself to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child (Matthew 18:3), submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, and willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” If you’d like to choose one of those things to work on, that is fine. All of them will help you become more Christ-like. I know that whatever you choose to work on, as you do your best to perfect that part of yourself, the Lord will give you strength and support to do so. Your Heavenly Father loves you unconditionally, and He truly wants you to become your best. A couple of quotes that were shared on Thursday say: “Christ wants you to be your best. Satan wants you to be better than everyone else.” and “Christ cannot work in what He does not have, and He cannot have you unless you give yourself to Him.” I know this is true. The only way He can help us is if we ask Him. There are so many blessings that He is just waiting to give to us. All we have to do is ask.
I love each of you, and am so grateful to have you all in my life. I truly hope the best for you, I pray for you, and I hope this week is full of blessings and miracles.