Win – Win

This transfer I am staying in New Town with Elder Jorgensen.

The highlight of this week was the chance we had to go to the temple as a branch on Saturday. There was a lot of preparation that had to be put into this by our branch and it all paid off. It ended up being a great experience for me and I am sure it was for everyone else that came as well.

On Sunday, Brother Dey came and was confirmed. Later in the day we were also able to meet with him and have a small lesson which was good. We gave Brother Dey a bible as a gift and showed him how to use the topical guide and bible dictionary to help with his study.

We were not able to watch conference live but I am sure we will be able to watch at least the first session when the church sends us the DVD. I can’t wait until then. I guess sometimes I don’t have much to say about my week so I will just share this.

I know that not only does God love and know each of us personally but that each one of us can personally know and love God. It will never happen to us all at once but it will happen if we realize that we must do something to gain such a testimony. Before I left on my mission I didn’t understand fully what is was that I really needed to do to gain a stronger personal testimony. I still probably don’t fully understand but I have learned more on this subject. One of my favorite quotes is by Elder Boyd K. Packer. He said, “Oh, if I could teach you this one principle. A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!” This is one thing I did not realize before my mission. One of the reasons my testimony has grown so much on my mission is because bearing my testimony is something I very frequently get to do. I also understand that faith is a principal of action. This means you can’t just believe and you can never have a full testimony of something unless you practice it. I have seen time after time investigators had almost no testimony at all of the word of wisdom, for example, until they started to live it. Or in other words they didn’t know why they needed to do it until they had done it. (Ether 12:6)

I have also seen how serving the Lord has helped me to get to know Him better. I not only have to rely on Him in this work but I have to be more like Him. That is something that is sometimes very difficult but is always worth it for me and all of us that try our best. Even like Mosiah 5:13 says “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served…” I know that God lives for a reason, I know that he loves me for a reason ,and I know that this gospel is true for a reason but I didn’t know all of this before to the same degree as I do now and that is all because I decided to serve a mission. Nowhere else would I have found such an opportunity for growth, nowhere else could I have been given a chance to look almost completely outward and heavenward. In normal life back home I would have to worry about school, school expenses, jobs and an extreme amount of other things where as on a mission all of that seems to disappear. I have to worry very little about myself here. Most things are worked out for me so that I can spend day after day teaching, finding, and helping others. I think this is so great. There really is no other place or time where I would be able to do the same. I think that is part of the reason it is such a PRIVILEGE to serve a mission. You get to forget yourself and help others and in return you will be blessed.

So, to anyone who will ever read this considering going on a mission, don’t even make it a debate just go. The responsibility and obligation to serve isn’t from your mom or dad or even your Bishop but it is given to you by God. Serving should be one of your greatest desires if you understand how much it will bless your life and the lives of those in your future family and present. A mission will even bless the lives of countless others that you will serve. This service is a win-win situation. If you feel like your testimony is week or struggling why don’t you try sharing it. If you are having a hard time even believing there is a God try serving Him. I know it will bless you.

You could also read Agency and Answers: Recognizing Revelation by Elder Richard G. Scott that might help.

I know this church is true for a reason! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Orton

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