April 04, 2011
As of 2010 there were 52,225 full-time missionaries in the world!
SO! that means that without the Brown family … there would only be 52,223! BCFT!
I love conference!
One of my favorites was Lynn G. Robbins from Sunday Night. He spoke about TO BE vs. TO DO.
Definite FHE material. This talk is AWESOME.
This type of subject is what I’ve spent most of my mission trying to figure out. What do I need to do in order to become who God wants me to be? Am I just doing these things or am I really becoming? Am I just obeying the rules to check off the day or am I seeking miracles? Are our numbers at the end of the week a result of great faith and hard work? Or are they a cop-out result of distracted and selfish efforts to simply make it through the week. I’ve had dog hard weeks with bad numbers. I’ve had cop-out weeks with great numbers.
All of this comes from a VISION. A DESIRE.
Just like Elder Oaks talks about:
Our desires determine our priorities, which shape our choices, which define our actions, which determine what we will ultimately become.
Without a sincere desire to serve the Lord, nothing happens. Or well, not enough happens.
Throughout my life, I feel like my desires have always been in the right place. I never wanted to break commandments or rebel against the things I knew were true. I wanted to do the right things. But for a long time, I didn’t know how to turn those desires into priorities, choices, and actions. I had great plans for what I would become, but wasn’t sure how to get there. Sometimes I chose to be fun and free more than I chose to be diligent or focused. That’s okay. I’m glad I had years of freedom and fun and I don’t necessarily regret any of that. But a year or so before I went on my mission something started to feel different. All that fun and free stuff was great but I felt called to be something more. I started to learn tools for how to set goals– how to move forward. I caught a vision of who I could be. I was a good person already but I realized how much better I wanted to be! Basically, I wanted to be less distracted, more dedicated to God. I never wanted to be complacent with being a fence-sitter– or being someone who floats around with great intentions but no game plan.
That’s a huge reason why I came out. I wanted to take my new desires and choices and turn them into habits and patterns I could keep forever. Putting my papers in was like drawing my line in the sand: From here on out I will not be satisfied with mediocrity. I will seek my greatest potential.
I am so pumped just talking about it.
But seeking my greatest potential is hard work. Hard hard work.
Turns out I have much more to work on than I realized.
Life before my mission moved in such a way that many of my weaknesses were left easily unnoticed because of the pace and distractions of my life– and sometimes, because they were quite simply avoidable. Here in this highly concentrated environment of Godly service and Godly learning and Godly expectations, I must come to face myself.
My need for God.
When things are hard, I cannot take a nap, a walk, or a drive. I cannot turn to my music or my friends or the park. Being on a mission weeds out the crutches, distractions, rationalizations and aliases of former times. All excess matter is blasted away. It’s only me and God here. He is almost forcing me to rely on Him and Him only. It’s hard and sometimes I avoid turning to him. I still seem to think I can do a lot of this by myself. I think I am so tough! I’m really not that tough. I need Him. I’m glad I’m here because I am going to learn what to do when I need Him and how to not need anything else. After that, it won’t matter what struggles or changes come my way– because the only thing I’ll need is God. He’s not going anywhere. Get it?
What if someone told you they could teach you to rely on only one thing– and that thing would never change. It would remain the same yesterday, today, and forever. This means you could learn to only depend on the only dependable thing. And the thing is not some techno-apple-gadget newly introduced into the world. It is a man that created you, loves you, knows you perfectly, and had constructed the best plan of all time for your life– which you can tap into through prayer and the spirit. A man who one day wants you to have all the happiness and knowledge he has. He’ll never give up on you. This is a rock you can trust forever!
Wouldn’t you want to do that? Even if the process was really long and really hard and the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
There’s no way I’m getting out of here without learning how to rely on Him and Him only, and that will serve me and my family for the rest of our lives and into eternity.
One thing I have learned on my mission:
We cannot reach our greatest potential as a companionship unless both of us have the same vision. Unless we both have the same high expectations of ourselves and each other. If one companion’s expectations are lower, things get hard. Because in the end, the ultimate vision cannot be accomplished unless both companions are all in– otherwise, they must settle for something below the ultimate. One companion’s faith or drive or motivation is not enough to carry both. And when we ride one the spark of only one, someone gets burnt out. Someone feels alone. Someone needs some help. This is really helping me to understand how families get this way.
I’m there are all sorts of things about visions and goals and moving forward that I haven’t learned or don’t understand yet. It’s okay. I’m trying to learn those too.