Things in Maputo are going well. We had several trainings this week, which I am also grateful for. I always walk away feeling taught, inspired, uplifted, and blessed. President Kretly taught us this week about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. At first, I thought it was an interesting topic – shouldn’t we discuss how to make better contacts, or teach more powerful lessons? But something I am learning in a big way is that my mission (and my life) is not about just doing missionary things, but BECOMING a missionary. BECOMING what the Lord wants me to be. This week, I read in Alma 9, and something really stuck out to me. Verse 28 says:
“Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been—if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil they shall reap the damnation of their souls, according to the power and captivation of the devil.”
According to that which they have BEEN. Not only works, but the people we have become. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said:
“…the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.”
My mission is truly teaching me how to BECOME like the Savior. After all, it was He who said so powerfully: “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.”
In other news, we committed Bento and Isabel to marriage this week. We have been fasting and praying fervently this week, as they strive to overcome difficulties with this decision and family obstacles (ALL of their family lives in Quelimane, a Mozambiquan province really far away). Then, we saw another miracle. At Church yesterday, who happened to be visiting our branch? The Branch President from Quelimane! We couldn’t believe it. We quickly introduced him to Bento and Isabel and they hit it off. The Branch President is so eager to help them, and it was so very clearly an answer to our prayers. We are working to teach them that dependent on our faith is our DESIRE and WILLINGNESS to act on the answers we receive. After Nephi broke his bow, he didn’t wait for the Lord to bring his family food. Straightaway, he made a new bow out of wood, and also brought along some stones and a sling (see 1 Nephi 16). We have to act.
I love the Lord. I love this gospel, and I love this work. The Church is true!
Love you all.