Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mission Farewell

Today was the big day! (One of them, next stop, MTC!) In our ward we have the opportunity of choosing our own topic to speak on and back in June when I had a great personal experience, I knew right away what I wanted to focus my talk on--following the promptings of the Spirit and being a tool in the Lord's hands. He truly will guide us to bless the lives of others.

Excerpts from my talk...

"When we heed a silent prompting and act upon it without delay, our Heavenly Father will guide our footsteps and bless our lives and the lives of others." -President Monson

Alma 17:11 "...and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of  many souls."

 I have looked forward to giving this talk for a long time, but the past few weeks every time I would think about it my heart would sink and begin to race. Yesterday and this morning I felt as if I could not get my heart rate to slow down and I was having trouble catching my breath; things were getting real. I felt excited but still nervous all day today, anxiously waiting for church which didn't start until one o'clock. I still felt nervous when I arrived at church, but once I got up to speak I felt pretty calm and ready to give my talk.

This was a talk I really enjoyed giving because I had personal experiences and stories of others to share that have had a powerful impact on my life and I felt the message behind it all could really touch the lives of those in attendance. I was so grateful that the people involved in the personal experiences I shared, that I really considered small miracles as they proved to be the biggest testimony builders, came to support me today along with family, friends, neighbors, coaches, teachers and even temple workers I consider friends and great supporters of me and my decision to serve.

 I am so grateful for the wonderful day we had, and for the Spirit that was felt and the messages that were shared. The best part about giving a talk is being able to learn more about what you plan to talk about and to simply have your mind enlightened. I know that our Heavenly Father places people in our lives to help us and uplift us. He knows each and every one of us, and He cares deeply about us.

               "Unless the way we live draws us closer to our Heavenly Father and to our fellow men, there will be an enormous emptiness in our lives.  God does notice us, and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.  Brothers and sisters, we each have a covenant responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of others and serve as the Savior did--to reach out, bless, and uplift those around us." --Spencer W. Kimball

               President Monson once said "Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save."

There are people who need you. That's right-YOU. Your personality, your talents, your character. As a missionary, whether one called full-time to serve the Lord or one in our everyday lives, "we are not called to a place, we are called in place of the Savior." It is His message, His gospel. We are simply instruments in His hands and I know that if we will heed the quiet promptings of the Spirit, we will be led to accomplish great things and bring our brothers and sisters unto Christ. 

As I have experienced, when we listen to the Spirit and follow its promptings, we can and will be led to answer the prayers of others. As President Uchtdorf said, "In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance."

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