Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slowing Down Your Life

Wow I love the temple.  We got to go today, we just got back into Guarambaré.  It was just a really good session for me, I don´t know why.  I felt really good.  Maybe because it has been 7 months since I went last.  I was dying from the wait.  We got up at 4:30 this morning and headed out just before 5:30.  We got there and had some time to relax and ready ourselves before we went in.  It´s always neat when the missionaries get to go to the temple.  I´m sorry for those who aren´t members yet, you won´t understand all of the terms here, but bear with me.

When we get there, we change into all white and gather up in a room where the temple president talks to us before we go in.  After he talks to us, we can do as many things as possible before we start a session.  We have the choices of baptisms, confirmations, sealings, and initiatories.  This time I felt inspired to choose sealings first, and I´m glad I did.  I got some interesting revelation that was needed.  Missionaries can´t participate in sealings as a spouse, but they can act for the child being sealed to parents, so I got to do a few of those.  It was really great.  I felt a really good Spirit there.  Then I went over to do initiatories - its my second favorite.  I forgot how much I love doing those.  It just makes more and more sense every time I do it.  I think my favorite calling I could ever have would be a temple worker.  A sealer, specifically, but really just to be able to be in the Lord´s house a few days a week and enjoy of the Spirit that is always so strong there would be such a blessing for me and my future family.  After initiatories, we went in for the session.  I wish I could carry a little notebook in

there with me to write down all that comes to my mind, because I forget the large majority of it.  But I learned a lot this time.  On the last part before the celestial room, I had the option to do it in English or Spanish.  Of course I chose Spanish haha.  How many more times will I be able to do that in Spanish?  In the celestial room, it was kind of strange.  I went in intending to take one issue to the Lord and ended up leaving with another.  Not something I can really explain, but let´s just say that the Lord has His own ways and works in very distinct forms.  I guess the test is to trust that He knows best, right?  But it was good, as usual.  I´m glad I had the opportunity to go to the temple today, it was much needed.

I don´t have my English scriptures with me so I can´t type out the 13th and last Article of Faith, and I haven´t memorized it (not in English, anyway), so I´ll have to wait to finish up the Articles of Faith series next week.  But that´s ok, this week I wanted to talk about one of the General Conference talks that President Uchtdorf gave this past Conference.  He talked about slowing down your life, especially when things get rough.  The temple really helped me to do that today.  I don´t mention this today because I´m going through a rough time or anything like that, I just gained a nice insight today that I´d like to share.

I never really realized how rigorous missionary work is.  Being in a place so utterly and completely peaceful like the temple helped me realize how busy and stressful life really is - especially missionary life.  It helped me to slow down and just relax, something I really needed to do.  I don´t complain about how busy I am; on the contrary, I like all the work.  It helps keep me motivated.  But I realized today how frantic I have been the past 2 or so months.  Guarambaré is a hard area.  It is not a place that has many baptisms for various reasons.  It is a struggling branch that needs a lot of help and needs really strong missionaries to support the weight.  It isn´t an easy thing - in terms of planning (which is even harder) and executing the plans - to keep a branch thriving.  You have to keep the members animated, make sure the meetings are being run the way they should be, go get people before and during church, constantly be on the phone calling the people you can´t visit, going to teach less actives, finding out why they haven´t come to church in so long, figure out their needs and the best way that you and the ward can meet them, get members to keep visiting them when they do finally start coming back so that when you stop in order to be able to focus on other less actives they don´t fall into inactivity again because nobody visits them, and many other things - and that doesn´t even include the even more detailed and demanding work we do with investigators and our own companions.  Between keeping all that up, being a district leader in charge of 6 other missionaries that are usually great but sometimes need a little correction or help, and training a new missionary right after training your first new missionary who left early and caused you to be stuck with a local who isn´t really trained in any aspect of missionary work...let´s just say that Elder Moore doesn´t exactly have time to sit down and watch some tv with a tub of ice cream in his lap like he used to haha.  I don´t complain, I really hope this doesn´t come across as complaining.  But I never really realized how fast I´ve been going until I slowed it down.  It makes it a little easier on me when I feel like I´m not doing everything I can or should be doing and aren´t living up to my full potential as a missionary.  It helped me to realize how much I really am doing, and that makes me feel good.  Missionary life is hard, and it is difficult to avoid self-criticism in this work, especially with so many people you are accountable to and the reports you give of your work on a weekly or even daily basis.  But when I slowed it down, unwound, and just took a deep breath with my short few hours in the temple today, I feel good.  I feel good about what I´m doing and about what I´ve done up until now.  I just hope the Lord can keep lifting me up to continue to do even better and get even more accomplished.

I think everyone should take the advice every once in a while and just slow down a little.  Focus on the basics.  Make sure you´re happy.  Make sure your family is happy.  Give yourself a break and look at all the good things you´ve done and accomplished over the past few months.  And if you feel like you haven´t accomplished much, make plans to change it.  Just slow down for a bit.  You´ll find that the Lord is more willing to talk to you if you just give Him a second to get His message across to you.  Love and miss everybody.  I´ll write again next week, as usual :)

-Elder Moore

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