The Power of Service and Love

Good to hear from you all!!  I sure love you more and more every day!!

It’s awesome to hear that Mark and Miles are out helping at the farm.  That is an experience that I shall never forget!  I learned some great lessons those two weeks that I spent out there.  There are just some great lessons that one learns from hard work, especially farm work, that you just can’t get in the same way anywhere else.  I cherish my time there and hope you do too – with family and hard work!  (Plus I remember one car ride Amy and I took by ourselves, as well as Larisa and I, – fun sibling bonding time!)

So lately, I’ve been learning about the power of service and the word “referral”.  The missionaries in our ward (Elders and Sisters), even in our zone, have been thinking about this: before Ammon taught, he served.  At times, before Jesus taught people, he met their physical needs (like feeding the 5 or 2 thousand on the mount).  And I was reminded of Elder Ballard’s talk about the Honeybees and I understood: that the honeybees are the members and the honey is missionary work.  Perhaps it seems small or insignificant for each member to (for example) pray about, find, and help bring one person to church each year… OR (for example) to serve their neighbors once each month…so that these people feel of God’s love… OR (for example)inviting others (once a week) to check out lds.org…  OR visiting/home teaching to strengthen members (to stay/get more active in the gospel)…
But what if EVERY member in a whole ward, or stake, or the entire world did this???  Just think – 100, 500, 12 million more people that get to experience the JOY of the gospel in their families!!!  And that’s where each honeybee’s contribution seems insignificant, but collectively the work of the Lord WILL hasten!!!  And the focus of that talk was: SERVICE!!

My companions and I and other missionaries are noticing, that service opens people’s hearts – love and kindness, just sharing because of the joy we feel in the gospel and inviting them to ‘come learn more’ or just being their friend…- and service/kindness from the members to ALL people, no matter where they go, opens the hearts of people quicker than anything.  We shall certainly be a peculiar people and people will start to wonder as we live like we believe, and “It is not your responsibility to convert anyone. That is the work of the Holy Ghost. Your task is to share your beliefs and to not be afraid. Be a friend to all, but never compromise your standards. Stand true to your convictions and faith. Stand tall, because you are a daughter of God, and He stands with you!” (http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/general-young-women-meeting/2013/03/your-wonderful-journey-home?lang=eng)
I know that this is true, and it’s the funnest part of living!  Service and kindness towards others!

We visited one Sister, Sister Lozada.  We shared with her about this, and invited her to pray about it and invite someone to do something that will help them on their journey to come unto Christ and learn about his gospel.  So she did, and she shared with us about Sister Tolentino, who has two boys who are members and lives right across the street from Sister Lozada.  She talked to us and we scheduled a time.  Sister Lozada then talked to Sister Tolentino to ask if it was okay and then texted us that it was.  We went and visited her.

Another example: Sister Driz, she has a handful of friends that she has invited to ward activities or others who she has met (because she owns a tindahan – a small store – across from the middle school and so she sees and meets a lot of people).  She is always sharing the gospel with others in small and simple ways – and most of all just being an example.  We have met others in Bungkal who know her and were more open to hearing from us because of Sister Driz’s kind example and love of sharing the gospel.  Brother Driz too!  During the last Gospel Principles class, he was happy and friendly to all the investigators and recited all of their names and welcomed them for attending.

Sister Blessyl, invited a friend to a baptismal service and then to the ward activity that just followed.  We met her and she is open to having us come by and visit her.

Sister Kim, she invited two of her friends to her home to meet with the missionaries and invites them to church every Sunday. These two we have taught and are really progressing!

More and more I realize how important every member is as a missionary!!  One of my favorite quotes in PMG is:

“We must share the gospel with others. That is our responsibility—every member a missionary. That is the call of prophets of God. …

“… Member-missionary work is one of the great keys to the individual growth of our members. It is my conviction that member-missionary work will raise the spirituality in any ward where applied” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 208–9).

or another one:

“Every member … a missionary!” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1959, 122).

“True Christianity is love in action. There is no better way to manifest love for God than to show an unselfish love for your fellow men. This is the spirit of missionary work” (Gospel Ideals[1954], 129).

one more:

“That is your mission, my brethren and sisters of the Church, that is your responsibility. Freely you have received and our Heavenly Father will expect you freely to share with His other sons and daughters these glorious truths” (Sharing the Gospel with Others, sel. Preston Nibley [1948], 213).

“We will attain our exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom only on the condition that we share with our Father’s other children the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and observe the commandments that will enrich our lives here and hereafter” (Sharing the Gospel with Others, 190).

Exciting, right!?!

One Elder who is going home next week shared his testimony at our District Meeting Yesterday.  He commented how sad it is when missionaries come home and then they never touch their preach my gospel.  He heard another missionary say, “I’m going to use preach my gospel to raise my children!”  and he agreed.  It has the most basic doctrines and commandments of the gospel there.  It explains how to help others develop testimonies, be more like Jesus, inviting others to learn about the gospel, teach, etc.  I really liked that.  Me too!  I’m going to use preach my gospel as a parent and for the rest of my life.  I love this book very much.  It is PACKED with spiritual truths!

Well, I’m out of time…

One last thing:  We met a lady (as we opened our mouth and invited her to learn more as we were looking for another house) and later we met her husband.  This family, the Claudio family, is rich in family and poor in material things.  They have what matters most.  The mother is SO prepared for the gospel, and the father really likes to read religious books and learn.  We’re teaching the mother for the second time and the father for the first time later this week.  God really places people in our paths and sends His spirit to help them as we pray for help, and don’t hestitate to open our mouth in kindness and invite.  God places people in our paths as he sees that we are committed to it!

“The Lord does not ask about our ability or inability, But only about our avalibility, And if we prove our dependability, The Lord will take care of our capability.” – Neal A. Maxwell

Sooo true!  I sure love you all!!!

Sister Hayden


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