Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mission Leadership Conference

Sista Monatau and me
This week has been another week that I have learned many new things.  I have also recognized how well my Heavenly Father knows me, and how much He wants to help me grow.  I have spent the last three days in Port Vila with the 19 other peer leaders in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission, as well as President Granger and his wife.  I have been taught and have felt so much and hope that I will be able to convey a little of what has happened.  
Sista Norton, Lemus, Manatau and I at Cafe Vila for the MLC dinner
We flew from the three different countries included in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission (Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and the islands of Vanuatu) into Port Vila on Sunday and all the sistas stayed in the Ohlen house.  Eight sistas in one house is quite the party!!  Three of the four STLs (Sister Training Leaders) in New Caledonia were the same.  So it was fun to see them all again.  We reviewed a lot of basic things on the first day such as housing, vehicles, preparation-day and the unwritten order of things and then finished off playing team games outside the mission home.
All the leaders of the great Vanuatu Port Vila Mission
Tuesday we went back to the mission home again for more training for the better part of the day.  We were introduced to a "mission map" that the assistants and President Granger have put together with the help of the spirit.  It pretty much just covers everything we need to do to become a tool in the Lord's hand.  One thing that stood out to me was the "destructive D's."  The destructive D's include: discouragement, disobedience, doubt, disbelief and distraction.  When we let these thoughts creep into our minds we give power to Satan to destroy our purpose as missionaries.  He knows that if he gets us to disbelieve, we won't be able to teach with convincing power.  He knows that if we get discouraged we won't have a desire to work hard or serve others.  He knows that when we get distracted with worldly things our full might, mind and strength won't be spent doing the Lord's work.  He knows this, and so he works overtime to smuggle these thoughts into our minds.  But here's the thing: We have the light of Christ!  And because we have that light we have power over Satan.  He only has power over us when we give it to him.  When we feel discouragement, doubt, and disbelief creeping in and start to become a little disobedient and distracted we have to immediately apply the "Positive B's".  The "positive B's" are to be positive, be happy, be clean, be ready, and be busy.  When we do those five things we take away Satan's power.  In the MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) we continued to discuss how our attitude, combined with our efforts, can help us reach miracles.  Last week I sent an email all about miracles that I have seen.  I know that those miracles will continue if I continue to do my part.  The work will move forward, and we can choose to be a part of it or be left behind.  
Sistas Norton, Draper, Lemus and Manatau
Another thing that President Granger said that really stood out to me was that it is better to offend others than it is to offend God.  That hit me hard because I have noticed that as one of my weaknesses.  I "fear man more than God" and realized that I need to have more courage and faith.  During the MLC, I was talking to Elder Fidow, the previous AP (Assistant to the President) and currently a zone leader in Solomon.  His mother passed away the first week of July.  He set aside the feelings of doubt and discouragement and complete anguish he was feeling and threw himself into the work.  During the month of July he and his companion were able to baptize 20 people.  Twenty people is a lot of people, but I believe that the true miracle is that he was able to put aside his own worries and doubts and trust God completely.  Elder Fidow said that he fell to his knees many times at night crying out for help and ALWAYS felt a confirmation that God would not give him more than he could handle.  He knew that he was not going through this alone. I know this to be true.  I have experienced times when I feel so discouraged and completely in the dark, but through the grace of God I find light--every single time.  Just like Elder Holland said in last conference, "God will not leave us alone; it is not in his nature."  His whole purpose is to help us.  He will never desert us. A scripture that has and continues to help me is found in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."  All things!  Despite how hard we may see it, we can do it through Christ and His power. 

I hope that what I have shared can help each of you.  Apply it. Live it, and that's when the miracles happen.  I know this is true.

Check out our mission facebook page:  Vanuatu Port Vila Mission 2015-2018

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