I felt that I got so much out from personal study this week. Don’t get me wrong, I get a lot out from personal study every time. However, this week seemed like the Lord wanted me to know even more. Sometimes, I wish that we had more than an hour to soak up all of God’s words, but it would be kind of pointless to learn so much and not share it! And that’s where the real joy comes in too.
So one of the things I focused on this week was how I can better use my time, aka, the Lord’s time. There are so many things to do and often, I get extremely stressed way too easily. As I was studying Preach My Gospel, I ended up reading Jacob 5 where it talks about the analogy of the working in the Lord’s vineyard. I remember reading it several times in the past and not really understanding it at all. However, when I read it this time, I was enlightened, edified, comforted and strengthened.
I want to share some of the verses that really hit me:
-v. 12: it reminded me that the Lord gave Alhambra – this part of His vineyard- to my companions and me to take care of. We must watch and nourish the “trees” in Alhambra, but only according to how God wants us to do it. Therefore, it is CRUCIAL that we do all we can to know His will and more importantly, we need to humbly submit to His will.
-v. 61: we have to labor DILIGENTLY in order to bring forth good fruit. A lot of times, we will have to labor for a long time before we see any fruit. BUT, the Lord promises us that the fruit will be the MOST precious of all other fruits.
-v. 75: THE MISSIONARY’S DREAM. This is what I think ultimate success and happiness feels like. But what I love even more about this scripture is how it says “blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard.” Key word: WITH. Although we are His servants in His vineyard, He is still laboring with us. He is helping us every step of the way. We are not doing this alone. We are doing this WITH the Savior.
-another thing I learned from this verse: we as missionaries need to bring forth good, NATURAL fruit. Not artificial. People should not be converted because of a specific missionary, social reasons, other people’s influence or other pressures. That is artificial. Natural to me means that people should be converted to Jesus Christ and truly understand His Atonement. They need to have their own testimony through their own efforts to pray, read the scriptures and come to church. That is natural.
Also a lot of times in this chapter, it uses the word graft. I looked it up on the dictionary and graft has several meanings. Two of which are:
1.) a shoot or twig inserted into a slit on the trunk or stem of a living plant, from which it receives sap
2.) word hard or hard work
So let us all graft and work hard with the Savior in His vineyard. We are all in this together!
We continue to see miracles every week. Many of our investigators this week took a leap of faith and began to ACT. And how God has blessed them! It all starts with taking that first step of faith.
I love you all so dearly! I know that this is the Lord’s work. Missions are such a sacred time to get to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on a deeper level. To love them more. To appreciate them more. I feel like it’s a time where God teaches you one on one. It’s so personal.
Have a wonderful week!
Sister Huang 黄姐妹