Seeing the Work Progress-Weekly Reflection 8

This week I spent a lot of time working on the Mission Plan for my Ward. Part of this plan is getting people to create personal and family plans of their own. In the Ward Plan I listed out twelve items that people can use to create their own plans. These were not listed to be mandatory items, simply ideas to use and choose 2 or 3 as they are able. Between going through this plan and the readings from the Celebration of Discipline book I have seen a number of things that I can do better and things that we can do better as a family. I have also started working on a three-week missionary preparation class for our Ward, which is fairly difficult because I am not sure what to teach in the class. Finally, we were able to do some fairly good work teaching lessons this week.
While making the plan, I listed out several ideas for members to use in creating family plans. All of these are beyond the typical (and rather uncomfortable) idea of “missionary work” where you walk you to strangers and say something to the effect of “Hi, I’m John, would you like me to tell you about Jesus Christ?” That is something that most people simply will not do. The items that I put down are more about changing personal behavior and going to visit people who have not been to church in a while. Some of the things that I put down are inviting friends to church on Sundays when you are asked to speak (we have lay speakers every week), invite friends to family scripture study, and invite people to church activities outside of normal Sunday worship. Going through these ideas showed me some of the ways that I am lacking in doing this work and ways that I can grow. I need to talk to my wife about both of us working on these things together so we can keep each other motivated about doing them. These are outward actions that can hopefully come from she and I both putting the disciplines into practice.
The three-week missionary class is difficult for me to put together. It is very difficult for me to decide what material I want to include in the class. We had a small missionary workshop at our church about three months ago where we talked about sharing “church stuff” on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. I am unsure if I want to include this in the class because posting articles and little commentary like that is actually something that annoys me on Facebook. Beyond that, I have to come up with a way to discuss the work we are able to do without going into the standard fare of role-playing to get people used to discussing church teachings with people and brow-beating them about talking to people and inviting them to church. This will be a difficult class to write, but based on what I have learned about myself while writing and revising the mission plan, I know I will grow a great deal by the time I am finished with this missionary course.
Finally, we did some good work this week with teaching people. On Tuesday, I went out with some of the guys and we saw two members. The first lady we saw is the oldest member of our congregation and she had a mild stroke recently. We went over and talked to her to make sure she was doing OK and if she needed any help. She started talking about her deceased husband and gave us a blow-by-blow account of his last day. It was quite spell-binding because we never knew when he actually died and as she talked about waking up in the morning, baking cookies, eating breakfast, going to the car, going to church, and eating lunch, we all sat there thinking that the next thing she said would be when he died. It was a rather interesting way to tell that story. We then went to visit the man who I wrote about earlier in the semester who had returned to church after many years of not coming. Well, he came for two weeks and then stopped coming again. So we have continued to come to his house to talk with him and teach him hoping we can get him to come back again. This week, I taught him the lesson from Dan Gildner’s video from two weeks ago about how we have to continue on. I told him that we need to keep paddling forward and not turn around or take any detours or stop paddling and starting to drift. He said this message really made sense to him and was a good message, so hopefully that means he will come this Sunday. Finally, two of the other guys went and taught the man we taught last week who was having concerns about his family. Apparently those concerns were resolved because I spoke with them tonight and they said they had set him up for a date to be baptized. Same as last week, I wonder if it is moving too quickly in this particular case but we will see where it goes.
I have been working this week on praying more, I am still on that particular discipline because I feel that I have not really progressed in it. I may try to work meditation in with prayer this week. I’ve said this a few times through the semester, but I certainly need to take a little bit of time to study on my own and pray more often so that I am able to grow more spiritually. That is my goal this week, 30 minutes each day set aside to scripture study, meditation, and prayer.

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