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missionnzhmmarch2014 ( ** )

New Zealand Hamilton Mission, March 2014 — Insights, wisdom, and truths learned

Truths and thoughts from March 2014

  • March 6, 2014 — New Plymouth zone meeting
    • Worthy music leads to worthy thoughts.
    • Have a ‘do-it-now’ attitude.
    • When speaking to any non-member, view them as a potential member of the Lord’s Kingdom.
    • Pray each morning that you will be able to find those who have deceased ancestors that are ready to receive the gospel.
    • Have the faith to talk to everyone, and the faith to affect lives.
    • Hope is our anchor.
    • F-R-O-G: Forever Rely On God!
  • March 22, 2014 — Priesthood and Relief Society Auxiliary Meeting
    • Sister Higgins:
      • The Lord’s house is a house of order, not a house of coincidence.
      • It doesn’t matter who says, ‘I love you’.  That statement always blesses and lifts.  Love one another.
    • President Riggle:
      • Set a goal to always hold a current temple recommend, and do work for our ancestors.
      • He and his father were home teachers for a man who had lost his marriage, his children, his job, and he was seriously considering suicide.  He was encouraged to get involved in family history work, which he accepted.  This brought a great change into his life.  He has now done over 5000 ordinances for ancestors, he has his life back, and he works in a temple near his home.
    • President Jones
      • No matter what your current calling or assignment, always ask yourself, “What would Jesus do if this were His calling?”
      • Keep EVERY commandment, and set a goal to read the Book of Mormon twice a  year.
    • President Higgins
      • I was blessed to be the driver for President Nelson during his recent New Zealand visit.  Before we went to the chapel for his first meeting, he wanted to drive by the New Zealand temple.  As we drove, he said to his wife, “Wendy, look at the cows near the temple!”  He noticed and commented on the beauty of the land, the flowers, and the animals.  When we at last reached the temple, he gazed at it for quite a while.  He then stated, “Now I am ready for the day.  Now I am grounded.  Now I have my bearings!  Now I know where I am.”   I testify that a special spirit entered our vehicle as President Nelson made these pronouncements.
      • President Nelson also said that what is most important for all of us is that we not only come to the temple, but that we come back to our Heavenly Father, that we truly GO HOME!  He wants us all to return to Him.
  • March 23, 2014 — Special Sacrament meeting with Elder James J. Hamula presiding
    • President Gaastra spoke on repentance.  1) Repent  2) Forgive others  3) Be humble.  He stated that there will not be proud people in the Celestial Kingdom.  We first need to stop sins of commission, and then work on our sins of omission (FHE, HTing, etc.)
    • President Higgins told the story of bringing a group of youth to Taranaki to climb Mount Taranaki.  Despite bad weather, less than adequate preparation, snow, an asthmatic hiker, thin air, and other challenges, they persisted and completed the climb.  He compared that to our mortal experience here on earth.
    • Elder Hamula:  I have wanted to come to Taranaki for years.  He had Brandon Horvath come forward as an example of an 11-year old boy.  He then related the following story.  A stake patriarch in Arizona had given hundreds of blessings, and had had experiences too sacred to share.  He grew up in Mexico on a small, isolated farm.  The farm was hot, brown, and dry.  The nearest neighbors were miles away.  He told the story of being 11 years old and having his mother give him the assignment to go to a distant farm to get milk for their family.  She warned him that there are dangers to be avoided.  She told him to avoid strangers.  Hours later he was on his way home with the milk.  He was tired and very alone.  He began to see mirages.  In the distance he thought he saw a stranger approaching him on horseback.  It turned out to be reality, and the stranger approached the boy.  He told the boy to get on his horse and ride with him.  The boy said that he would not get on the horse.  The stranger then pointed a pistol and told him to get on the horse.  The stranger said that he had only two choices – go with me or die where you stand.  Reaching deep into his soul for strength, he told the stranger that he would not get on the horse.  The man pulled the trigger on the pistol and it misfired.  The stranger cursed, ranted, but then rode away, leaving the boy alone.  The boy eventually made his way home with the milk.  Elder Hamula’s point in telling the story was that if you make good decisions, no matter how hard those decisions might be, you will be blessed.  We have received instructions from God both before our birth and after our birth.  Four crucial points are:  1) Believe  2) Turn yourself around  3) Be clean  4) Rely on the Holy Spirit.  He mentioned that it is US that are blessed and sanctified by the bread and water of the sacrament.
  • March 23, 2014 — Special Youth and Missionary devotional, presided over by Elder James J. Hamula
    • Great ideas for more successful missionary work:  1) Volunteer to help with hard families  2) Have the missionaries eat with you often  3) Hold Family Home Evening with less-active families  4) In every branch council meeting, ask the members of the council which investigator friends they contacted during the week.
    • Elder Hamula:
      • Elder Hamula asked those in the congregation, ‘What is the most important thing for us to know?’  In answer to the question, he told a personal story.  At the age of 17 he wanted to know for himself of the truthfulness of the Gospel.  He read the Book of Mormon all the way through, praying constantly.  He felt no different at the end of his reading and was puzzled.  He was prompted, however, to re-read the Joseph Smith story.  He read it, prayed, and he then KNEW by the voice of the Spirit.  He then knew the IMPORTANT things!
      • He said, “Would you like to know what keeps me up at night?  It is not the details of the Pacific Area.  It is the safety and well-being of my wife and children.  Always be aware that this is how Heavenly Father feels about us!”
      • Question and answer session with Elder Hamula:
        • Question: What if I disagree with a decision by my Church leader?  Answer: Recognize that all leaders have imperfections; pray for your leaders to be inspired; pray for your own ability to follow your leaders; all mistakes are ultimately corrected, often by the leader himself; leaders are usually aware of their own weaknesses; the Lord will always bless the people despite the leaders’ errors; consider the situation with Moses and the rock!
        • Question: What can I do to further the work of the Lord?  Answer: We have all sat on our pews long enough.  Get up, move, get out among the people, seek out those who need the Gospel and the Church, do something, rescue someone!
        • Question: How can I find time to do all that I need to do?  Answer: Remember the principle of good-better-best.  Here is an example from my own life.  I was serving as a new bishop, I had a young family, I had a very busy law practice, my ward was huge with many issues that needed my attention, and the stake president announced that this ward was going to build a new chapel.  I asked myself, “When will I find time to help in building a chapel?”  Many others had the same question.  In response, the stake president said, “What are all of you doing at 3 a.m. in the morning?”  For many months after that, myself and many others worked from 3 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. to build the chapel.
        • Question by John McDonald:  What keys do you hold?  Answer:  I currently hold NO keys, but keys can be conferred through me when I am properly authorized.  Members of the Quorum of Seventy can be authorized to confer keys in behalf of others who hold the keys.
        • Question:  How does one inspire desire in someone else or in one’s own self?  Answer:  Have faith!  Faith leads to hope, hope leads to confidence, confidence leads to assurance, assurance leads to certainty, certainty leads to action, and action leads to a witness.

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