It was so warm! It was like 70 degrees. Weird... it's December and we've only had snow twice and it hasn't stuck. So i'm a little bummed. I know weird, i'm sad that it hasn't snowed. A big part of it is that nobody is outside right now. But when it snows everyone is outside because they have to shovel their drive ways and the kids go sledding. And I want a white Christmas for my last Christmas in Utah.
We had a lot of appointments cancel because of Thanksgiving, but it's alright, we had a great thanksgiving. We house hopped. We ate a lot of food, played games and taught some families with less active family members. It was great! We did find some new people to teach and our investigators are coming a long. Some we can't get back into their homes and then others we just need to get them to church. Just typical missionary things.
Core Belief #4: I will strive daily through personal righteousness, scripture study and prayer for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I will courageously follow His direction.
I will start this one off with a story of someone who presently doesn't have the gift of the Holy Ghost, but had it once before. The Elders in my district are teaching boy who went on a mission and unfortunately he had to come home early. He was excommunicated after coming home for somethings that he had done. He is now relearning the gospel and he is not far from receiving his blessings back. He said that it has been so hard not having the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit still testifies to him when things are true, but he hates that he doesn't have it all the time.
When I heard this experience it reminded me that we take the Gift of the Holy Ghost for granted. I don't know how it feels to not know that their is something that will protect me, something that comforts me and lets me know that my Savior and my Heavenly Father are aware of me. I was reading a talk by President Eyring and he talks about how we qualify for the Holy Ghost and how we use it in our callings. And it doesn't matter who we are, Visiting teacher, home teacher, primary president, nursery leader. We can use this.
1. We keep our baptismal covenants. And always repent. When we do this we are promised that the spirit will always be with us. President Eyring said, "Just as we must be cleansed of sin to have the Spirit with us, we must be humble enough before God to recognize our need for it."
2. We need to pray that the Spirit will be with us. "Humble prayer to our Heavenly Father, in deep faith in Jesus Christ, is essential to qualify us for the companionship of the Holy Ghost."
3. Read, study and ponder the scriptures. I hope that I get to be seminary teacher one day so I can practice these things daily. I hope I do it already, but when you have a reason we do these things so much more often. "...When we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me, is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully." I just think about all the scriptures we have, we probably wouldn't have a lot of them if the prophets and those writing them didn't ponder on the things they had.
So how does this relate to us? It relates to us in every way!
He quotes President Monson, "How does one magnify your calling? It means to build it up in dignity..., to enlarge and strengthen it to let the light of heaven shine through it to the view of other men. And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it."
Those of us who thinks that we can't do it or we don't know what to do, President Eyring gives us this council, "I urge all of us, young and old, who are called to speak in a meeting in the name of the Lord to dismiss our feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy...If we keep trying to speak for the Lord, we will be surprised someday to learn that we have warned, exhorted, taught and invited with the help of the Spirit to bless lives, with power far beyond our own."
I know that if we qualify for the Spirit and follow it courageously, we will see those miracles happen in the lives of those whom we have stewardship over. I know this because I have seen it in my own life. I invite you all to make time to qualify for the Spirit. I don't know what it feels like to not have it all the time, but I do know what it feels like when I don't following the prompting I receive.
I love you all so very much!
-Sister Kaytie Ku'ulei Swain