Sunday, July 26, 2020

20 things we learn from serving as mission president and spouse!

President and Sister Hammon
Mission Report
July 19, 2020

What we learned on our mission!

We learned so many things while serving as a mission president and spouse in the California Riverside Mission, one of the most incredible missions on the face of the planet earth. Since space is always a precious commodity, we felt we would limit our learnings to a mere 20 principles.

1. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us more than we will ever know. They watch out for our missionaries and protection in so many ways. (John 3:16; Moses 7:62; 1 John 4:7-8; Moses 5:7; 3 Nephi 27:27; 2 Nephi 33:4; 1 Nephi 11:21-25).

2. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can heal all afflictions, no matter what they are. When parents ask what they can teach their children so they will be ready to serve missions, my answers begin with “Teach them how the Atonement of Jesus Christ works in their lives before they arrive.” (3 Nephi 17:1-9; 21-24).

3. Revelation is real and can come at any time. We need to be ready for it. We just need to understand how the Holy Ghost speaks to each of us. (Doctrine and Covenants 43:15-16; 4:7; Matthew 7:7-8; 2 Nephi 33:1-2; John 14:26; Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-10; 9:8; 21:9; Sister Flores). 

4. Missionaries are incredible young men and young women with enormous capacity and potential.  The challenge is for them to recognize their capacity and potential and then work diligently and consistently to fill it. Many of them recognize it early and progress and grow so rapidly. They literally “grow up” right before our eyes. (see Abraham 3:23-26).

5. Light has become so important in our lives. Injecting ourselves with light every day helps us to truly become bearers of light. (Doctrine and Covenants 50:24-25; Alma 32:34-35; Romans 13:12; Doctrine and Covenants 88:11-13; Doctrine and Covenants 93—all).

6. When we set high expectations and shower people/missionaries with love, they will rise up and be better and achieve great things. They gain stronger testimonies and become who their mother wants and prays them to be. They become what Heavenly Father and Christ want them to be—truly disciples of Jesus Christ. (Alma 17:2-3; Alma 38—Shiblon; Alma 23:15-20).

7. We can do all things in Christ, despite our weaknesses and frailties. When we rely on Him, He will bless us. (Ether 12:26; Jacob 4:7; 2 Nephi 33:4; Mosiah 7:18-19; Alma 24:12-17).

8. Being obedient brings unprecedented miracles and blessings. Lehi said—and other prophets repeated it throughout the Book of Mormon—“Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land” (2 Nephi 1:20; Mosiah 2:41; Mormon 9:21; Nephi 17:3; Alma 38:2).

9. We need to be “up and doing” what the Lord wants us to do and be “anxiously engaged in a good cause.” (Mosiah 4:26; Alma 60:24; Doctrine and Covenants 58:27; Hymn 223 “Have I Done Any Good”; Alma 48:15-16).

10. Miracles still happen! They are real. The California Riverside is a miracle mission! When we are obedient, believe in Christ, “doubting nothing, whatsoever you shall as the Father in the name of Christ it shall be grant unto him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9:18-21; Ether 12:12-18; Alma 48:15-16). 

11. The Power of God’s word is more powerful than the sword, or anything else” (Alma 31:5; Jacob 4:9) ….”It is quick and powerful” Helaman 3:29;).…“and whoso would hearken unto the word of God and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish” (1 Nephi  15:23-24; Doctrine and Covenants 100:5-12).

12. Having faith and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ will help us overcome all challenges in life. (Ether 12:4, 7, 10, 12, 14-15, 28; Moroni 3:3; Moroni 6:4; Matthew 11:28-30; Matthew 21:21; Jacob 4:6; Doctrine and Covenants 8:10; 18:19; ; Ether 12:12-18). 

13. When it comes to transitioning to new missions and new mission presidents, and/or new areas, missionaries are mostly resilient, ready to make the transition and adapting to their environments and surroundings. Change is challenging for some. We learned that we are change agents, sent to this earth at this precise moment to help usher in the Second Coming. (Mosiah 18; Alma 17:2-3; the early pioneers). 

14. Missions change your focus and your doing and your being. At the beginning of the mission, there seemed to be so many things that we would miss, but through the mission, the only thing we really missed was being with our family. We feel the missionaries did, too. Once they were “all in,” they did not look back. (Luke 9:62; Doctrine and Covenants 133:15).

15. We become better and better through improving ourselves happens every single day because we chisel our way through the debris that we sometimes throw in our own way, or what we allow people to throw in our way, and things that somehow just land in our way. (2 Nephi 2:16; Doctrines 101:78; Joshua 24:15).

16. We need to love, lift, lead, inspire, and invite people. That’s how people grow and develop, and that’s how we learn patience. (Alma 48:7-17) 

17. The Book of Mormon and the scriptures are true and come from a loving Heavenly Father to help and enlighten us with those things we need at that moment. I have known these things to be true for a long time, but reading the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, in context of specific missionaries or people, they have enlightened me and given me the revelation I needed, yes, at the very moment. (Doctrine and Covenants 100:6).

18. We love to serve. We have also loved to serve, but when you serve 24/7 every single day, you learn that service is truly an outlet of love. We learned to love every single missionary who came to our mission. When we received their profiles, the Office would make pictures for us, and we placed them on our fridge. Every morning, I would stand in front of them and greet them: Buenos días! Good morning. Every evening before I went to bed, I would ask them how their days had gone and if they were ready to come to the most amazing miracle mission on the face of the planet. (Mosiah 2:17; 2 Nephi 2:3-4).

19. Enduring to the end can often be challenging. The COVID-19 has taught us many things, but in in particular is this: We can get to the end because Heavenly Father provided so many ways for us to do this. We are different missionaries. We do missionary work differently. We are and are continuing to become social media missionaries. That who we were foreordained to become, and it has been a challenging yet marvelous experience! (Nephi 4, Alma 24; 2 Nephi 31:16, 20).

20. Missions are exhausting and exhilarating simultaneously. We had some long days—up early in the morning, bed very late with sometimes a call in the middle of the night. But there is nothing like watching missionaries grow and develop, change from being very homesick and doing and saying crazy things  and wanting to go home to becoming disciples of Jesus Christ who truly do not want to go home. They want to be out and about, teaching, seeking with faith, giving blessings, and doing service. (Alma 48:15-16).

1 comment:

Dad said...

A beautiful and poignant summary I’m so glad you shared. Much food for thought.
We love the Hammon’s! 👍😊