Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Interview with Mission President and a challenge by Elder LaMont...

As a missionary, I have the opportunity to be interviewed by President Bell, the mission president, quarterly (once every three months). Typically, he asks how each of us are faring in our endeavors, checks our progress, and makes himself available to any questions and concerns.

Connie and Michael L. Bell
In a matter of minutes, President asked if I had an accent. I told him enunciation is something I practice diligently and that he was simply hearing the English language as it should sound. I expressed my frustration of being called 'Kea-on' rather than 'Keaton'. This is why I enunciate my words well as to not be a hypocrite when I request my first name to be said correctly. President Bell responded, rather taken aback, he was impressed. It's nice to be complimented by superiors. We discussed the Christ-like attribute of hope: an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill his promises. If we have hope, we are peaceful and optimistic about the future. This is something in which I struggled greatly my first day in Wichita, but I have become increasingly comfortable in the missionary lifestyle as I put all of my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. We talked about the five keys to spiritual power, the weapons (if you will) in a missionary's arsenal: Faith, Atonement, Vision, Charity, and Sanctification.

A sister in my district advised I should prepare some questions because this interview is meant to be a revelatory experience. I scrawled some things into a notebook the night prior and I felt I should share them.

Question: I am often anxious about the pressure there is to baptize frequently. I do not want to rush a brother or sister of mine into baptism just to add another less active to the area book. I want convert baptisms.

Answer: The goal is to baptize every month. Not just a baptism, but a convert baptism. The difference derives from the Baptismal Interview Questions. These questions are inspired from the Lord to discover worthiness of baptism. The spirit will dictate whether the interviewed is ready. They will not be perfect converts because conversion is a process. They must, however, be converted enough. Baptism is only halfway. A full-purpose missionary sees his investigators through the temple and for life.

Question: I feel as though the ward distrusts the missionaries. What am I to do to build them up that they won't be so distrusting and cold?

Answer: Ward distrust comes from disobedient, and slothful missionaries. What wrong is done in one month cannot be undone for about six months. Remember King Lamoni was not impressed by Ammon's skill in battle, but because of his faith. Be faithful. Be on time, never be late, bear your testimony every fast Sunday. Let the ward know through actions of faith you are here to serve.

Question: I have difficulty scheduling subjects for personal study. What are my priorities? What should I consider when I decide what to study?

Answer: Your first priority is the needs of your investigators, above all. The second priority of a proper missionary is himself. Study as the spirit directs. Search the topical guide to check for understanding of doctrine, and introspect weaknesses and make them become strengths. Do not forget to search the words of the prophets. Their words are scripture.

President Bell and I discussed my 'Spiritual Giant Plan', a unique plan to set goals and make plans to improve my spiritual strength. I would like to share it:

Keaton's Spiritual Giant Plan

"[A mission] is by definition the most important thing you can do in the world, in time or eternity. For this reason you are engaged in the saving of the human soul. And that is the highest and holiest work in the universe."  (Jeffrey R. Holland - "The Miracle of a Mission" - October 28, 2000)

My Rebellion is fear

Will you allow fear to consume? Or will you overcome?

To surrender this weapon, I will…

  • Face the sun - Never lose faith, record all fears
  • Put my shoulder to His work - Don't think, do
  • Give everything - Give 110, but 100 is okay
  • Savor every day - Positive journal write every night

Faith in Jesus Christ

To increase my faith, I will crush fear by intensifying prayer.

Strength through the Atonement

In the morning, I will pray and make a Mutually Binding Commitment with the Lord to surrender my fear and follow my plan to give all that I have to Him. Also, I will be certain to account for my shortcomings and repent.

Wide Vision

I will commit to read 'My Clear-Cut Vision for the Salvation of Souls' morning and night and hold myself accountable to this pledge in order to improve my ken. I will daily bind myself to my Patriarchal Blessing by reading it once a day.

Charity and Love

I will forsake all judgments for the souls I teach and pray to experience a portion of God's love for them daily.


I'll never let a day go by that I do not do at least one thing outside of my comfort zone to become increasingly immersed in my mission"

I would like to challenge you to make your own Spiritual Giant Plan. Start by writing something you struggle to do or not do. Make a plan to overcome by using one, two, or all five of the keys to spiritual power. Search the scriptures and pray to know through the Holy Ghost how you can improve. Remember and have hope for the promise we are given in Ether 12:27. "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Your Spiritual Giant Plan doesn't have to be a large one. It can be just a few short sentences. But I testify if you hold yourself accountable to it, work diligently to accomplish that which you say you will do, you will see yourself become the son or daughter of our Heavenly Father He wants you to be! This has changed my life forever! If you recognize the need for change in your life, I plead with you to accept this challenge I leave with you.
As always, thank you for the emails, packages, letters, love, prayers, support!

I love you!

No comments:

Post a Comment