Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week Nineteen - More Thoughts

We have company this week (Per's nieces :), so here's another recap of some of Elder Lovgren's thoughts:

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5/19/15
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Excellent Talk
Read this talk by Elder Bednar: The Character of Christ.
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6/1/15
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Investigators
Prior to knocking on doors we go see all our investigators and I love them.
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6/8/15
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Perspective
We're given language and perspective is attached to that language. Language is imperfect - what I say can be interpreted in so many ways. If we meet someone on the street and say to them, "We have a message about Jesus Christ," sometimes they have a different perspective about Jesus Christ and don't want to hear it. I wonder how we can make our work effective because some people just naturally perceive things differently.
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6/18/15
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Definition of Pride
Every morning we have personal and companion study. One day I looked up 'pride' in the Bible Dictionary and it said that pride is a lack of teachableness. It hit me that having pride is basically a lack of being a missionary. I wondered how I had become so prideful and also wondered what it meant. I wrote down that it happened because the world became my focus and it meant that my self exploration was me relying on myself.

There I was at home exploring concepts and although the gospel had always been part of my life (I prayed every night, read the scriptures, believed everything, went to church) I didn't really have that full conversion. I was trying to find myself by looking inward. What I've learned out here is when you lose yourself you find yourself. I've always only been motivated by myself - by building myself, and it's hard not to think about myself.
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6/22/15
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Grace
I read a talk called His Grace is Sufficient about how God's grace isn't to pick us up but to fill us entirely. The talk is a collective of my feelings. I love this scripture:  

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears. – 2 Nephi 21:1-3

The scripture says "make him of quick understanding." 'Quickening' in the scriptures means so much. I'm around people who have so much knowledge of the scriptures and it makes me feel so inadequate, but there's a quickening of time. This experience makes my knowledge and understanding of the Lord quicken. Having the "fear of the Lord" makes me not judged neither reproved. "Wow!"
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6/29/15
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Success
This week has been another awesome week! l'm continuing to grow - the week before was a changing moment about pride and forgetting myself, and this week was "put it to the test, now it's your turn" as I tried not to focus on myself. The days when I forgot about the past and my desires and focused on what the Lord wanted me to be as a missionary were the best days. I woke up psyched, I went to bed with a smile on my face, and I talked to everyone. The days when I focused on other things my faced showed that my mind was on other things, my demeanor changed, and I didn't want to be that guy! I want to be a good missionary and it's time to work on it!
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7/6/15
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Good Lessons Learned
I feel like this week has stretched me (always submitting to a schedule and to other people's needs.) I think, "Man, this is going to be so good for my life when I'm off my mission!" These are good things for me and it makes me really excited to know I can be the best I can be. 
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7/13/15
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It Doesn't Adequately Express My Thanks
I'm really grateful for everything. I wish I could do more for you guys back at home. I wish I could express more how much you do for me, all the things you send me, and the letters. Everything I ask for I get and it makes me truly grateful. I pray every day how grateful I am for everything. It's made me the most happy to sit for 20 minutes and pray about everything I'm grateful for - it makes my heart fill with joy.
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7/20/15
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My Hope
I hope to continue improving, coming closer to Christ, and making you guys proud! I want to make this the best two years of my life! (It's already been the best two months of my life.) It's going to be the best two years and I honestly feel like it's going too fast! I need to slow down and enjoy these moments. I want to come closer to Christ. I'm going to try my hardest. My goal this week is to always be out serving, because when I do the blessings come. 
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7/27/15
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Feeling Rather Than Seeing
There's such a visual coating on how Mormon's are perceived out here. Sometimes I wish we could not have eyes so people could just listen and feel. It would be so great if they would just listen to the truth about God and hear true principles of faith and repentance, but instead they're looking at kids in white shirts and name tags and automatically assuming.

Sometimes I experience the assumption. I'll say, "How's your evening?" and at first they'll respond but as soon as they see my white shirt and tie they assume and think "Don't talk to me, I don't want anything to do with what you say." Experiencing that has been so humbling! If someone comes up to me and says "I have a message to share" I'll listen because I know how rejection feels. 
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8/3/15
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Truth
I came on a mission to spread a message that is (from what I've come to know) truth. Literal truth. We know that God is real - there is a God, and the only truth comes from God. It's impossible to know truth that doesn't come from God. I'm out here trying to help people see that God is truth. That trickles down to how I keep the truth in my life. It trickles down but I see that it comes from Heavenly Father. He is the source of light and truth. 
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8/10/15
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Perfection
I totally have a testimony that perfection only comes through building a foundation on Jesus Christ. It's such a foreign concept to people who don't even have an understanding of who Jesus Christ is, and why he was. They wonder "How does He relate to me?" Over the time I've been out here and seeing the design and purpose of why we follow Jesus Christ (what the church even means, why we take the sacrament) I've realized it leads us to returning back to Heavenly Father. 

Returning to The Father
It makes perfect sense that everything we're commanded to do is from God. It's where we can create a path where (with assurance) we can get back to Heavenly Father. Not only get back to Him but be able to live in His presence. (Just like last week when I said I was looking at the sun but it was too bright to see, the goal is to be able to look at Him and our eyes won't be hurt by His glory.) It's all about preparation.
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8/24/15
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Hi :)
What's up fam - it's Elder Lovgren! I'm here on my balcony and it's the end of week one transfer three. I've been out here a little over three months now and it just so happens to be that I'm gonna train someone! Pretty big news! This week was the week of trials, growth, and so much joy! I really feel like a missionary now - kinda funny to say that because I've been living it for three months - but having the opportunity to train someone else is a completely different experience. This week was tough but it was also so good.


Elder Lovgren and Brother Rasmussen at the MTC

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