We had some great experiences this week. We had another baptism for Coleton Easton. He is a stud. He feels like a little brother to me. We also put together a fireside for the youth so that they could bring their friends and we could meet them. Brother Merkley came down and spoke and Ashley came with him. It was so good to see them. I have so much respect for that guy. He can connect with the youth so well. Overall the fireside was an awesome spiritual experiences. Both me and Elder Gardner spoke about our personal experiences in coming to know Christ and we showed a couple of videos.
I have been reflecting on what has been key to our success out here in Midwest City. Success for a missionary is sometimes hard to define because we are dealing with other people's agency. Some missionaries define their success by how many baptisms they are having, how many people they get to church or how many contacts they make. There are so many ways to define "success", but I have come to realize that we are only truly successful when we are able to give God's children spiritual experiences. All the other "kinds of success" stem from this one success and that is what we are experiencing in Midwest City. We are truly successful when we are able reconnect God's children with Him through His Spirit. There is no better feeling knowing that you were an instrument in helping others feel God's love for them. So if that's success, how do we get more of it? How can we help others have spiritual experiences so that they can "reconnect" with their loving, compassionate Father in Heaven?
I believe it starts with us. We must be connected to Him first. The greatest missionary's in the Book of Mormon told of "having many revelations daily" (Hel. 11:23) because they "search(ed) the prophets" (Jacob 4:6). These great missionary's not only had the Spirit with them, but were under it's influence constantly (and I believe there is a difference). They were having spiritual experiences DAILY and that's why they were able to help others have spiritual experiences. They knewwho God was and they were connected with Him on a day by day basis. Are we?
If not, we must be a little more obedient. We must pray a little more sincerely. We must be a little kinder. We must strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and repent. I think we can make the greatest difference in our repentance by simply shifting our focus to the Savior in difference aspects of our lives. Nephi puts it simply, "after they were bitten He prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look" (1Nephi17:41). True repentance is shifting our focus to the Savior and turning away from sin. I have found in my own life that as I have focused more and more on Christ, my repentance becomes a natural process and my desire to be more like Him is magnified. In that process, I have been healed and sanctified from the effects of sin and reconciled or reconnected with my Father. I have been "at-oned".
It is the greatest joy I have ever felt in my life to feel the Spirit of God and to help others feel it as well. Feeling the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ through the Spirit is unparalleled to an other feeling in this world. The Holy Spirit is a foretaste of what eternal life will be like or as Paul puts it, "the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession..." (Ephesians 1:14). We can feel the Holy Ghost more and more in our lives as we cleanse ourselves through faith and repentance on the Lord Jesus Christ. Look to Christ, by looking to others, "for inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me"(Matt. 25).