Honduras
San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The BEST KIND of Missionary Service . . .

The best KIND of missionary is . . .

Immersed in loving and serving the people.

I wanted to share this message from an awesome blogger by the name of

Seth Adam Smith

Trust me, you'll want to know more about him, and his posts will bless and inspire you also!



When you are called
and 
to the work . . .

You want to be the BEST kind of missionary!!


Aaron, Ammon, & the Two Types of Missionary Service

Ammon
Ammon
In The Book of Mormon, we are told of two types of missionaries. The first type of missionary is the surface-level one—a missionary that believes that his/her mission is only to preach to and convert others.  The second type of missionary is the immersed one—a missionary that believes that his/her mission is to love and serve others.
Aaron and Ammon, along with their brothers, went into Lamanite territory to serve their missions among the Lamanites. These particular Lamanites were described as “a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering…and robbing and plundering” (Alma 17:14). Aaron, Ammon, and their brothers “separated themselves one from another, and went forth among [the Lamanites]” (Alma 17:17) “that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption” (Alma 17:16).
Aaron took the surface-level approach to missionary service. He was only out to preach to and convert others. Because of this, he immediately hit resistance: “And it came to pass as he began to expound these things unto them they were angry with him, and began to mock him;
Lamoni
Lamoni
and they would not hear the words which he spake” (Alma 21:10), and “they contended with many about the word” (Alma 21:11). Eventually, things got so bad that “Aaron and a certain number of his brethren were taken and cast into prison” (Alma 21:13).
Ammon, on the other hand, took the immersed approach to missionary service. His approach was to love those to whom he had been called to serve. In fact, he believed the Lamanites ”to be his brethren” (Alma 17:30), and treated them as such. Captured and bound by the Lamanites, he was taken to the feet of a Lamanite king named Lamoni. When King Lamoni asked why he had come into Lamanite territory, Ammon responded “I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die” (Ama 17:24). He also promptly told the king, ”I will be thy servant” (Alma 17:25). From that time forward, a deep bond of love and friendship began to grow between Ammon and Lamoni. Even Lamoni’s father later noticed “the great love [Ammon] had for his son, Lamoni” (Alma 20:26).
Ammon and Lamoni went on to release Aaron and his brethren from prison. Apparently, while in prison, Aaron had learned the value of service and love over surface-level missionary work, telling Lamoni’s father “we will be thy servants” (Alma 22:3). This missionary work, founded upon service, eventually evolved into one of the greatest conversion stories in The Book of Mormon—perhaps in all scripture.
And all of it was predicated upon learning to love the people.

God’s Work

With the likelihood that there will be almost 100,000 Mormon missionaries by the end of the year, my hope is that each of them could take Elder Weidmann’s words to heart.
Please learn to love the people you serve. Take it from a man who never finished his mission. If you learn to love those whom you are serving, everything else will fall into place.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the work will be easy. But it does mean that your joy in the work will increase. Because learning to love and serve people is God’s work—and it is the only thing that truly changes hearts.
Christ washing the feet of His disciples.
Christ washing the feet of His disciples.
Because Christ loves us, He left the comfort and power of his heavenly throne to labor among a fallen and a broken people. Despite our fractures and frailties, He not only acknowledges that we are family, but movingly calls us His friends (John 15:15). He descended below all things to serve us and lift us up—all because of love.
In like manner, Ammon and his brother Aaron—who could have been kings in their own land—gave up the comforts of their kingdoms to labor among the Lamanites. And despite the fact that the Lamanites were infamously known as ”a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people,” Ammon and Aaron came to view these people as their brethren. The love that Ammon and Aaron had for the Lamanites helped transformed them into a God-like people—a people so filled with love and service that their own deaths converted their murderers.
And now we—a people that are profoundly blessed with an abundance of knowledge, wealth, and opportunity—are asked to give it all up, (for at least two years) and to love and serve those who are, perhaps, less fortunate than we are. We are called to partake in the work and glory of God. And in that process, we are meant to learn how to love His children and to see them as our family.

Recalled to Serve

So, if I were recalled to serve a mission, I would learn to love the people I would serve. This time, I would try not to worry about my own selfish needs, but abouttheir needs. In trying to forget myself, perhaps I would forget about whatever fears and insecurities were holding me back from loving others. If I had done that in the first place, I would never have wanted to come home from my mission—the people would have been too dear to me. Oh, how I wish I could go back and see the faces of those Russian people! Oh, how I wish I had loved them as I love them now. Oh, how I wish I could serve once more…
But here’s the great thing: In Mormonism, there’s a divine clause to the call of missionary service: “if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work” (D&C 4:3).
In other words, if you want to serve God (and serve your fellow man), you are automatically called to serve.
And if you’ve already served but still desire to help others, you’ve just been recalled to serve.
Me with some of my favorite Russian people. I miss you!



We are all called

and 

"recalled"

to serve on a daily basis.

Thanks Seth for the great reminder!!  

How can you serve and further the work in your life today??
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