13 April, 2012

How is it done?

Twenty lessons don’t just happen. An essential to success is planning.

Planning, in fact, is a basic part of missionary work. There is a whole chapter in Preach My Gospel dedicated to planning, once a week missionaries hold a weekly planning session and not a single day passes without a nightly planning session. Why so much planning?

Steven B. Allen, head of the Church Missionary Department, recently visited missionaries in the Florence Zone. “What is the most important part of each day?” he asked. Studying, teaching or lunch may have come to mind, but in answer to his own question he declared 9:00 pm to 9:30 pm- nightly planning- was the most important time of the day.

Elder Allen told the story of one day when he was being driven to the airport by a pair of missionaries. One missionary sat in the back sleeping, while his companion drove. The driver lacked the passion that one might hope a missionary would have six months before going home. Elder Allen pondered what he could do to help this missionary in the remaining ten minutes before they reached the airport.

“If I told you something that would triple your earning potential when you get home, would you listen?”

The missionary perked up.

“Study and put into practice the principles found in chapter eight of Preach My Gospel.”

Months later Elder Allen received a letter from the missionary who drove him to the airport. He had taken the advice and his mission had changed completely. He said that he felt like his whole mission had been a success because of those last six months. He was going to college which wasn’t something he had been planning on before. This young missionaries life had been changed.

And it’s no wonder. Think about the men who wrote Preach My Gospel. The Prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles are some of the best and brightest in what they do, not to mention their prophetic calling.

We must plan in order to be successful. As missionaries plan we set goals and make plans to reach them. We set objectives and work towards them so that our work may have purpose and direction. As we plan we take ideas and desires and figure out how they can really happen.

As we work to consistently teach twenty lessons each week we are learning how to be better organized and better planned. We are being blessed as we strive to help others in a more organized, better planned way.

How can planning be an act of faith? How is planning a principal of the Gospel? What skills do you hope a missionary would learn? How have you been blessed by skill you learned as a missionary?

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