Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Living Up to My Potential

Hello, I mean - Iokwe!

This last week was super weird. We had two meetings to attend this week, which amounted to a few hours of driving. However, one of the meetings was what we call a zone conference, which is where a couple of the zones in our mission meet up, which adds up to about 60 missionaries meeting together to hear our mission president, his assistants, and our zone leaders train us on what they feel we need.

This transfer, they focused on becoming a consecrated missionary. We were specifically trained on leaving behind fears, negativity, sarcasm, pride, and disobedience. It was great because they weren't training us in this way to tell us we are doing wrong, but rather to express to us how they feel we are a mission that is able to move to a new level of consecration to the work we are here to do. 

This really got me thinking and during studies one morning, I opened up Preach My Gospel (our missionary manual of sorts) to the section titled "Using Time Wisely" and turned to the Accountability section. While reading it, I felt like I hadn't quite lived up to my potential over the past few months. After some self-reflection, I decided to invest my time creating what is called a personal constitution. If any of you are familiar with the "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", this is the constitution that Steven Covey refers to. It's simply a clear statement of your values and how you want to live. It can be as long or as short as you want. It has value in delineating clearly what really matters to you. 

Since starting it (still an unfinished project), I have begun to recognize how much time (even on my mission) I spend on things that actually don't matter to me. Or don't focus on things that do. For example, if learning about the gospel is so important to me that I would list it as one of my values, then why did I zone out for so long during my studies the other day? Or, if I care so much about relationships with family and friends, then why do I take so long to respond to all of your emails and letters (sorry :) )? It's been very much an eye-opening experience for me. I have found that this statement by President Thomas S. Monson, our current prophet, rings true:

"A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder." 

We experience mental disharmony when we don't live according to what we value. Again, I'm short on time and low on inspiring calls to action, but I felt it was important to share my current quest to rid myself of the pain of living at cross purposes with myself. I know that as I begin to really act on what matters most, I will find greater joy.

As my challenge for 2017: find a way to live in better harmony with what matters most to you. Family, friends, education, etc. Figure out what you really value and make it your priority in your life. I know that as you do so, you will have a "credible claim to inner peace." (Hyrum Smith, friend and coworker of Steven Covey). Feel free to follow up with me on how I'm doing!

Have a great week!


Elder Josh Kilmer
OklahomaOklahoma City Mission, Marshallese speaking

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