Serving in the Mexico Mérida Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Make a Plan!


Les amo mucho. I liked your Chinese New Year celebration. 


​Photo to the right: Some weirdo misioneros eating cake on Valentine´s day. (Casa de la familia Molina) 

The bishop gave the entire Sunday sacrament meeting to las misioneras! We made a visual  representation (corn flakes boxes, highlighters and duct tape) of the Mexico Plan de Area 2015 from the Mexican General Authorities. It's a little bit ideologically complicated and so we gradually went unfolding it while we explained it. The reason we asked the bishop for the chance to speak is because we had talked about the plan with almost every member in the ward and challenged them to make their own PLAN of how they were going to increase their faith and what they had to change in their life to bring the vision to fruition.
But I was astounded of how NO ONE was able to make a PLAN. Not a single person in the ward, leaders included, could identify a concrete thing they had to change in their life and think of ideas of how they were going to change it.

I didn't realize how much my life project of becoming like Christ has developed itself during my mission. It's so easy to be a member of the church without realizing our (urgent) need to be CONSCIENTIOUSLY becoming like Christ (i.e. with specific goals and plans.) I think it was a new idea for some people. So during the sacrament meeting we got into the "nitty-gritty." Goodness knows, I personally have LOTS of things I want to change, and so I shared some examples of my personal goals and their plans.

Part of the outline of my talk:

How to Make a Plan

1.  Identify the problem (50 percent of the work.)
- Look at the list of things to do on the visual (Fast faithfully and give generous offerings, tithe honestly, help one person a day receive the teachings and ordinances of the gospel, be self-sufficient in finding your own family names and bringing them to the temple, daily study of the Book of Mormon, and possessing all the Christ-like attributes found in Preach my Gospel.) Are you DOING those things? If not, you have identified your problem! A problem is a commandment you are not doing or can't do.

2.  Make a goal to fix the problem.

3. Think of things you CAN do to reach the goal (note: if your problem is, for example, that you yell at your spouse, the plan to "stop yelling at my spouse" is not a plan. That is the goal, the thing you currently can't do. You have to think of things you CAN do to reach the goal.)

4. Write your goal and plan, report it to someone else, and create a way to measure your progress.

Example from the Life of Hermana Ludlam

1. On filling out the "Christ-like Attribute Activity" (found here),  I noticed I was lacking in the attributes of VIRTUE and DILIGENCE, because I noticed my thoughts often strayed from missionary work during the day.

2.  That problem was not specific enough to make a plan, so identified a more exact problem and put a goal: "Find good things to occupy my thoughts while I am walking in the street."

3.  My plan: 
a) More completely dedicate myself to learning the scripture masteries during the day. I wrote the scriptures in my agenda. If I am outside walking, I should have the scripture open in front of me.
b) Talk about specific investigators and their needs OR practice teaching with my companion while we are walking together.
c) Pray multiple times a day to avoid temptation.

4. I reported my plan to President in my weekly letter, and also asked my companion to help me with my plan (remind me to work on scriptures, practice with me, etc.). I wrote out my goal and plan in my notebook, and then made a little chart of all the scriptures so I can color them in when I learn them. We're also using a daily chart of the Christ-like attributes where each day I record on a frequency scale how often my thoughts were centered and how often I prayed to avoid temptation.

You know what, my plan worked. AND, in my quest to develop Christ-like attributes, my faith in Christ strengthened. One of the best ways to gain faith in the atonement is by USING it to become more like Christ (i.e. picking a trait and specifically asking for the help to change it.) I realized: Hey! Christ really does help me change! And THEN, I was even more excited to help someone else make those changes and went out to work pumped to share the gospel.
​Las Cinco Ludlamitas (all the sisters Lia has trained)

They called me and told me I have a package in the offices!

I love you family.

Eating crema de coco en la casa de la Hna Margarita. Hermana Castro (hija de Hermana Wilson) likes to take secret candid shots, especially of people eating.) I thought I'd send it because it's an interesting combination of Grant, Mom and Dad.  
​Moving day. I am busy. (Hermana Norma, Hermana Wilson, Hermano Sergio, Lia).

Panuchos are my favorite Yucatecan food. While the tortilla is cooking, they slit in open and fill it with refried beans and fry it. Then they put lettuce, onions, meat or hard-boiled eggs, and tomato-chile sauce on top.
 It is a multi-napkin food.

TWO INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY. One of them we weren't even expecting, but has read through a quarter of the Book of Mormon and accepted a baptismal date afterward. 

Hermana Ludlam

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