Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Alma Academy

Where do I begin?!  Alma Academy is a 48 hour activity that my stake does for young men and young women who have their mission calls, or will be receiving their mission calls in the next year.  The prospective missionaries are given companions and a host family.  During our 48 hours as "missionaries" we were required to follow all of the mission rules.  We had to wear a name tag, go to bed at 10:30, wake up at 6:30, study the scriptures, and dress in appropriate mission attire.

In a nutshell, our time spent at Alma Academy was a mini MTC experience.  We had gospel discussions, we learned about our purpose as missionaries, we taught lessons to "investigators."  The atmosphere was so incredible!  I loved every minute that I was there! I seriously cannot wait to be a missionary!

I learned a lot at Alma Academy:
  1. No one is perfect, and missionaries are not an exception to that rule.
  2. Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not an easy experience.  Why should it be easy for us when it was NEVER easy for Him?
  3. The Savior rarely gets rid of our problems.  Instead he strengthens us and our ability to cope with our trials increases.
  4. Never forget what a sacred privilege it is to wear the name of Jesus Christ over your heart.
  5. Our responsibility as missionaries is to invite the spirit and remind people of what they already know.
  6. Obedience is IMPERATIVE to success as a missionary.  Don't complain, don't make excuses. Just do it.  The Spirit's companionship is a direct result of obedience.
  7. It's easier to be 100% obedient then it is to be 99% obedient.
  8. Be where you're supposed to be, when you're supposed to be there.
  9. "RM Syndrome" is not automatic. Everything you learn you have to work for. You change through consistency.  From consistently studying the scriptures, saying meaningful prayers, listening to the Spirit, etc.
On the last night of Alma Academy we had a Q&A session with some recently returned missionaries.  It was really neat! The Spirit was so strong! It was so obvious how much the missionaries LOVED their it killed them to leave.

I want to share a quick story Elder Shurtleff shared about his mission.  One of the young men asked, "how do you get over the fear of talking to people?"  Elder Shurtleff served in Ukraine speaking Russian and Ukrainian. He quickly explained that the fear of talking to people never went away for him.  He said that every time he approached someone he had to overcome a personal battle...sometimes he lost and sometimes he won.  When he lost that battle he thought for sure that he was going to hell and that he was an awful missionary.  But when he would win, even if the person was rude or was not interested, he always felt good.  He then said, "You are a MISSIONARY.  Talking to people is your JOB. It's what you DO." Another missionary piped up and said that one time while riding on a public transportation bus in Germany he spent 20 minutes praying for the strength and the courage to talk to the person sitting next to him.  He was proud to tell us that he finally got the courage to talk to the guy even if it took 20 minutes!

I LOVED Alma Academy! I feel so much more confident and prepared to serve a mission! It's gonna be hard, but it will be totally worth it!

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