As a trainer on my mission, I often talked with other trainers about how training was going. We would share ideas and talk about how our missionaries were doing. Oftentimes 1-2 trainers per flight group would say something like, “It is super easy training this elder. He came pre-trained,” meaning he already understood how to be a missionary. For him, his home was the MTC.
Most people think that when you enter the MTC, you magically gain a testimony and a deep understanding of the gospel and how to do missionary work. You don’t. You need to learn it. You have two options: learn it before you go, so you can be the most effective missionary possible, or you can procrastinate until you enter the MTC. Procrastination might sound easy, but remember the words of President Kimball.
When I ask for more missionaries, I am not asking for more testimony-barren or unworthy missionaries. I am asking that we start earlier and train our missionaries better in every branch and every ward in the world. That is another challenge—that the young people will understand that it is a great privilege to go on a mission and that they must be physically well, mentally well, spiritually well, and that “the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.”
I am asking for missionaries who have been carefully indoctrinated and trained through the family and the organizations of the Church, and who come to the mission with a great desire. I am asking for better interviews, more searching interviews, more sympathetic and understanding interviews, but especially that we train prospective missionaries much better, much earlier, much longer, so that each anticipates his mission with great joy.” (President Spencer W. Kimball “When the world Will be Converted”)
After asking many missionaries (elders, sisters, and mission presidents), here are the top 7 things to do to come “pre-trained” to your mission:
1. Gain a personal testimony of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice.
You will be spending the next 18-36 months testifying of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Develop a testimony now. Study His words and teachings. Strive to develop stronger faith in Him. Do all you can to learn of Him, and use His Atonement, for it will be your job to help others to do the same.
I cannot stress how vital it is to have an abiding testimony that Jesus is the Christ and that His atonement is real. This is the cornerstone of our message. Without this, nothing else matters or has reason. No missionary should ever go on his or her mission without a testimony of Jesus Christ and His atonement. This includes repenting of your sins. If done properly, no missionary would need to return home early because of unrepentant transgressions.
2. Learn how to communicate with Heavenly Father.
Learning how to pray is vital to life on earth. Prayer is our main line of communication with heaven and our Heavenly Father. So many people “say” their prayers with no intent of the prayer ever reaching God. Or they pray with no intent to obey. They often think God does not care or listen because they don’t have powerful prayers.
As a missionary you will be teaching people how to have powerful and effective prayers. You will be teaching them how to receive revelation though their prayers. Learning how to do these things personally before you go will help with every aspect of the work. The topic of prayer is powerful, and effective prayer is a topic unto itself, but I will briefly summarize 3 things I’ve learned about receiving revelation though prayer:
- Follow the established patterns (learn how to ask).
- Reverence invites revelation (learn how to act).
- Be specific (learn how convey desire).
Read the full story at My Life By Gogogoff.