“IF There is ANYTHING Virtuous, Lovely, or of Good Report or Praiseworthy, We SEEK After These Things.”

Hello Y’all!

This is Elder Runyan here! We had such a great week! I would first like to recap the messages shared in the mission tour with Elder LeGrand R Curtis Jr. and his wife on Friday!

Before the conference, I asked God in prayer that I would receive an answer from the speakers about making my study and planning times more effective. I have no doubt God answered this prayer! The first thing Elder Curtis talked about was how to gain additional layers of testimony, (he used the analogy of a testimony lasagna,) through very prayerful study of the Book of Mormon. He recited Elder McKonkie’s promise that we can gain a testimony of it by reading it all the way through and praying after each chapter to ask “Is this the work of man or the work of God?” or maybe even doing the same thing with each verse of one of the great chapters of the Book of Mormon. He then asked us what we thought were some of those chapters. Almost everybody raised their hand! We talked about many different chapters and he had something to say about each one! This was an answer to my prayer because I learned that basing my study on building a foundation on the Book of Mormon will make me a much more effective missionary!

I want to extend this challenge to all of you! Read a great chapter of the Book of Mormon and pray after each verse to ask if it’s the word of God or of man. You can also pray after each chapter with the same question while reading the whole book. The former challenge is guaranteed to testify to you the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Here is a list of the great chapters we decided on with Elder Curtis as well as some of my own additions:

Something else that really stuck out to me during the conference was Sister Weed’s address to us. Since half of our missionaries will be leaving by the end of the summer, she decided to speak on enduring to the end which she also applied to serving diligently as missionary while we are still here. She did a very close evaluation of the 13th Article of Faith as it pertains to Philippians 4:8.

She gave the dictionary definition of three words (I don’t remember it perfectly):
IF= supposing any circumstances
ANYTHING= Any person, object, idea, etc..
SEEK= deliberately strive and desire

Rewritten, it looks something like this:

“Supposing any circumstances providing there is any person, object, idea, etc… which is virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we deliberately strive and desire after these things.”

President and Sister Weed are so inspired! She encouraged us to make this statement a motto for our life. Do not follow after the fleeting pleasures of sin; deliberately strive and desire things that are virtuous, lovely, and so forth.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and the wonderful things you do! I’d say more, but I have little else to report on.
Stay blessed!
Elder Samuel Runyan

I’m Becoming More Comfortable Talking to People!

Hello!

What a crazy week this has been! Elder Byrd fell sick on Monday night, and we were cooped inside on Tuesday and Wednesday. That kind of inactivity can drive a missionary insane, so I spent a lot of time doing things that needed to be done around the house; made calls, and did a lot of personal study. I took this as an opportunity to look inside, and turn to God for answers to some of the deeper matters of my soul, about enduring to the end. I felt a very distinct answer, and an admonition to read my patriarchal blessing. I did so very thoughtfully, and it provided more answers to my questions that I hadn’t considered before. Looking back on the week, I can see my study journal is full of very valuable insight, specifically for me.
I have also learned so much about being an effective missionary from those around me. I want to recognize a wonderful ward missionary, named Evan, who told me early in the week, “You don’t need to sacrifice what isn’t needed,” which helped me to feel more confident in my efforts then later in the week. As he was helping us exchange back with the Yorktown elders, he showed his great example of being willing to talk to everyone. We were doing yard work for one of the Yorktown elders’ investigators, and he saw that we could use a hammer. Faithfully, he went door to door, undeterred by the awkwardness, and asked everyone if they had a hammer we could borrow and if they would like to meet us! He came back in a few minutes, with a woman who told us this was the strangest thing anyone had asked of her. To which he responded, “I’m just not afraid to talk to people!” The woman showed appreciation for what we were doing and showed interest in meeting the missionaries again to give them more service to do!
I’m becoming more comfortable talking to people! We have talked to just about everyone we see every day! I am starting to feel such a greater love for people! Something which confirms something I read in my patriarchal blessing. Read here for more information on Patriarchal Blessings I am really learning to follow Jesus’ example by becoming a servant!
Just so you all know, I am still a huge nerd! Elder Byrd and I have some Legend of Zelda music which we listen to sometimes, and we love to connect with people we meet who have similar intersts! (We even got the Breath of the Wild soundtrack from Elder Byrd’s little brother!)
Have a great summer!
-Elder Samuel Runyan

2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Exodus 3:16 (footnote b) – study material on God visiting His children
(I included a picture of some spaghetti I made which I was proud of because I put some sauteed onions and mushrooms in)
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