Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Example of Paul

Student Choice Assignment

Choice 2: Acts 16; 18. Paul’s Second Mission

Paul traveled to many places on his 2nd mission but these are the places he wrote letters to later: Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus.

Ways Holy Ghost directed Paul & companions during journey:

Acts 16:6-10

*forbidden to go to Asia

*told not to go to Bithynia

*told in a dream to go to Macedonia

Acts 18:9-11

*told in a dream to be not afraid and to speak up

*assurance that the Lord is with him and has many people in the city

 The Holy Ghost was an important part of Paul’s journeys. For the disciples and apostles of this time, their lives were in danger daily. It was important for them to listen to the promptings of the Spirit. For instance, if Paul had ignored the promptings in Acts 16:6-10, he may have suffered more or even died before his work was complete. Also, he was led to those whose hearts were softened and were able to easily accept the gospel message Paul had to share.

 The Spirit has likewise led me in my missionary experiences. I have been prompted many times to speak to various people and found that they were very receptive to the things I had to say. There have also been times when faced with a heated discussion on religion, I have been constrained to hold my tongue and speak nothing. This was a great experience for me as it allowed me to look internally and really feel the truth of what I believe manifest in my testimony. More often than not, my missionary experiences have been in befriending new women in my area/ward/neighborhood. The Lord gave me the lonely experience of moving to a new area without any friends or family. I knew the pain and boredom of being all alone in a strange place. I have since learned to love the area and its people. Now when new families move into the ward/neighborhood, I try to make them feel welcome and know that they have a friend. Because I know how they are feeling, the Lord helps me to relate to them and find common ground. I’d like to be able to be more receptive to promptings and pray more earnestly for them. If I do this, I think the Lord could make me an even better instrument in His hands.

Ways Paul was an excellent Missionary:

*responded immediately to promptings and visions


*conversed with the women (got to know the people)

*baptized believers

*used Priesthood authority to heal many

*bore afflictions with patience

*sang praises to God

*was honest with others (jailor)

*preached the Gospel with power and conviction

Paul turned his experiences into missionary opportunities when he befriended the jailor and converted him and his entire household. He also met many people along his journeys that became great members of the church.

 Paul’s example of missionary work was inspiring to me. The determination and veal he showed over and over was a great example to everyone who desires to share the gospel with others. Sometimes it is hard to know who to talk to and where to go to find people who need the gospel. Paul showed us to pray when we are seeking missionary opportunities and then to act on the promptings from the Lord.

 The Jailor is an example of a true convert in the way that he welcomed Paul and Silas into his home. There he brought his household together to hear the words of these missionaries and they were all converted. Then he protected them and helped them find freedom to leave the city. He became a true friend to Paul and Silas. He turned from hardened jailor to protective friend to the Roman missionaries.

Mosiah 4:9-10 sheds light on Acts 17:30-31 in the way that it confirms that God does things in His own way and His own time. In Acts we find that God had let a people have their idols and false gods in ignorance, but now commanded all men to come to a knowledge of the gospel and to repent. God has His own time and place for things to come to pass, even if we don’t understand the why, when, or how.

 Now in my life, I have passed the Full-Time Mission phase. I am focusing now on preparing to be a better member missionary. I have had a great time lately getting to know the new women in my ward/area. Lately I have been really lonely and feeling like I have no friends in my new area. So instead of being gloomy and throwing a pity party, I decided to make a difference. I have made it my challenge to make friends with more women in my ward. There have been many new families move into the ward and it has been great to get to know them and to make them feel welcome. I know how it feels to not feel welcome or like I have a friend, and I want to make sure no woman in our ward feels like that, if I can help it.

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