A Time to Ripen

writing notes

by Ardeth Kapp

From my  experience as a mission president’s wife I was privileged to witness the marvelous and amazing ripening season of each of our remarkable missionaries. Like good fruit that ripens at different seasons,  strawberries and cherries and peaches and apples don’t all ripen at the same time.

One’s growth does not obviously appear the same as another. However during the allotted time in your mission when you become consumed by the light from the Son and the “living water” to quench spiritual thirst there will always be a rich and abundant harvest.

On occasion it appeared obvious there were signs of disappointment or discouragement  when one team of Elders or Sisters seemed to be having remarkable success  and another seeing no fruit from their labors for a time questioned the value of their efforts and by comparison seem not to measure up . Not as smart, not as capable, not as successful and on and on. The adversary works hard to distract, discourage and if possible destroy one’s confidence forgetting one’s true identity.

In the words of President George Q. Cannon  “ We are the children of God and as His children there is no attribute we ascribe to Him that we do not possess, though they may be dormant or in embryo “ (Gospel Truth Volume 1 p1)

As the saying goes “We did not come to this earth to gain our worth . We brought it with us”

In an effort to reassure and help confirm one’s worth for those confident and those less confident I took occasion at zone conferences to notice the attributes and gifts and talents that were obvious and some less obvious.  I would write a note on a little card commenting on a teaching skill I observed or attentive concern for another or effective use of the scriptures  or any  number of attributes.  Each message always included the statement “With the Lord’s help you are better than you think you are” I would quietly walk past the missionary and just slip it in his or her hand.  It appeared to be a very private matter.

After some time I wondered about the benefit of this little note. I asked our very confident zone leader one time if the notes were of any value to the Elders. Immediately he opened his suit jacket and pointing to his  pocket he said “I carry every one of them.”

We all need reassurance of our individual worth .  I have discovered that our most precious notes come from the scriptures like letters from home. Personalized for each of us  and always available.

Some of my most precious notes  include:

  • “.. I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your heart, and mine angels round about you to bear you up “ D.C 84:8
  • “Draw near  unto me and I will draw near unto you ; seek me diligently and ye shall find me ; ask, and ye shall receive ; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” D.C 88: 63
  • “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1

This is your time to prepare for an abundant crop , a rich harvest . Blessings be with you.

For more posts by Ardeth Kapp, see:
The influence of a missionary’s mother

For more ideas, see:
Life Changing Lessons from a Mission
A Missionary Metamorphosis