The Lord prepares His missionaries. You can help – by taking notes.
Whether you record them or not, tender mercies and faith-building experiences will occur alongside the challenges before (and during) your service. Recording them, in a journal, diary, or as study notes, is a deliberate act of faith.
As Elder Bednar said in his talk from the April conference of 2015, “We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us.” By writing what occurred, when, and how you felt, you may see some surprising and divine connections. The Lord’s timing is His own, but we can see patterns in our life when we take the time to record our blessings and reflect on them.
President Eyring delivered a talk in General Conference, in October of 2007, in which he encouraged members to record their spiritual experiences, blessings, and observations. He testified of the power of recording as a tool for building testimony, saying, “My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies. You may not keep a journal. You may not share whatever record you keep with those you love and serve. But you and they will be blessed as you remember what the Lord has done.”
There will be some moments in your life when you will have special, personal experiences while living the Gospel and acting on promptings. You may tell yourself there is no way you will never forget that moment. Memory, however, is an operation of our physical bodies, and for most it is enduringly faulty, especially in the face of challenges. Forgetting goes right along with dismissing, and remembering increases learning and vision. Store up the testimony of even the most memorable impressions. You will need them.
Learning to recognize the presence and promptings of the Spirit is a common topic of instruction for very good reason. It is a skill that needs to be developed with effort and the help of the Holy Ghost. In his talk, President Eyring said, “The key to the remembering that brings and maintains testimony is receiving the Holy Ghost as a companion. It is the Holy Ghost who helps us see what God has done for us. It is the Holy Ghost who can help those we serve to see what God has done for them.”