Friday, 12 December 2014

Companionship Study

In March earlier this year I attended a seminar weekend held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Nottingham England entitled a Missionary Preparation Seminar. It is held for anyone interested in serving a mission, already in the process of their application, or simply toying with the idea. Missionaries are people who volunteer full time to work for the church with the purpose of 'inviting others to Christ'. It is a huge opportunity and a wonderful one at that. The weekend was so full of the Holy Ghost, leaving me with intense feelings of peace and joy. 

Full time missionaries are expected to study the scriptures and other gospel related material for two hours every day, one hour on their own called 'Personal Study' and the other with their companion or fellow missionary called 'Companionship Study'. While at the seminar we were expected to live missionary lifestyles including all the rules, dress code and rigorous schedule. For the first time I got to try out a proper Companionship Study session. But we were at loss at how to do it! Did we just share what we had learned in Personal Study, did we look at something entirely different, did we use it to prepare for the lesson we had to teach that day, etc, etc? The list went on. I think we settled on sharing what we had learned and discussed the day ahead. 

I was never actually taught how to do companionship study, what was to be achieved or what we were meant to cover. It seemed like something we should instinctually know, but we didn't. We tried our best and it was fine. Our weekend was still wonderful regardless. Having felt the Holy Spirit so much I become acutely aware of little things I wanted to improve and work on in my everyday life, one of which was a better understanding of Championship Study. Now months on, as if by chance championship study has started to play a bigger role in my life once more. 

In the gospel we are taught to have scripture study and prayer daily. Often this can be difficult and requires conscious effort. When it is just up to you it is easy to brush it off or to be busy and simply forget. While personal study and constantly building that relationship with God as an individual is vital, I have learnt that families and loved ones can bless us in a way I had never considered. When someone else is relying on you, you are more likely to do something. When my partner is expecting me to get up at silly o'clock and Skype him for scripture study it gives me greater incentive to drag myself out of bed and wake myself up. It makes me feel more accountable, more responsible. 

There is so much more to companionship study than simply following instructions. It is an opportunity to truly be someone's companion and work as a team! To set goals and grow together spiritually, to set time aside solely to talk of things of spiritual importance, learn from each other and the Holy Spirit! It reminds me of my Seminary days and weirdly I miss it when life gets in the way (or exhaustion!) and we skip a few sessions. I love how it helps us draw closer in a whole different way! 

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