In 2004, the Church introduced Preach My Gospel as the main resource for missionaries to use and study during their service, and in doing so, changed how missionary work was done.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said during a “Missionary Service,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting in 2002:
“[Missionaries] should master the concepts of the lessons. But they should … teach the concepts in their own words under the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit.”
This method of teaching was not new to the mission field, but teaching it as the foundation of how to teach, find, and baptize was new.
I began studying Preach My Gospel shortly before entering the mission field in late 2005 and spent my two years of service as a "Preach My Gospel Missionary." I loved the flexibility of the lessons and the organization of the manual. It was comprehensive and engaging altogether.
President Boyd K. Packer said Preach My Gospel was “designed beyond the veil and put together here.”
This inspired manual continues to bless my life today. As a father, husband, and professional, I frequently rely and reflect on lessons learned from the manual.
In April 2005 talk "The Power of Preach My Gospel," Elder Richard G. Scott said:
"Probably the greatest benefit of Preach My Gospel will be seen in the lives of returned missionaries, who will be stronger parents, more able Church leaders, and better professionals because of the growth that comes from understanding and applying its inspired content."
Aside from learning the doctrine and principles of the Church, here are three lessons I learned from Preach My Gospel that continue to bless my life today.
How to Plan and Set Goals
Planning and setting goals are vital to success at home, school, and professionally, as well as in the mission field. I not only learned the right and most effective way to plan and set goals, but I also learned the importance of counseling with God through prayer during this process. He knows the best way for us to accomplish our goals and wants to help us on along the way. No matter what area of our life we are planning or setting goals in, following the principles found in Preach My Gospel chapter eight is an outline for success.
The Power of the Spirit and How to Identify It
As a young man, I had felt the Spirit before and knew what it was, but chapter four of Preach My Gospel, "How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit?", helped me take that small understanding to the next level. Not only was I able to better listen to the Spirit and follow its promptings, but I learned how to help others recognize the Spirit by identifying it in our lessons and while we talked. That way they could then follow the promptings of the Spirit and change.
I try to always remember that the Spirit can change people and their desires to come unto Christ. I hope that others can feel the Spirit and be motivated to do good after interacting with me.
How to Study and Learn
Chapter 3 in Preach My Gospel houses the lessons that you teach every day on your mission. I had to work hard to learn and know the principles and doctrines I would teach. It wasn't easy for me in the MTC to sit and study for hours on end, but Preach My Gospel's design and layout helped me. I took these simple principles of learning with me to college, and I still use them in my career today. Additionally, I learned the importance of practicing your skills / trade in order to get better at them. Preach My Gospel gives scenarios for missionaries to practice teaching and to role play. Using this principle has helped me greatly to prepare for things throughout my life.