Thursday, September 15, 2016
Week 56 - September 12, 2016
Another fantastic week come and gone in the blink of an eye.
Everything is going really well. We are excited for Beena. She is going to be baptized Sunday night! She is incredible.
Our week was very very busy.
Tuesday I was able to go on exchanges with a missionary in his area just south of me. It was fun! Pretty cool miracle. They have been having a bit of trouble finding new investigators to teach - Two Sundays ago, Elder Holden and I were praying that they would see a miracle and get three new investigators (which would be the first time In awhile) and last night when they reported numbers, they told us they had three new investigators! Pretty amazing. Proud of them.
Wednesday was fantastic as well. We went on exchanges again but this time with the Assistants. The Elder who left this area to be the Assistant came back for the day so we had a very fun exchange together visiting some of the people he use to work with! He was actually one of my very first Zone Leaders back in Philly, so it's cool to be able to work closely with him again. Great guy!
That evening we met up with my companion and the other Assistant and took a tour of the temple. We brought Beena and some other investigators - it was amazing. We had such an incredible time! The temple is beautiful.
On Thursday, Elder Holden and I had our first Zone Training together which was simply incredible! We had such an amazing spiritual training. After about an hour and a half or so of training together, we did a separate training where I trained on "Vision" and Elder Holden trained on "Goals." I based my training off of Brigham Young, the early saints, and Salt Lake City - a few things that stuck out to me --
"It was by faith that Brigham Young looked over [the Salt Lake] Valley, then hot and barren, and declared, “This is the place.” Again by faith, four days later, he touched his cane to the ground … and said, “Here will be the temple of our God.”
To continue on, there were a few other quotes I used - "Behind us is a glorious history. It is bespangled with heroism, tenacity to principle, and unflagging fidelity. It is the product of faith. Before us is a great future. It begins today. We cannot pause. We cannot slow down. We cannot slacken our pace or shorten our stride."
"I stand in reverent respect for Brigham Young. He saw the Salt Lake Valley in vision long before he saw it with his natural eyes. Otherwise I doubt he ever would have stopped here. There were greener lands in California and Oregon. There was deeper and richer soil elsewhere. There were great fields of timber in other places, much more water, and climates more equable and pleasant.
There were mountain streams here, it is true, but none of them was very large. The soil was totally untried. No plow had ever broken its hard-baked surface. I marvel, I simply marvel, that President Young would lead a large company … to a place where there never before had been a sowing and a harvest. …
They were travel-worn, these pioneers. It had taken 111 days to bring them from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley. They were tired. Their clothes were worn. Their animals were jaded. The weather was hot and dry--the hot weather of July. But here they were, looking down the years and dreaming a millennial dream, a grand dream of Zion.
I stood the other day on the old docks of Liverpool, England. There was practically no activity the Friday morning when we were there. But once this was a veritable beehive. During the 1800s, tens of thousands of our people walked over the same stone paving on which we walked. They came from across the British Isles and from the lands of Europe, converts to the Church. They came with testimony on their lips and faith in their hearts. Was it difficult to leave their homes and step into the unknown of a new world? Of course it was. But they did it with optimism and enthusiasm. They boarded sailing vessels. They knew the crossing at best was hazardous. They soon found out that for the most part it was miserable. They lived in cramped quarters week after week. They endured storms, disease, sickness. Many died on the way and were buried at sea. It was an arduous and fearsome journey. They had doubts, yes. But their faith rose above those doubts. Their optimism rose above their fears. They had their dream of Zion, and they were on their way to fulfill it."
To close I asked what vision we have of our areas, our companionships but more importantly our lives? What do we want to be able to say when we take the tag off, where do we want to be in 5, 10, 20, 40 years?
Anyways, the spirit was so very strong and I know that we were all inspired to ponder pray and think about what visions we have for our work, our companionships, our lives, families etc.
After Zone Training, I went on an exchange with one of the previous Assistants, Elder Hopkin, he is such a gem. We had a fabulous day. We had some incredible lessons -- the highlight of it all was that our Mission President wanted to come teaching with us that evening, so we took him to three appointments from 6-9. My goodness, I have not ever been around someone so filled with the Spirit before. He is simply incredible. We had a wonderful evening together! Definitely learned so much from him.
Friday we went to the temple again. It was the last day for the open house. We took an investigator named Jack. He has been investigating the church for 15 years... We had a very powerful lesson with him and he has accepted a baptismal date for October 16th. We are so excited for him. So many missionaries put time and effort into helping, I feel so blessed to be able to be the one to finally help him into the waters of baptism.
I guess to close, Congratulations to Michael Anderson for giving his Farewell talk and leaving for Peru, that is incredible. Good luck!
I love you all. Thank you for your support and your prayers.
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