Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Have Given You An Example

At the beginning of this week I went up to Norwich on exchanges. Elders were just barely put into the Norwich ward a few weeks ago, and it is Elder Sutherland training a brand new missionary Elder Ching. I spent the exchange there in Norwich with Elder Ching! If there is one thing you should know about Ching, it is that he is Hawaiian! Haha I absolutely love this kid, he is your typical laid back, chill Islander who just loves everyone. We had a ton of fun together, but we worked our butts off all day. Our day together was filled with A LOT of rejections, like an unusual amount of very upset people haha but we had a few little tender mercies throughout the day where we were led to individuals who were interested in our message. We tried hunting down a former investigator who lived in a 4 Plex, but we didn't know which apartment she was in. We started with the 1st one and then worked our way down, and the 3rd one some guy answered and told us that the lady we were looking for had moved, and that he definitely wasn't interested in our message. We started walking back to the car, but then Elder Ching said "Hey we didn't knock on that last apartment", so we gave it a shot. A super sweet young mother answered the door with her 2 little kids, we explained to her what we do and she told us she would love to hear our message and to stop by anytime. The sister missionaries went back a few days later and had a great lesson with her. The greenie was definitely listening to the Spirit that led us there, so that was pretty cool. But yeah we had a great day together, you can always count on a Hawaiian for a good time.

We spent the entire day on Wednesday up in Boston for the mission leadership council. We don't have zone meetings this month, which is usually the main discussion of MLC, so instead this time we were trained a lot on leadership principles and how we can better lead our missionaries. I learned a bunch about how I can be a better leader to the missionaries in our zone. When trying to help people become better we first have to love them for who they are, and for what they have to offer. We have to take people where they are at, and then be willing to try and help them be a little better. We also can't be asking the individuals that we lead to do something that we aren't already doing or willing to do ourselves. Just a few things that stood out to me. At the meeting we also discussed an event that is happening later this month. Elder Lawrence, a member of the Seventy, is coming to tour our mission and to train us. Apparently his first day here he wants to have a meeting with all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders, to train us a little more I guess, we don't really know what to expect. But then after that meeting he is going to interview each of us leaders individually. Sooo I have to be interviewed by a General Authority here at the end of the month, yikes haha.

I told you guys last week about Talon, a 17 year old boy we have been teaching the past few weeks. Well on Tuesday we had a lesson with him at the Perkins home and taught him about baptism, what it means, the covenant that we make, and invited him to be baptized on November 1st and he was all over it and accepted it right away. Now we just have a lot of work to do to prepare this young man to be baptized. He is already saying he wants to go on a mission once he graduates high school, which is great to hear but he has a LONG ways to go. We are focusing right now on helping him develop his own testimony. Just a few weeks ago this kid didn't even believe in Christ, and so it is all happening really fast. He has already progressed a lot, but there is still a lot more that needs to happen for him to be ready to make this covenant with God.

Saturday morning before conference began we had a lesson with a less active member, and her non member husband named Arrell. The less active member has had a desire to come back to church recently, and she wants her family to come with her of course! He grew up Christian, but hasn't really been affiliated with any church for a while. The husbands family has been very anti Mormon ever since their son married a Mormon, and so Arrell has heard a lot of false claims about our religion. He has wanted nothing to do with our church, but finally things worked out where he was willing to meet with us (thanks to persistence from his wife). We had a great visit where we basically just answered the questions that he has about our religion. We thought it was going to be kind of a bashing session, but it wasn't like that at all. It went really well actually. At the end of the visit we invited Arrell to take the lessons and he agreed, so we will be going back there Wednesday to teach the Restoration. A little side note, Arrells wife has been having some pretty serious health problems lately. She was in a lot of pain and her lymph nodes were super swollen. She had an MRI and Ultrasound but the doctor's hadn't really figured anything out, so she called us and asked for a blessing last Monday. We administered the blessing, and then when we went back on Saturday for our lesson she told us that the pain was completely gone, and the lymph nodes were no longer swollen, and that it was like nothing had ever happened. When she called the doctors they were super confused I guess. That was a pretty neat experience and hopefully that helps soften the heart of her husband.

Sunday night we arranged to have a meeting with President Hutchins (our Stake President) and Hannah and her parents here at the chapel. Hannah's baptism is approaching and we felt it would be appropriate to meet with her parents and talk about everything and answer any questions that they might have regarding our church. We gave them a tour of the chapel and explained what goes on during a typical Sunday service and Tuesday night activities, and it also gave us an opportunity to share a lot of our beliefs along the way. It turns out it was a great idea to meet with them, because Hannah's mother had tried to do some research on the church on her own and had gotten plastered with anti Mormon stuff from all over the internet. We were able to resolve a lot of her concerns, and it was a really great evening. Hannah's mom has already came to church twice, but now she says she would like to start attending regularly with Hannah which is super exciting. We are going to have to move Hannah's baptism back one week, to the 26th of October, because her grandpa in NC is having some major health issues and so Hannah's mom is flying out there this week to be with him. All is well though, and both parents are supportive of her joining the church.

General conference was amazing as always. There were a lot of talks that addressed exactly what I was hoping to hear, so that was great. Hopefully you all were able to go to conference with your own questions in mind and have them answered through the Lord's prophet and apostles. I kept noticing in a lot of talks that the brethren seem to be fed up with all of our excuses for not doing things haha. There were a few times they told us to stop making excuses and to go out and do the things we know we need to. Like family prayer, family scripture study, FHE, attending the temple, doing family history work etc. So often we have a ton of things going on in life that we just don't feel like we have time to do all these things, and then our scripture study or FHE gets pushed to the side. Well Elder Scott told us it is about time we rethink our priorities in life and find time to do what is actually important. I agree completely, I really liked Richard G Scotts talk, if ya missed it go back and read or watch it in the next few days! But anyways, I love ya all and have a great week.

Elder Ching and me, I had to throw up the Haka in honor of him.  Just look at that kids smile, isn't he great!?

"I Have Given You An Example" Richard G. Scott
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/i-have-given-you-an-example?lang=eng

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