11 April 2016
Alright well first off just want to ask forgiveness for not writing anything last week and I apologize for that. Secondly, I hope to make up for it this week in my email as I combine the last two weeks or so into one email. There has been a lot of growth in these last two weeks.
Starting from the week before last, the highlights would be zone enfoque, splits, coordination, and conference. Tuesday I had a split with another elder in a different area. The split itself was good, but what was more interesting was the train ride to get to their area. It’s about an hour away by train, and I was by myself. As I was sitting there on the train I was just kind of thinking about how the day was going to go, and as my mind was wandering I had a revelation moment. In that moment it hit me that I am a missionary. Surely some of you will think it’s funny or that I’m joking, but I finally felt like I am an actual missionary. My whole mission, and even right before I left, I’ve thought that I’m still a boy and not as mature as the missionaries I have been so accustomed to seeing as I was growing up. I was just kind of looking back at who I used to be, who I am now, and all the work I still have to do to become who I want to be and in the process got a glimpse of the growth I have been blessed to have had so far during my time as a full-time missionary for our Savior Jesus Christ. I’m very much still a boy, but my whole mindset about the mission has changed.
Anyway, enough of that. The next day was zone enfoque, and it was incredible. Not only was in great to learn from my trainer and old companion, Elder Sedgwick, but President Dayton showed up and the spirit that he brings when he walks in the room is breathtakingly powerful. This just added to the revelations that I had received on my train ride.
The following Friday we had coordination with our branch mission leader, Bryan. He’s incredible. He returned from a mission just under a year and a half ago and he has an amazing, comprehensive knowledge of the scriptures. At the end of our meetings, he always asks us what we want to learn about or he shares a scripture about something he learned that week. Five points I took away from Bryan’s teachings last week were:
- “Always search for revelation.” We have the right to revelation and Heavenly Father wants to give it to us, we don’t get as much as we can because a lot of the time we aren’t searching for it.
- “Take advantage of companionship study” (only applies to missionaries sorry).
- “Hoy es el mejor dia.” A phrase Bryan always says meaning “today is the best day” because every day can and should be better than the day before.
- “What did you learn this week?” We are learning thins all the time, the problem is whether we recognize it or not.
- “The work never stops.” As members of the church, we are never finished doing the work of the Lord. It doesn’t end with the mission – “every member a missionary.” It’s a calling for life.
Last and certainly not least I need to talk about General Conference. Conference was incredible. I have many, many favorite talks and it is hard to just pick a few. I don’t want to overwhelm you because I am challenging you all to read all of these talks over again this week, so I will just pick one from each session.
* Saturday Morning – Be Thou Humble by Elder Steven E. Snow
* Saturday Afternoon – To The Rescue: We Can Do It by Elder Mervyn B. Arnold
* Sunday Morning – all of it as well honestly. Especially the talk of our dear Prophet Thomas S. Monson when he talked about Choices.
* Sunday Afternoon – Elder Holland when he talked about how Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You.
I can’t even begin to describe the gratitude I have in my heart for the chance we have to hear the words of prophets, seers, and revelators — the chosen leaders of the Lord on the earth today. Two times a year we are blessed to receive the word of God through His servants. We know they’re the words of God because as it says in Deuteronomy 18:18 “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” The Lord is the same yesterday’s today and forever, He called prophets in the days of old and used them as he used the Prophet Elijah, to speak through them (2 Kings 10:10). So it would only make sense that He, being the same yesterday today and forever and would call prophets during our day to speak to His people. (Just in case you want more scriptural references take a gander at Doctrine and Covenants 1:38). I can promise you that any question you have will be answered to you as you reread these talks, if you’re truly looking for an answer you will find it.
My council for last week would definitely be, do everything that you can to go to the temple as often as you can.
This past week was another great one. The highlights would surely be Francis, noche de hogar, and more splits. Francis is a member from Ghana. Élder Dunn and I called him up one day and asked if he could come help us out. He said he could whenever, so we said how about right now. He said of course come over. We showed up to his street and what do we know, big Francis is out on the street with some of his Ghanaian friends. We walked over and start talking about our message with his friends, and as we talked and finished more came over and we did another whole lesson with his new friends. We left that corner of miracles and started to pass by some old investigators and as we walked every single person on the street just happened to know Francis. Well Élder Dunn and I saw an opportunity and seized it. Any time Francis would start talking his native Twi with anyone, we’d pull them over and share with them the good word of God. The next day Francis ended up coming out with us again. Francis came out with us again on Saturday to pass by all the new people we met with him early in the week. On top of all the work Francis did with us this week he also allowed us to come in and eat fufu with him. I haven’t gotten any of that since my time in Valencia and let’s just say I was craving it.
Noche de hogar with our branch here in Vic was incredible. President Merchan (the Branch President) talked about the talk the President Thomas S. Monson gave about choices. He talked about if for about 50 minutes, just straight knowledge and completely broke down the talk into four simple points. I invite you to read his talk and try to find the four points President Merchan found ; ). After his talk, we played some games, one of which, was Simon Says. You already know that your boy here won. For some reason it is a huge deal here and all the members really like Simon Says (simón dice). I can also assure you it is a lot harder to play when Spanish isn’t in your first language.
I did some more splits – that’s right – and this one was a special one because I was reunited with Élder Sedgwick. It was a sweet walk down memory lane side by side with him. We had fun, worked hard, saw miracles, and learned a lot.
I got to eat some more fufu with Lucky on Sunday night, got to eat some cow intestine, it wasn’t that bad but I don’t I’ll be eating much more.
Well, my advice for this week is that three hours will not strengthen our faith. We need to do more than just attend church for three hours and then go home.
Shout outs go to mom and dad for being the best mom and dad I’ve ever had, Sister Dunn for the matching ties, the hale 6 boys because it’s been a while, and technology for being mind-blowing.