Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Time is Flying By (plus mother's email)
Kia Ora Mother,
Well, your emails are back to normal. It is good to see that things are settling down now that you have one less child in the house and quite a few less burdens filling up your life. Lets see how long it will last:)
This week was a pretty good one and it sounds like it was good for you as well. We had zone conference this week and Elder Hamula gave us most of the trainings. It was good to hear from him on how we were doing as a mission and what we needed to improve on. It was kinda an eye opener into the soul of what we lacked and how we could improve. Almost everything he talked about was related to faith. How in order to gain fatih, we have to have hope that there is something better for us. Once we have the hope, then the action comes which leads to a personal witness and testimony. He related almost the entire thing to us being a doctor which I can relate well with. Not a doctor persay but pharmacy thrown in. It was quite good.
Anyways, we also had stake conference this week but the first half we missed because the sound wasn't working properly. It was all of New Zealand that had it and it was broadcast from Salt Lake. We caught Elder Bednar's talk and it was the link between Testimony and lasting conversion. They both need to be there of we are lacking a pretty major part of both. The only down part was that not many investigators showed up. It was alright though. This week should be a big week for us.
I was able to ask president at zone conference, well sort of. I asked him if he wanted me to ask him a question concerning going home. He asked when I go home and I said September. Then he said ask him later. So no I haven't asked him yet about it, but I will ask the office when they call me probably in a couple weeks and if they say call president then I will then.
Now that I look back, this week was filled with meetings and I am exhausted. Hopefully, this week will go back to normal and we can just do the ins and outs of missionary work. We will see how that works out for us because a tradeoff is scheduled for tomorrow. Oh, well.
I am happy and yes I am looking forward to these next few months going be pretty quick. I hope that there are a few more people out there that I can meet before that time expires though. I love you heaps mum and I hope you have a great week.
On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 7:27 AM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
It was wonderful talking with you and hearing your voice!!! "Music" to a mother's ears to hear her children, especially one who has been at someone else's dinner table for a while. Thank you for calling and talking with us. You sounded happy and healthy and I hope the phone call didn't make you homesick or trunky. You still have some quality time as a missionary! And I have some tips for you in this email. It was a great Mother's Day because I had you on the phone and Xane close by along with Dad, Korin, Sam, Grandpa B and Nana. Then, yesterday, in celebration of Grandma B's birthday, Grandpa, Aunt Rae, Uncle Brad, Brady, Angela, Dad and I went to the Oquirrah Mountain Temple to do a session together. It is a beautiful little temple and we had a very nice time. Grandpa said he felt Grandma's presence with him. That is especially nice and one of the blessings of temples. The veil is very thin there:)
Hey, I found my notes - Vaughan's (Elder Greening's) parents like fermented lobster and lamb. Have you enjoyed either of these tasty morsels? I couldn't quite get my brain past the "fermented' part but Vaughan said his family loves it. We said hello to him again at his wedding reception on Thursday and we also met President Porter. He asked how soon before you came home and couldn't believe it was coming so quickly. He seemed to be a nice man. We didn't have any time to visit - just a quick hello and introduced ourselves as your parents. (We never saw Sister Porter.)
Today in sacrament meeting, the High Councilor told us of a story from his life. He was not a member when he married and his in-laws invited them to dinner along with the missionaries. He said he told them "No, he was NOT interested." He apologized if any members in the ward were the missionaries he was rude to since he doesn't remember their names nor their faces. He explained that "No, I'm not interested" really means, "I'm not ready yet to hear the gospel message." I'm sure you've heard this before but I'm writing it again to remind you that "no" only translates to "not yet." Keep that in mind every day for every contact.
I am also listening to the book on Cd Divine Signatures by Gerald Lund. The whole point of the book is that Heavenly Father knows exactly who we are and exactly what is going on. He orchestrates "coincidences" in such a way that sometimes we can (almost) see the Lord's signature on the experience. He gives several examples and then yesterday the portion I listened to was put there so I could forward it on to you. You've had the first half your whole mission. Now incorporate the second half if you haven't already.
Elder Lund was a member of the Second Quorum of Seventy for a while (I think...) and visited with many mission presidents. During one visit the following happened. While they were together the Mission President received a phone call. At the conclusion of the call he asked, "what were the little miracles this week?" Then the phone rang several more times as zone leaders were calling in their reports for the week and each time the Mission President asked the exact same question at the end of the call. Elder Lund thought about the question and when a time came for them to continue their visit he asked about it. The MP said (as in every mission) that they experience a lot of appointments that fall through. An appointment time is set, the missionaries arrive, and then either the people aren't home, or there is a conflict that cancels the appointment. He said in the past, the missionaries left the door dejected and disappointed and then returned home or went on to the next appointment. In his prayers, he was inspired to know that Heavenly Father knows all that goes on. He needed to start asking, If that appointment falls through, is there someone else in that exact area that has been prepared? So, this MP taught his missionaries that the each time an appointment falls through, step back, wait a bit and listen to the Spirit and then look around. These are the experiences he now calls "little miracles." And each district leader asks the missionaries, then reports to zone leaders who report to MP who asks at he end of each phone call, "what were the little miracles this week?"
I know when I served as a missionary, we had tons of appointments fall through, and we did feel disappointment and often we did turn around and go on. I don't remember often stepping back and looking around, if ever. I pass that little tip on to you now, because I know that every once in a while we need an experience pointed out to us. Two of the miracles explained in the book were 1) the missionaries stepped away from the door and waited. A few minutes later the elevator door opened and a man stepped out and asked "are you the guys I'm supposed to talk to?" They told him they were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a message of Jesus Christ to share with him. He said he was at home somewhere else in the building and felt the need to get dressed and go in the elevator because he needed to talk to some people. That was a little miracle. 2) some missionaries were on a train visiting with a seat mate and the subject included religion. Pretty soon the seat mate said he wasn't interested in religion is his life and got up and walked away. A few minutes later, the man in the seat in front of them turned around and said he hoped they didn't mind but he overheard some of their conversation and said even though the other man wasn't interested in religion, he was interested and would they mind talking to him? That was a little miracle. I encourage you to do this "step back, wait a bit, listen to the Spirit and then look around" tip for the whole week and then let me know next email how it goes. Unfortunately, I know you'll have more than a few opportunities to try it out, since appointments fall through every single day of a missionary's life.
So - how did your interview with your MP go? Did you visit more than 5 minutes? Did you get to ask about staying with Uncle Clarke? Are you happy? Brayden Angus spoke today in church along with the High Councilor. He enters the MTC on Wednesday bound for Spokane, Washington Mission. We are all so excited for him! And boy was he ever tender and emotional during his talk. Bishop and Pres Webb called it humility and Xane called it nervousness - I agree with them all. No question of the week today - you can tell me anything you want to. Tonight we have Xane's seminary graduation and boy is he irked. He is so disgusted that he has to "walk" in three graduations in a month's time! I really don't think he minds graduation so much, but he always has a conflict (boy, does that ever sound familiar???). Tonight he will have to miss ward prayer and munch and mingle. He is bothered missing it, because he and his roommate Matt have to host the munch and mingle next Sunday night and neither one of them has been yet, so they don't know what to expect! Poor Xane! He loves BYU though and is quite enjoying being out on his own. Oh! And yesterday we received six letters for you from SUU - yes, count them, SIX. And they were all exactly the same letter saying you had deferred til Fall 2012 and were excited for you to return. I guess I'll be calling them tomorrow morning and asking for an extension on the deferment :) I will also be telling them of your six letters and Xane's seven emails regarding his "you haven't finished your application yet." They need some new employees in the registration office. Maybe you better plan to apply! Did Dad tell you he applied for two jobs at BYU this week? He really, really, really wants one of them. We are currently in waiting mode, which is actually good because he hasn't received a rejection email yet :) Next step is hopefully getting an interview. Don't worry, we'll keep you posted if anything positive happens.
We are also on track for traveling to New Zealand for Christmas 2012. We talked with the kids about going to NZ after your mission and December is the much better time to go. September has everybody in school with no way to miss a couple of weeks to pick you up. We have been "going without," eating weird food out of food storage, and saving every penny from refereeing, babysitting, donating plasma, etc and, with incredible blessings from Heavenly Father we have saved $12,000 (USA) so far. I couldn't remember if we mentioned it at all to you, and I thought you needed to know. Keep working for the Lord and we'll keep saving with His help and hopefully you have a family vacation to look forward to - it will be your only Christmas present this year!
We love you tons - I love you more than I can say in mere words in an email,
hugs, kisses, squeezes and slobbers,