TRANSFER PREP JAN 23, 2016
This week has been a blur. It's the last week of the transfer so what that means for our mission is transfer planning (who will go where), planning how to make that all work smoothly and other things that need to be done to close out a transfer. In short, that means a lot of time working in the mission office which is great, just different from what I've done for my whole mission. We were blessed to be able to have a lot of lessons this past week though and there were some really powerful experiences with it.
Just a short summary of how transfer planning went. We sit with President Jacobsen in his office, and in there he has a big magnetic wall of each area and the missionaries that are serving in each area. We start with a prayer and then we talk about where we should move people, discuss, and then move magnets. It was really cool. We started on Monday and made some addition changes throughout the week, it's a really inspired process.
On Tuesday we spent all of our day getting ready for transfers until 5. We had a lesson with a guy named Zach that we met on campus. We got to know him a little bit and taught him the Restoration. As we were teaching him the Spirit was really strong, and as we taught him about the First Vision and the Restoration of the Priesthood, Elder Haddock invited him to be baptized and receive the Priesthood, the Spirit was so strong during it and he was noticeably emotional, and he said yes. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he is going to start reading it. Then right after that lesson, actually at the end of the lesson, a guy we had met on Saturday, named Jake showed up for our lesson. There was a Bible Study class at the institute, that's taught by the Institute director, Brother Tibbitts, so we took him to that. It was great and Jake even made a comment at the end that he was really grateful that he came! It was a great night, we were truly blessed with miracles!
On Wednesday there was a worldwide missionary broadcast where the Missionary Executive Committee spoke, including Elders Oaks, Andersen, and Bednar. It was all on the basics of missionary work and it was super powerful and inspiring. Then we had a lesson with Austin who's getting baptized in two weeks, and he is prepared. We had Kalin Tibbits with us. He's an RM and went to BYU for a little while, but he's at home working for now. He's money!
We also taught Tatiyana this week. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she really liked it. I received an answer to my prayers during it. I've been praying a lot and studying to be able to teach with more power and authority and at the end of the lesson, I was prompted to promise her that as she continued to seek after righteousness, that her family would accept and embrace the gospel. It was really special, it wasn't something that I was thinking beforehand. I was really trying to listen and discern, and the Spirit delivered, it was so great! Tatiyana has been fellowshipped really well and we're excited for her!
We made transfer calls yesterday. President would call them and tell them where they were going, then we would give them their travel arrangements. Then we had to get the truck and transfer van ready to go for Monday since we spend the entire day driving people around the state.
My spiritual thought for this week comes from 3 Nephi 1:13&15. Nephi is praying to the Lord because the wicked people have set a day where they are going to kill all of those who believe, unless the sign of Christ's birth comes. The Lord answers and this is what he tells Nephi in verse 13, "I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets." Then in verse 15, it says, "And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled." What I learned from this, is that the Lord says it, then He does it. That is a truth. So, as you read scriptures and see promises from the Lord, you can be assured that as you do what He says, He will do what he has promised.
|Elder Haddock and me with my fam!|
ZONE CONFERENCE! JAN 18, 2016
This was a great week here in Michigan. We had Zone Conference on Wednesday in Lansing, Thursday in Midland, and Friday in Kalamazoo, and they all went great and were super uplifting. It was also a huge blessing to be able to be at all three of them and learn from everyone there, as the Spirit inspired each of us. That took up the big majority of our week, but it definitely didn't stop us from seeing some awesome miracles in our area!
Our Zone Conferences went great. Elder Haddock trained about our mission goal of 280 baptisms and what we need to do to reach that goal. It was really well done and the participation was great. One thing I learned from it is that you can't reach a goal that you don't know exists. Nobody knew of our mission baptism goal for last year, so of course, we didn't achieve it.
I trained on Magnifying Our Calling. My focus was on answering the questions: What? Why? and How? of Magnifying our calling. It was all focused and centered on smaller group discussion and then we discussed after as a full conference. One cool thing shared was a lot of people used the example of a magnifying glass, and someone said how when you put light through a magnifying glass and leave it on something, it will eventually catch fire. They said how Jesus is the Light and how when something burns, it is literally changed, even the chemical make up of it, so as we magnify our calling and involve the Savior in that, we can change who we truly are into something greater. We become more like Jesus Christ. Then in the How of magnifying our calling, I trained on the importance of taking care of our health, through diet and exercise, which was fun. I committed everyone to buy vegetables this week :) then also coming to know why you are serving a mission. My point was that we are all here on missions, but why...? Why do we choose to stay and be obedient and work hard? Then I shared why I'm here and what motivates me to magnify my calling... It's the impact that two missionaries serving in Hawaii had on my life and the life of my family, and me knowing that I can have the same impact on others lives. I included the powerpoint I used, so you can go through it, and see why I'm here serving in the Michigan Lansing Mission. I then committed everyone to put something on their wall or somewhere they will see it everyday, something that will remind them of why they are in the MLM serving the Lord. It went great!
President Jacobsen talked a lot about staying with our companion for safety, and also how we need to baptize converts, people who have already experiened a change of heart, through us teaching them repentance. Sister Jacobsen talked about having patience. Zone Conference was a great experience, it was amazing how much the Spirit led me to know what to say, and what to do. I was really nervous leading up to it, but it turned out great!
On Thursday, we drove to the Burleson's home on the way back from Midland. We had dinner and then a lesson with Austin. We read 1 Nephi 8 about the Tree of Life and it was great. He loved it and understood it really well. He is super prepared for baptism and we're excited about it. Then we came home and had a lesson with Tatiyana. She was taught once before Christmas break. She told us she had read from the Book of Mormon over the break and loved it, and she feels really good whenever she meets with us. We set a baptismal date of Feb. 20th with her. She also understands the restoration really well. She's money. She also came to Institute on Friday and was at church yesterday, and some of the members invited her to dinner with us and them after church, they fellowshipped her really well and we are teaching her again tonight! She's awesome.
I got to go on trade-offs with Elder Hunter Johnson this week. We got to spend a lot of time on campus. We met a really cool guy who has seen us around before but never talked to us and he's really excited to meet with us.
Things are going great for me here at MSU in East Lansing, MI. This week is transfer planning so that should be a great experience. I've been told the next two weeks are crazy, the last and first weeks of the transfers...
My spiritual thought this week is my training on magnifying your callings. We all owe it to ourselves to magnify our discipleship and callings in Christ's church. It not only leads to greater success, but we will be much happier and become so much more than if we don't do it. I love each one of you and I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us as well.
|Zone Conference-talking to Elder Rapp|
|Elder Rapp and me|
|Trade offs with Elder Johnson|