Elder Joshua - we just heard that some dear friends have been called to the San Fernando mission - Elder Parley and Sister Bonnie Smith - he was the Stake Clerk when I had the blessing of serving - hopefully you will get to meet them - if you do please express our joy in their call to serve.
It's been a good week for me this week. Mostly I'm pleased with the progress we've been able to make on the garage. Sam ended up getting his wisdom teeth out this last week and hasn’t been feeling well besides (Good news is that Sam is now submitting his papers!). So without Sam to help me, I’ve had to call on Ben to step up and do some construction with me. I’ve been very pleased with him and he has stepped up and worked hard and well. Some of my greatest joy comes from seeing my family progress.
Since I last wrote, we went on YM camp. Ben went to the Millwoods Stake camp with the teachers, and the priests held a camp at the Day’s and did horseback riding, Archery, Canoeing/Kayaking and tubing on the river, along with a BBQ in Drayton valley with the Laurel. Overall a successful camp week. Ben really enjoyed his camp too, especially the testimony meeting. We had a long talk about testimonies when we got home.Looking back over the years, I think I have been to YM camp almost every year for the last 20 years, with only a couple of breaks in between. I’m excited for Mom to start getting youth callings with the YW!
I've been listening to an interesting audio book lately that Tyler recommended to me called "The 4 hour work week". It has caused me to think outside the box a little with regards to how I spend my time. One of the things he talks about that is also something Ben recently learned about in "Principle Centered Leadership" by Stephen Covey. It states that there is a difference between "Effectiveness" and "Efficiency". One can be very efficient but not very effective. E.g. I can be a very efficient email manager by always keeping up to my email and organizing it into folders etc., but I may not be very effective because I spend all my time doing that instead of more important things. I might be more effective by batching up email management to once a day and doing other more important things when I would normally be constantly checking emails. It's caused me to consider how I can be more effective in my professional as well as personal life. I think that is what is talked about in the missionary guides when it talks about ways of finding and teaching. You might be a very efficient at tracting, but it is not necessarily the most effective way to find or teach people the gospel. Are there ways you can think out side the box in missionary work? Can you batch up your efforts by doing presentations to community groups or bigger groups of people? Can you visit less actives and ask for referrels? There are lots of ways to be creative in whatever we do I think.
AJ Ripley gave an interesting talk on Sunday reminding us of the circumstances surrounding the revelation on the Word of Wisdom. Much of his source came from this article on lds.org(https://history.lds.org/
article/doctrine-and- covenants-word-of-wisdom?lang= eng&_r=1) It caused me to think about the importance of our environment and our ability to receive revelation. Mom and I were talking about this. Mom made an interesting statement about how she feels very fulfilled in her role as mother and with our family, but individually, especially thinking about her Patriarchal blessing, she feels quite unfulfilled. Always be grateful for the sacrifice your Mom made so she could be home with you. You have a faithful mother who listens to a prophet's voice. She also indicated that moving to the acreage has made a big difference in helping her start on a path of individual fulfillment primarily due to loving the environment and the opportunities it provides. Look for ways to create an environment of the spirit for your companionship and for your investigators.
Keep strong and steady and sprint to the end! Best months of your mission are in front of you!
Let us know of your investigators we can pray for.
OYM means Open Your Mouth, it is key to finding people who are prepared to learn the Gospel and it is something I have struggled with my whole mission until now.
I set a goal to boldly walk up to people to shake their hand, and to share the gospel and I set another goal to not hesitate, and I have been really pushing myself because the last thing I feel is to walk up to a stranger especially when they don't look interested or if they notice me 50 feet away and the most awkward thing to do is greet them from that far away and then to walk up to them and shake their hand, at least I felt it was awkward before, the more I have been doing it the less I feel like its weird and the more it feels normal, I will often catch myself though making excuses for why I shouldn't talk to a person, but as part of my goal to not hesitate is to just jump right in so when those excuses come to my mind I know that that is the sign that I need to do it right now.
We had a cool miracle on Saturday, we had just started knocking doors and we knocked into this one lady who just waved us off and so we took that as a "go away" kind of signal so we left and went to knock the next door but then the lady came around the bushes and we went to talk to her, she simply said "are you christian?" and we responded that we were, "come with me" was her only reply so we followed, we could tell this woman was hispanic and so we didn't know what to expect, she went inside and told us to wait for a few moments and after a couple minutes a younger lady came out and said that her mom said we were there to see her. we started asking about her religious beliefs and she told us she was agnostic, that she believed more in the science aspect of things, I pulled a quote out from one of Bruce R McConkies talks (the 7 deadly heresies) "True science and true religion agree with each other" and she accepted it and we continued to teach her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we kept it simple and tried to answer the many questions she asked, and she accepted it all, she prayed right after for the first time in her entire life, and she said when was finished that she felt weird, and after further inquiry she said it was a good feeling kind of like she was light headed and peaceful, we read the fruits of the spirit from the pamphlet and we told her that what she felt was the spirit, we finished and invited her to church, and she came! after she told us that she thought it was pretty interesting, and that she had started reading the Book of Mormon to her mother and translated it into Spanish, but then looked up online the Book of mormon in that language so that she could read it properly. Her name is Shannon. we have been finding so many people who are so prepared for the Gospel.
This week there was a really cool video that President Henrie shared with us about a Book of Mormon social experiment, they took every page from The Book of Mormon and gave one page out to random people and told them to highlight everywhere that it referenced God and Jesus Christ and people from all walks of life tried it and each gained a testimony about that specific page, you should all try it! its a cool experiment, then share it with your friends.
In Elders Quorum on sunday the teacher talked about time, and budgeting our time, he drew an equation on the chalk board.
what does that represent, he said that that is how much time we have in the week. And I thought that was cool and it has really helped me to prioritize a little bit better, figuring out how much time I spend on everything, and i found out that with the missionary schedule, we have only about 51 hours a week that isn't planned for. That is nearly a third of the time that is originally set. And each one of those 51 hours is spent finding and teaching people. Its a good life.
I know that this church is true, I love it because it helps us to live up to our divine potential, I can tell how much my testimony has grown because I am facing a lot of the same bashing techniques I have faced in the beginning of my mission and it doesn't faze me anymore, because I am built upon the rock of my redeemer... and not trying to bash on any other religion but each and every one I have seen or at least the people I talk to are limited, there is a stop, a "Comfort" where they all feel comfortable where they are at and reject the thought of further growth. they leave the greater light and knowledge that God would have them know and go back to that place that supplies them with the most comfort. We have been teaching the plan of salvation a ton this week and what gets me every time is that the Celestial Kingdom is the only one that offers further advancement. It is the place where we get to continue forging out of our comfort zones and learning more and more, in each one of the other kingdoms its a stop, where every one can be comfortable where they are at, and don't have to learn more. They will be stuck for eternity and they will be happy with that.
That is not for us, we are part of a church that believes in ALL truth no matter if it comes from an atheist or a baptist, if it is true, then it is something we can accept. We are all to continually grow and progress no matter what, if we are not striving for a celestial life now then we will not be comfortable in a celestial glory. If you look at the quorum of the 12 and the prophet and his counselors nearly each one of them has a masters degree if not a doctorate in something or another. So continue to embrace the awkward, stride out of your comfort zone and it will grow to encompass you, then you need to continue to stride out of it until your are comfortable with everything, at least with continued learning. God wants us to grow.
I love this church, I know the Book of Mormon is true, we have a prophet on the earth today and God is working among His children actively to bring them to His presence, and we are his instruments as members of this Church.
P.S. We have family in this ward, Brother John Fairbanks is my second cousin twice removed and has a book in his home with this page in it.
it is pretty cool to see Dad and grandma and grandpa's names in a book so far away from home.