Monday, October 28, 2013

Transfer 12, Week 5, Meadows Zone, Meadows 1st Ward‏

Dear Family,
This week we had the privilege of having Leadership Training by President Ahlander and Brother Donaldson (from the Missionary Department). It was very spiritual! one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission so far! (I will send the transcription from the meeting to those who ask). 
We are teaching Jeff, a man that our elders quorum found and he is progressing well. He said that he is not ready to come to church but that he will take it step by step. One way to ask people to read the Book of Mormon, that we learned from Brother Donaldson, is to ask them how long it would take them to read a 500 page book, then ask them to read the book of Mormon. Jeff said 1 week but that may be because he hasn't ever read a 500 page book yet.
We lost Elder Hart, the missionary that was with us last week. He is going back to his area with a Visa Waiter that we stole from Highland Hills Zone. It will be difficult for him because he has only been in the area for five weeks and one week of that he was in sick because of his companion.
We have started to go into members homes and train them on missionary work. Our ward mission leader, Brother MV Smith, has come up with a great way to report and to help the ward members progress as to their own member missionary work.
A few weeks ago I made a decision to memorize a parable each week. So far I have memorized the parable of the tares (matt 13), the unmerciful servant (matt 18), and I am almost done with the laborers in the vineyard (matt 20). I want to continue that for the rest of my life! Someday I may have the whole thing memorized!
So last pday Elder Manning bought a spider man sweat shirt for our trunk or treat. while we were walking away from the clothes section we passed a mom and her 14ish year old boy. I heard the mom tell the boy, 'I told you that sweater was cool'. haha it was awesome! So elder manning also bought a tag from another missionary Elder Parker. Elder Manning was going to wear this with his new spider man sweat shirt so he could be Peter Parker. To our dismay the trunk or treat was cancelled this last Saturday and moved it to Halloween night... they said it was because they couldn't get enough people to participate. We cannot attend because we have to be in by 6pm on Halloween. However, President has approved 17 Miracles and The other side of Heaven for Halloween night only. that should be fun!
Well that's pretty much my week!
Love you all!
Elder John
"We may at times, I we are not careful, try to pray away pain or what seems like an impending tragedy, but which is, in reality, an opportunity." - Neal A. Maxwell

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trasnsfer 12, Week 4, Meadows Zone, Meadows 1st Ward‏

Dear Family,
This week was very interesting and exciting!
First off, this past Friday, a missionary went home for medical purposes. So his companion is with Elder Manning and I. We got back to the apartment Friday night around 10:50 so we were running on low fuel for the weekend.  It has been very interesting to deal with going back and forth between areas for various reasons, since our areas are at opposite sides of the zone! It has been fun however, since Elder Hart is a cool guy!
We also had a 'fun' experience this past week! So there has been a missionary in the Zone that has had some trouble keeping some of the rules and just having a hard time with certain things. We had some reports from members concerning various activities so Saturday night, after Stake Conference, at 9:35 we had the opportunity to have a chat with him. In my head I was thinking of all of the things that we needed to call him on. (imagine me counting with my fingers) I imagined how we could tell him of the things that we know he is doing and how we would tell him to stop. Mostly I was just angry that he had done some of the things that he did. However, I learned a great lesson that night. Elder Manning pointed out that we wouldn't get anywhere if we just pointed out all of the things that he's done wrong; we would only make an enemy. The first thing that Elder Manning asked him when we arrived and proceeded with our conversation was, 'how do you feel your mission is going so far?' We then proceeded to talk about how he feels about what he has done and how his actions not only effect himself but also everyone around him. As we started to come to the close this particular elder said, 'there was a passage in my patriarchal blessing that talks about my influence on others and how it will spread and affect many. I never knew what that meant until now.'
I am so grateful that one of us, Elder Manning, was willing to follow the spirit that night because I sure wasn't. I just wanted to go in and tell them how I might have perceived him currently and not how he could become. 
Our most promising investigator finally got back in town this past week and we were able to teach her! She went to LA for a few weeks and was able to find an agent. She has had a few auditions for modeling and has received a few call backs already. Things seemed to just fall in to place and work out perfectly for her. She said that 'all of the people that I have met there are 'spiritual' and they all say that it was 'me' that got me here but I tell them that it was God.' We explained how hard it will be to be firm in her faith but that God will always be there and members of the church are all over the world to provide strength. 
This week we were able to teach Jeff, a man that our elders quorum has found with our survey. He seems promising in that he is willing to pray and read from the Book of Mormon! It is great to slowly get a teaching pool! and we are so grateful for our ward mission leader and Elders quorum for trying to find people! Its funny because they say, 'ya getting the appointments are no big deal but then we get there and they don't keep them, they aren't home, or they are just busy. We need to come up with something for that aspect of the work." haha we laugh because that is every second of our day! Show up to a lesson and they cant meet! but it is great to have people with such high expectations :)
We also had the opportunity to sing Hark all ye Nations and Called to Serve for Stake Conference. It was pretty fun and we got to sit on the stand the whole time!
Love you all!
Elder John

"Patience is, therefore, clearly not fatalistic, shoulder shrugging resignation. It is the acceptance of a divine rhythm to life. It is obedience prolonged. Patience stoutly resists pulling up the daisies to see how the roots are doing." -Neal A. Maxwell

Monday, October 14, 2013

Transfer 12, Week 3, Meadows Zone, Meadows 1st Ward‏

Dear Family,
Wow! General Conference is such a blessing and the Apostles are definitely inspired. I recall as I listened to Elder Hollands talk, it was not what I expected. Usually he speaks on a scripture or something like that. But this last conference he spoke on mental issues/depression. I definitely loved the talk but I admit that I was not too excited about it! However this last week we met with a man that our members found. He has severe PTSD and has had thoughts of suicide being the only way out. We told him of the conference and helped him look it up on his computer. I am so glad that the Apostles speak for our problems today and I am grateful that we can use the insights that they share with us to bless others, even if we may not see an immediate need.
I also had the opportunity and blessing to go back to one of my previous wards, San Miguel, to see the baptism of Melinda Bulmer. Her baptism was on the 12th and it was 10 months ago on the day that we knocked on John and Melinda's door. I am so happy for her and for her husband. I know that this gospel will bring them closer as they continue to follow the commandments and continue in faith.
It was so great to see all of the people in the San Miguel Ward! A sister that I saw there said, "when I saw you its like I'm home... and I'm already home". It is great to have such an amazing ward for the Bulmer's to be apart of!
This last Saturday was our Stake Day of Service. From 9 to 3 the missionaries were in charge of preparing and cooking all of the good for everyone. I was blessed with a nice sun burn but it is slowly turning into a tan. I was wearing an apron all day so I have a white streak on my neck. It's pretty hilarious!
This past week we also met with all of the Ward Mission Leaders in the Stake. We were asked to prepare a training on 'what is expected from ward mission leaders and how we can correlate our efforts to work in harmony.' I will list some of the aspects that we touched on just incase you can get some ideas from them:
-Weekly Coordination meetings with a progress record. -Ward missionaries informed on their role and motivated. -members of the ward mission working each night with the exception of Monday and Sunday nights - if needed call more ward missionaries. -during weekly coordination meetings, give missionaries new names to visit. - help find members that can go to teaching appointments. - creating a ward the Lord can trust by: making the investigators feel welcome (each ward missionary should introduce the investigator to a member of the ward) and creating a good learning environment in the gospel principles class (including supervision of the teacher and ensuring that 'principles' are being taught).
Well I hope some of that helps. It seems that it would be the perfect ward if that could happen but I know that some ideas can trigger revelation!
Love you all!!!
Elder John
"We are not always the already tempered and helpful hammer which is shaping and pounding another. Sometimes we are simply the anvil." - Neal A. Maxwell

Monday, October 7, 2013

Transfer 12, Week 2, Meadows Zone, Meadows 1st Ward‏

Dear Family,
General Conference was great! I love the talks on the Atonement and how we can find strength to be lifted out of despair! Great Stuff!
This week we had F.H.E. with a part member family! We did a few object lessons that were really fun and they seemed to love it!
We have 16 names that we are working with from our ward finding survey! Hopefully we can get some good prospects from that!
Our investigator Myah has been out of town until next week so we are really sad about that! Hopefully she will still want to be taught when she gets back!
That's pretty much all that happened this week!
Love you all!
Elder John
"How marvelous it is when we see people who are not so swallowed up in their own suffering that they cannot still manage sympathy, even empathy, for those who suffer far, far less. How many of us here may have undergone the embarrassment of being comforted by those who had more reason to be comforted than we? Yet we recognize in that act of theirs a saintliness to which we would so gladly aspire." -Maxwell