Monday, January 30, 2017

Insanely Awesome Week--Month!

I cannot believe that January is almost over. It has been an awesome month. Really it has been an awesome two months here in Stayton! We are halfway through our transfer already, which is amazing to me. I can't believe that we are almost done training. It will be really interesting to see if Elder Pinkston and I both stay. We both hope that we do because we have seen the work progress so much over these two months. One of the biggest keys for missionary work to progress in the ward is definitely desire. It comes down to recognizing the importance of gathering Heavenly Father's children and leading them back towards Jesus Christ. As missionaries we are set apart to do this work. But in reality, everyone is called in their own way to further the work.

Our week here was insane! In a very good way though. On Wednesday we had a worldwide missionary broadcast. It was an awesome experience. We were able to hear and sort of be a fly in the room of a Council of the missionary department. Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, and Elder Anderson were all a part of this council. It was a very spiritual experience. One of the things that I noticed the most was the importance of repentance and of participating in the ordinance of the sacrament every Sunday. They also talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how The principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are not separate and individual principles, but rather they build upon each other. When living these principles together, there is a real power that can come into our lives. It's not good enough to just have faith, but to allow that faith to lead you to act and repent, and then continuing to participate in the Sacrament.

That was not it though from the broadcast. They announced some huge changes to our schedule and to the key indicators that we focus on and report to the mission. Our pday schedule is going to be changed. We are going to start our pdays at 8 in the morning, rather than ten in the morning. We also used to plan in the evenings after getting home, but instead we will be planning in the mornings. Our personal study will remain for an hour prior to 10 AM. But we will have more flexibility of when we conduct our companionship study and our first 12 weeks training for Elder Pinkston. We aren't implementing these changes as a mission for a couple more weeks, until we have our zone conferences with President Tateoka. We are excited for it though!
Yesterday, we had Kennedy's baptism! It went very well. There were a lot of members from the ward there. And there were also a lot of nonmembers there as well. It was a very good experience. The spirit was very strong and it was awesome to see Kennedy make the commitment to follow Jesus Christ. The past couple of weeks have been so cool to see the gospel in action. It was also cool on Sunday, because the bishop asked Nicole to come up and bear her testimony in front of the ward. That was a really cool experience.

 Today in my personal study, I was reading in second Nephi. Somehow through a foot note, I ended up in Isaiah. The verse I read was Isaiah 49:23. It says: And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

The thing that really impressed me was the word wait. This past week I have been studying a lot on faith and on agency. And so as I considered the word wait, I thought about both of those things. I came up with a little acronym that helps me to remember how I can wait for the Lord. I think of waiting as Willingly Acting In Trust. To wait for the Lord means that we need to constantly be exercising our agency in faith by being obedient to His commandments and following His gospel. The day that He comes again will be an amazing experience so long as we follow His example and are constantly moving forward to become more like Him. 

(I forgot to pull the plug after the baptism so Elder Pinkston had to scale the wall to pull it!)

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