Monday, November 23, 2009

BBQ Squirrel and U.S. Mail

Dear Family,
First off, this is an announcement that Pres. Robbins sent to us this morning concerning mail delivery and things like that. You'll probably want to pass this along to anyone that you can:

New Post Office Mail policy

Due to new and reinforced postal rules and to a new expensive service that they are promoting (Premium Forwarding Service), the Post Office will no longer forward the mail that is sent to the Mission Office for free. In order for you to receive your mail (letters and packages), your family and friends need to send your mail to you directly to your apartment during the first four weeks of the transfer.

Send mail and packages between these 4 week periods:

November 3 – December 1, 2009

December 15, 2009 – January 12, 2010

January 26 – February 23, 2010

March 9 – April 6, 2010

April 20 – May 18, 2010

June 1 – June 21, 2010

July 13 – August 10, 2010

August 24 – September 21, 2010

October 5 – November 2, 2010

November 16 – December 14, 2010

All mail that is delivered to the Mission Office will be distributed at the following Zone Conference. Please note, that by the time your mail is brought to the Mission Office by the missionaries in the apartment you just left, it could be two or more Zone Conferences before your mail can catch up to you.

So yeah, pretty annoying but nothing we can do. Anyway, now on to the good stuff! Had a pretty good week all around, although we didn't meet our lesson goal, but we were fairly consistent each day. Yesterday was the Hazard Branch Conference, which was really good! Pres. Newill, the stake president (by the way, the stake is headquartered in Huntington, WV) is a deeply spiritual and straightforward individual who is very committed to his calling. He indicated that Hazard is one of the better units in the stake, and he impressed upon everyone the need to rise even higher and be completely faithful to their responsibilities. I can agree that effective home and visiting teaching especially will make or break the future of this area. We have also been asked to place a renewed emphasis on developing and implementing family mission plans. This will no doubt raise member awareness as to their missionary responsibilities. WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE! In fact, we're specifically counseled not to even try and do it by ourselves.

Being on a mission has taught me how important it is to always be a missionary, and I intend to help with the work even after I've returned home! As you know, I've thought a ton about member missionary work and how to make it more successful in the areas that I serve. I liked the question that you posed as to why the Lord asks us to do missionary work. Two statements came into my mind, one from Pres. Kimball and the other from Preach My Gospel. Pres. Kimball basically stated that if the Lord wanted to, He could easily convince mankind of His power and His wisdom in a split second. However, he added, this is not the Lord's interest. He wants us to become converted to His gospel FOREVER. In Preach My Gospel on page 161, it says this about the importance of members:

" The starting point for building strong relationships with members is the bishop. Offer to help and serve in any righteous way that he asks. Regularly ask yourself, 'Am I a blessing or a burden to the bishop?' Develop a 'How can I help?' attitude. If you will look for opportunities to LOVE, SERVE, AND TEACH, the bishop and ward members will be more likely to trust you with their family members and friends."

The basic message behind both of those statements is to become converted and help others to do likewise. This can best be accomplished by ministering and teaching one another the doctrines of salvation that lead to exaltation. As Moses 1: 39 says, "For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." What a privilege it is for us to participate in that divine commission! And yet, it's such a small role we play, but a very significant one. We are here on earth to learn how to get back "there." Elder Ballard has said that true and lasting conversion is the key to accelerating the work of the Church. Therefore, it's up to us to set our lives in order, submit ourselves to God's will, and then go and do what He has asked. From the scriptures, it is evident that sharing the gospel is a commandment, and so it must be a necessary step towards exaltation. Anyway, I don't want to get into another rant, but that's what is on my mind in regards to that subject.

I'm looking forward to another Thanksgiving, which will hopefully include a spiritual as well as a physical feast! A member family in Paintsville that I met in Wilmington(they came to see Elder Remington, who started teaching them) has invited us over for Thanksgiving, which will also include a good deal of basketball playing!! Our church building doesn't have a gymnasium, so you can imagine I'm pretty excited! I'm guessing they will have turkey, although there are quite a few possums lying around this area.....but I wouldn't dare even TOUCH that! I've had barbequed squirrel, and that was enough for me.

Joey Couch should be having his interview at the beginning of next week in preparation for his baptism on the 5th. We're going to go over the agenda and some other procedures with him this evening. He really enjoyed Branch Conference yesterday, and chatted with Pres. Newill for a few minutes even. Joey has basically fellowshipped himself into the branch, and combined with great overall fellowshipping from branch members, he's basically a member without baptism. Much of the same for Dustin Cornett, although he didn't show up to Church yesterday for some reason and wasn't home when we stopped by that evening. I'm not too concerned (yet), but it does make you wonder a little bit. Well, not much else to say this week! Things are going pretty well here, and we're just going to try and stretch a little bit more than the previous weeks. Sounds like winter has finally arrived up there, but no snow in sight for this region. I don't know if we'll get any, but there's still a chance! Hope all else is going well on the homefront! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!! Love you all tons!
Elder Isaac Livingston

1 comment:

Kenz said...

Uhhh...BBQ squirrel?!!!! Where did you say you were?