Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Companion, New Calling

I'm healthy, happy, and still trying to move the work forward in Cincinnati! I am now serving with Elder Kirk from Shelley, ID who has been out for 4 1/2 months now. He previously served right across the river in Northern Kentucky and is excited to be in Cincy now. I'm grateful to be serving with him, and I can tell he is a good missionary, anxious to get out there and serve the Lord's children. We are on the verge of accomplishing a lot of really good things here, but it will take faith from us, the people we teach, and also the ward members. With that last thought in mind, I was pleased to see that the focus for district meetings this transfer is on working with members to find people to teach.

I definitely feel that the member work could be improved drastically here, and we have already started coordinating to teach the Book of Mormon class together with the Norwood elders. I was extremely surprised and humbled this Sunday by the call to be a district leader. Such an assignment brings plenty of responsibility and especially accountability to the Lord, Pres. Robbins, and the zone leaders. I know the Lord will make me capable of doing His will and helping this district become one in unity and purpose, but only if I'm striving to do that for myself. Zone Conference last week was absolutely incredible, the mission leaders did a fantastic job of getting that put together. I felt the Spirit strongly during all those testimonies that were shared, and it didn't hurt that we had some good food as well.

Since the whole mission was there, we were doing a lot of group pictures of past districts and missionaries we came out with. For me, that meant like 17 other elders for a picture! A bunch of missionaries were taking lots of pictures of us, and most of them were asking if we were a zone or something. They were pretty shocked when they found we all came to the mission at the same time!! It's just crazy to think that I'll be home in 4 1/2 months, but don't worry.....I won't become "trunky," in the sense that I won't become lazy and slothful in the work. As for the part about thinking of you guys, that's an everyday thing. :) Heck, if I didn't think about you, you could call President Robbins and tell him to keep me here past my departure date!

My heart is full as I read about all the many tender mercies of the Lord towards you; it really is incredible how much the Lord cares for the families of His missionaries. Among the many lessons I've learned in the mission field, the one that has come to mind frequently during the last week is that of agency. It is a grand, eternal principle which has given me a lot of comfort, especially when people we're teaching have made a choice contrary to that of the Lord's commandments. Well, being the "quote-hunter" that I am, I came across a great one from Elder Oaks:

"Some of our most important plans cannot be brought to pass without the agency and actions of others. A missionary cannot baptize five persons this month without the agency and action of five other persons. A missionary can plan and work and do all within his or her power, but the desired result will depend upon the additional agency and action of others. Consequently, a missionary's goals ought to be based upon the missionary's personal agency and action, not upon the agency or action of others."

That statement pretty much sums up all my feelings right now, and one that helps me to press forward inspite of other people's choices, especially because my happiness does not and should not depend upon the decisions of other people. Not to say that I will become indifferent to these children of Heavenly Father, but rather that I will feel sorrow when they choose not to repent, as it states within Preach My Gospel. Some of our investigators have definite potential to be baptized within the next transfer or two, and if that is the Lord's will, I sure hope I'm around to see it happen. Also, I think that we are allowed to attend the Gladys Knight fireside next month, as long as we have investigators going. That's something I'm really looking forward to, so hopefully we are able to go. We have a few investigators who are committed to going, and we're going to try and invite anyone we can throughout this week. Onward, ever onward! Send my congrats to "Elder" Wilbur and his family on his mission call! New Jersey, huh? That'll be cool! Thank you for faith, support, and prayers for me. I feel it everyday! Have a great week!


Ging said...

I am thrilled to see my son grow in his love for others and the gospel. What a great blessing this is

Terri said...

Ike sent the girls a letter. It was profound and timed by a in tune elder. I love that boy