This week was pretty good! Here’s some highlights and funny stories.
Monday, we had dinner with this older family in the ward, the Hildts. She used to manage our dinner calendar for us, so their family loves having the missionaries over. The dinner was really good, we’ve been getting Thanksgiving prep all week.
But, Elder Hatch seemed to really like the dinner rolls (Rhodes, who’d a thunk, right?) and he mopped up like, 6 of them. He’s a funny guy.
Tuesday, we had zone conference. It was my last one, a little bittersweet. It was a really good meeting, and I learned a lot. We had a training on using our smartphones effectively, and they had me get up and share my new study method using the Gospel Library app. It’s simple, but I guess they really liked it.
Then at the end, they have all the departing missionaries share their testimonies, and so I got up and shared some of the things I’ve learned. I’d been thinking about what I wanted to share, so I hope I got through to a couple people.
Wednesday, they had me come back to zone conference for the other half of the mission to share my study method again, and at the end, I looked over to see if I had gone over everything they wanted me to, and Sister Clark mouthed to me to share my testimony again, so I did. Again, I hope I got through to some people. It was a good day.
Thursday, we had our usual morning routine, tried stopping by some people before lunch, ya know, missionary stuff. Then we took Elder Hatch to the Greenie dinner and headed to our own dinner appointment. Dinner was the bomb, breakfast food. Best pancakes ever, bacon was amazing. I hadn’t had bacon in a while. Elder Vaipulu and I shared this message with them about repentance and the Holy Ghost. I’ll try and record a video to show you all, maybe next week…
Friday, Elder Vaipulu went to MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) and Elder Hatch and I tried to track some people down. We picked Elder Vaipulu up after MLC and stopped by our investigator Jay. He let us in and we had a good lesson with him. He asked us a good question, it stumped us because we weren’t expecting it. He asked us “If I already go to my Bible study, if I already am meeting with you, if I already have a relationship with God, why do I need more?” He had talked to us about family history, and brought out a huge binder full of stories and pedigree charts. I thought for a minute, then I picked up the binder and told him that if he joined the church and went to the temple, he could not only have spiritual experiences, but he could help his family on the other side. He asked what I meant, and the three of us told him about why we have family history work and temples. That seemed to get through to him a bit more, hopefully it sticks! He has some memory problems, so hopefully he remembers when we go over next time.
Saturday, Elder Vaipulu had a meeting in the morning, then he went to the temple with his previous ward because a less active they were teaching went through the temple for the first time. The Clark’s (from my 1st ward, not the mission president and his wife) dropped him off to us at the mission office. It was good to see them again, they have helped me a lot on my mission.
, as usual, we juggled both wards for a while. We’ve decided on a new system, where only one of us is going to go to the meetings that would normally take us away from regular church meetings, and the other two can get a little more enjoyment out of church. It was my turn this week, it wasn’t that bad. Kinda nice to be busy, that way it’s hard to notice how tired you are! Lol
Well fam! I guess I’ll share some of the things I talked about in Zone Conference.
I have spent far too long wishing I had less time on my mission, but about a year in, that changed. I stopped having first experiences, and started having last experiences on my mission. My last birthday on the mission, my last 4th of July on the mission, my last this or that. And my whole perspective changed. I realized that I’ve been having a blast and I didn’t even know it. I’ve grown a lot, I’ve changed into a better person, a person who knows God’s will, and is seeking to accomplish whatever he has in store for me. And a lot of that happened without me really knowing it, until I took the time to look back on my mission so far.
I have seen the power in people to change, the power that comes from Christ. No matter what you have been, you don’t have to stay that way. There is nobody between you and Christ. No one can fall lower than the Light of Christ shines. He has carried me on days that I feel like giving up, days that seem to stretch on into miserable hour after miserable hour, He has been there when I cry out in my heart for help. I know He is there.
I have learned that if you aren’t happy where you are at, that isn’t always your fault. But it is your fault if you stay there. You have all of Heaven on your side. The Lord puts people into our lives for a reason. Sometimes, to put us through a refiners fire. Other times to temper our will. Other times He puts us against the grinding wheel to knock off a few rough edges. And yet, other times, He might just be melting us back down so He can shape us into something grander. But at all times, He is holding us, and He is shaping us into His image.
I have learned that honest testimony brings the Spirit. You can say things that sound nice, or you can say some cool thing to get noticed. You’ll get what you want, you might look cool or not make someone upset. But when you speak from the heart, the Spirit gets the truth from your words and brings it to their heart, and if they let it in, they’ll understand what they need to. Trust that what you’re thinking is inspiration. The Lord can make the best out of our fumbling, but honest, attempts.
Here’s hoping it’s another great week in paradise!
Love you, miss you, life is good, God is great, people are crazy,
– Elder Jon Peter Ahlstrom