Saturday, January 19, 2013

4 Months Out! - 12-3-12


I am now officially 1/6 through my mission. As I look back I can hardly believe it has already been that long! Elder Clarke, when he toured the mission, he told us that "your families deserve to have more thought put into your emails home each week." So I have been taking notes on what I am going to write about, so today and now on might be a little longer emails. Maybe, maybe not. I don't exactly know. But, you are all important to me and I love you so I will give you the report that you deserve.

I had 3 things happen this week that were crazy.
  1. We were on exchanges and knocked on a door. We were greeted nicely from the lady behind the door (which didn't happen a lot that day), and then she asked us if we wanted to come inside (I was hoping for an offer of food) and use her phone to call home. I was dumbfounded by the odd request and wasn't able to say anything, luckily, my companion said we don't do that and she said she had heard it was something we would like to do. I was shaken up for awhile after that and it threw me for a loop. It was bizarre!
  2. We called a week and a half ago to set up an appointment to go and talk to a less active member of our ward. Our appointment came up and they welcomed us in and we sat down. We asked why he hadn't been to church in awhile and he said he hadn't regularly attended since he was 15 or 16 (he is in his late 20s now, married, with two kids), and he said he quit believing that mumbo-jumbo then. We asked why and it was because some doctrine his Sunday School teacher wasn't found in the bible and it was all downhill from there. About two years ago he became atheist. He is a very researched Anti-Mormon now and I hope no one with faith comes in contact with him. The interesting thing is that his wife is a strong Christian and they attend church as a family every week. It shook me up a lot and I was questioning my faith in Christ. But after some studying and prayer and watching the Preach My Gospel DVDs of other missionaries and their work and testimonies helped me get back on track. If you ever come across Anti-Mormon literature or people acting that way, the Spirit leaves very quickly and no one feels good afterward, avoid it if you can. 
  3. I wave at cars when they drive by and people usually wave back, but I got flipped off. It wasn't the first time I have been flipped off and kind of put me off a bit. It isn't nearly as dramatic as the other two things, but I like things that come in 3 :)
Crazy week! I wanted to let you all know that I participated in "No Shave November" as a missionary. I got my haircut on October 31st. :)

Sister Rogers does something really cool back home. Whenever someone speaks in church, she brings them a treat later that day with a little note of how she appreciated what was said. I've wanted to do something like that ever since. So I have decided that from now on, when I get to a new area, I will start doing this.

When I was little, my Mom always took us kids to rest homes with the Relief Society, or just to visit people. It helped me see the love my Mother has for others, family or complete strangers, and to love those who may be lonely or hurting or not able to express themselves as they would like. We visited a sister in the ward with a bedridden husband and we were able to go in and say hi to him and it was wonderful to have had those experiences early in my life.

God is in the details of our lives, and we are able to give the gift of Gratitude this season. There are two practice I have learned in previous years that help me to be thankful.
  1. Gratitude Journal. Something I learned from LDC (Leadership Development Conference put on by the Red Cross). It is to buy a cheap, composition notebook, and write the date and three things you are grateful for every day. It helps you look through the day and find something good about it. Sometimes it's hard, but it helps
  2. Gratitude Rock. Something I learned from the movie "The Secret." Take a small rock, from a special place or from the road, and then put it in your pocket. Every time you touch the rock when you reach into your pocket, you have to think of something that you are thankful for. 
To do these things, especially when accompanied with the messages we heard from the First Presidency Christmas Devotional about gratitude, both in giving, and in graciously receiving.

I love you all and Have a Merry Christmas Season! 
Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
    D&C 6:34, 36
Doubt Not, Fear Not.
Faith in 400 for Christ in 2012

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