Monday, June 24, 2013

President Jergensen's Last Week :( - June 24, 2013

Summer has officially started!
It is a bittersweet week this week. President and Sister Jergensen, my Mission President couple, will be finishing their mission and returning to Poway, California this weekend. It has been such an incredible opportunity for me to serve under their stewardship and to learn so many things as they have instructed us. Their main focus was, and I assume always will be, on the Doctrine of Christ. I invite each of you to study the Doctrine of Christ this week from 2 Nephi 31 and 3 Nephi 11. Remember, the Doctrine of Christ is: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.
I am excited to meet my new Mission President couple, President and Sister Jensen! They hail from South Carolina.
Great things have been happening in the Story City Branch this week! It turns out we have one of President Monson's missionaries from when he was a Mission President here in our branch. It was cool to find that out and talk with him a bit about it.
We found a new family that we are going to be working with that lives in Jewell, Iowa. They moved in about 6 months ago. The pastor of the church that they began going to hasn't been helping her, so they are looking for a new church. All they need is a fixed car and they will come down to worship with us! We taught the wife on Saturday and answered a lot of her questions and taught the Restoration and how there is a fullness of the gospel here on the earth again!

We set a date with the Bennett family! They are preparing to be baptized on August 31st!  They also came to church yesterday! It was really neat. His mother has 4 kids, 3 other than him, and all her children are inactive. Two of them live in Omaha, Nebraska, one lives in Ames, Iowa, and then Brother Bennett who lives in Gilbert, Iowa. His mother and his two siblings from Omaha were in town for the weekend, and the sister in Ames came up. We met with them Saturday. Then they all came to church Sunday! Brother Bennett said he thinks that is the first time that she has been at church with all of her children in 20 years! How the Lord is blessing us!

His mother moved out of Story City about 4-and-a-half years ago. She was an active member of the branch then and many of the members from the branch knew her. They were warmly welcomed. We were told by our Stake President (he and his family live in the branch), the Branch Clerk, and the Young Men's President, "you're doing good work." It is really neat to see member trust being built and they trust us as ambassadors of the Lord. In my 3 weeks here, we had an investigator family here the first Sunday, the second Sunday we were surprised when a student and her mother came as she was writing a report on the Mormons, and yesterday we had the Bennett family and Brother Bennett's wife and children (there were 9 of them altogether). How blessed we have been! As Brother Bennett left the building and after we set up another time to meet with them, he said sincerely "thanks for showing up." We initially contacted them because we saw their name on the branch list and didn't know anything about them, so we stopped by. He shaved his facial hair before coming to church as well. He and his wife and their children enjoyed church!
This week on Tuesday we also had the Goodbye Zone Conference with President and Sister Jergensen. We had about an hour question & answer session with them about life. We asked and they answered about living the gospel, dating, raising children, and how to make marraiges last. It was very instructive. We then had a musical number. The piece I played the piano for in Sacrament Meeting when Elder Hess and Elder Sierra sang at the end of April. I played it again, much better, with 5 elders and 3 sisters singing. It was beautiful! After the musical number, we watched Elder Holland's MTC Devotional from January 2011. We talked about how it led to his talk in the October 2012 General Conference entitled "The First Great Commandment." It was cool to see how General Authorities, Apostles even, work at, refine, and perfect their General Conference talks long before they say them to the world in General Conference, where they then become doctrine. It was incredibly powerful and the Spirit was very strong.
On Monday, Elder Newhouse and I played Disc Golf at the course here in Story City. It was awesome! I can finally say I have played Disc Golf! It is actually pretty big in the Midwest.
On Wednesday, we did some service, and I mowed the lawn for the first time in about a year. It was on this member's non-member father's land. He has a lot of it. I used this very nice John Deere self-propelled lawn mower. It is true, "nothing runs like a Deere." :)
President Jergensen let me look up some music online to download and prepare for future use. It is great to have some Church music that is challenging, to work on. God gave me this talent, He is greatly blessing me with it since I have been on my mission. I will do my best to magnify it!
We are also losing 26 missionaries as the Peoria Zone has been relocated to the Illinois Chicago West Mission, which is one of the 58 new missions being created as a result of the Age Change Announcement. That change is effective July 1, 2013
Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
    D&C 6:34, 36
Doubt Not, Fear Not.
550 Souls to Christ

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