Monday, June 17, 2013

Story City - June 17, 2013

Patient: adj. bearing trials without murmuring
I was invited by my district leader to study patience in preparation for our district meeting on June 27th, and that is the definition I have in my dictionary. I thought that was incredibly interesting! Laman and Lemuel definitely were not patient!
This week was pretty normal. We had exchanges with our Zone Leaders Wednesday to Thursday. It was the second exchange I had with this missionary as he we the district leader's companion when I first got to Des Moines. We talked with the pastor of the big Lutheran church in town. We asked him how much he knew about the Mormons and he said he had done his research. We asked him where he did his research, and he told us he believed the most reliable source with the best perspective was reading books authored by those who left the church. It concerned him how hard it was to leave the church and how many people wanted to leave the church. So we gave him a card and invited him to look at this website and do future research from there. I hope he does!
We taught a lesson with the Stake President to an investigator whose name is Greg. The Stake President lives in our branch and he and Greg and their families have been friends for 10 years. He is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met in regards to the Bible. He doesn't really have a problem with the Book of Mormon being the word of God, but he has a problem with the Doctrine & Covenants. The fact that all scripture takes the backseat to revelation from a Prophet if it needs to concerns him. He reminds me much of Glenn Beck and his conversion story, full of in-depth questions that I so wish I could answer, but questions I have never really thought about before. He is one smart guy. It is even cooler because up until college, he was one who would fight against God and tell believers how everything could be disproved by reason. Then a friend convinced him to go to a church, he doesn't know how they convinced him. The pastor said "this scripture literally changed my life." That verse hit Greg really hard and his mind was immediately changed. From that day on, he believed in God. When our Stake President met him 10 years ago, he was a "grace junkie." Our Stake President pointed out to him that it didn't talk about Grace like that in the bible. Greg said it did. After an in-depth study of the bible, he realized our Stake President was right and he is an honest seeker of truth. He came to church with his wife and son 8 days ago and that was the first time he ever came to church. It is really neat. I don't know if I will see him be baptized as I am here, but I am convinced he will be someday! 
We had an incredible Zone Training Meeting on Saturday. It was focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can apply it in our lives as we seek for and teach by the Spirit. As we do this we will not just "spew the truth," but we will teach it to their needs.
Usually at these zone meetings and district meetings, the missionary will train on something from Preach My Gospel, then we will role-play, or practice how to apply that skill that they just taught us. Instead of doing this at this meeting, the zone leaders arranged for some missionaries in the zone to bring their actual investigators to be taught. The zone leaders then assigned us which missionaries we were going to teach with, we had 5-10 minutes to create a lesson plan, then we taught them for 35-40 minutes. It was so cool to teach with some of the other incredible missionaries in my zone! It reminded me kind of the TRC in the MTC. The TRC is where we went into a room, then taught an investigator that we knew a little bit about. Then the person in charge would look through the window or knock on the door when we needed to finish. The zone leaders did that. One of the missionaries I was teaching with saw him, it was a good point to end the lesson, as we were talking about the Atonement, and we closed with our testimony and an invitation to church and a prayer.
We have lots to do here in Story City with the members to help them "Catch the Wave" of missionary service as Elder Nelson put it so well back in April General Conference. We have planned and practiced a lesson using pictures inside the church building to teach the members and help them "Catch the Wave."
Loves from Iowa!
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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