The Weather is Perfect! *Knock on wood*
I can't remember if I told you last week, but the Bennett family is moving at the end of this month down to the Ames 2nd Ward in the Sisters area. They want their son to be baptized at the end of this month still, on the date we set 2 months ago,. Their daughter, we're hoping to help her be baptized still on that day. Even though that is the weekend they will be moving, Brother Bennett said he wanted the Branch to have a baptism. I thought that was pretty cool!
We had two special meetings this last week: Interviews with our Mission President, and Zone Training Meeting.
In Interviews, our Mission President will train for a few minutes on a subject he feels relevant to us, then he takes between 10-15 minutes to interview each of us individually. When we were in the interview with him, our companion sat with his wife and she got to know us better in a less formal setting.
Before he began interviewing, President Jensen told us about his expectations for us. He said "these are not worthiness interviews. You were interviewed by your Bishop's and Stake President's back home, you wrote and signed a letter to the prophet accepting his call to be a missionary. You are held to a much higher standard than the rest of the world. The world is down here (low level with his hands), the members of the church are here (level with his hands a little higher than the first), the members who have been through the temple and received their endowments (a higher level than the other two), then ordained missionaries." The missionary level is the highest. Preach My Gospel says "when you were set apart by priesthood authority, you received the right and privilege to represent the Lord. You received a ministerial certificate that verifies that authority to the world. President Spencer W. Kimball said: “The setting apart may be taken literally; it is a setting apart from sin, apart from the carnal; apart from everything which is crude, low, vicious, cheap, or vulgar; set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity. The blessing is conditional upon faithful performance” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 478)" (p. 4). President Jensen voiced that he believes that as well. It was pretty neat!
While President and Sister Jensen were interviewing and talking with one companionship, the rest were in the Relief Society room. The Zone Leaders take this opportunity to examine our Area Books and we take looks at theirs, with any suggestions or comments on them for improvement take place. The rest of us are congregated in a room and we discuss the scriptures, do simple missionary activities or role-plays, or we just talk and get to know each other better. It was a great time to build district unity. We also went to lunch as a district afterwards, so it was a great time!
The second meeting is Zone Training Meeting. Early each month, Missionary Leadership Council (MLC) is held. It is a full-day of trainings and discussion that all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders attend, and they are trained by President and Sister Jensen and the Assistants to the President. Zone Training Meeting is where they take what they learn from MLC and bring it down to each missionary on a Zone-by-Zone level. The Ames Zone (the one I am currently serving in) is pretty awesome! Usually as part of these meetings, the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders conduct role-plays in conjunction with their trainings. In this zone, they ask the missionaries who are coming to bring any investigators or less-active members or potential investigators that are able to come and be taught by missionaries. Instead of us role-playing with other missionaries, they have the investigators go sit in a room and tell them missionaries will soon be in there to teach them. The Zone Leaders have pre-assigned who is going where and who they will be teaching, pairing missionaries who are not in the same district. We have a few minutes to plan and then we are off and teaching them for 45 minutes. It is a really neat experience to teach with other missionaries you don't get to see that often. And this zone is the only one that does that... I hope it's not for long! Oh, and did I mention Brother Bennett came and was taught by 4 fantastic elders? Well he was and he really enjoyed it!
My studies have been focused on this district and how to better find new investigators, as that is something each companionship in our district is struggling with. The wonderful thing is, there are no lazy missionaries in our district (which is something that didn't happen before I came to Story City), and we have the faith and enthusiasm of 3 missionaries who are in their 1st transfer. The work here is about to take off!
My theme for the week is 2 Nephi 31:20, "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." My goals for the week center around this and putting off mine imperfections and giving them to Christ the Lord.
"Condemn me not because of mine aimperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been."
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them."
"O, remember, my son, and alearn bwisdom in thy cyouth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God."
What better advice than from the Servants of God?
Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
D&C , 36
Doubt Not, Fear Not.
550 Souls to Christ
550 Souls to Christ