Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Transfer - August 26, 2013

One year ago this last week I entered the mission field! How fast time flies!
We got transfer calls Saturday night! Elder Newhouse is getting transferred. He is going to go break in a new missionary, like I was his breaker. There is a slim chance he could go to my old area in Des Moines, because when I left there, of the two missionaries that replaced Elder Hess and I, one was a trainer and one was brand new. Boy would that be crazy! I am sad to see him go as we have truly seen miracles in our companionship and that we got along so well. I will continue to serve as the district leader over the missionaries in the Story City Branch and both the Ames 1st and 2nd wards. I will be getting a new companion Thursday, we'll see who it ends up being. They are also adding a pair of Elders to the Iowa Falls area, which is half of our branch, so we don't have to worry about up there anymore as they will be in good hands.
Yesterday we got a new Branch Mission Leader! He and his wife recently sent their youngest child off to college and uprooted from Arizona for their first time coming to the Midwest. They are super solid in the gospel and he is super excited to serve in the branch and give the missionary work a nice boost. When they were going to move, they prayed that they would be led to where they were needed. They were led to the Story City Branch and great things will happen with them here! We coordinated with him yesterday and he is dynamite! The Lord put him here at this time to help him give the missionary work in the Story City Branch another boost as we get the Iowa Falls Elders this week.

Aurian and Vincent Bennett are going to get baptized on September 7th due to Brother Bennett's work schedule on the 31st and they are also moving that day. We are still excited to see them be baptized and it sounds like Brother Bennett and Becky are getting married this Thursday by our Branch President! So we are super excited for that!
All the missionaries in my district and I have a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon before Halloween gets here. Each of us have a Book of Mormon and we each prayed about something to study as we read through it. We've all got sharpie pens that we are using and we are each using one of the copies of the Book of Mormon that we have for proselyting purposes. I am marking each time it says remember or when it gives shalls or uses the word command/commandment. Other missionaries are studying topics such as faith, charity, and repentance.
We started this last Friday, and Halloween is 70 days away. Joseph Smith translated almost the entire Book of Mormon in 65 days, with a few days of translating while his wife was the scribe (a reliable source). So we are working to read it as fast as he translated it. I invite you to join us in this challenging, timely read of the Book of Mormon. Select a topic, and go at it! Most importantly, whether you already have a copy of the Book of Mormon or not, is to take Moroni's Promise to heart and to pray about the Book of Mormon, once you are finished, and pray to know if it's true.
The Introduction of the Book of Mormon says it best:
"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
"Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah."
I intend to gain a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon as I read it. I know it is true, but we must always be applying the gospel into our lives. Conversion is a lifelong process, and I intend to follow the Savior's counsel to Peter "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32). I intend to follow it for life. For when the Savior asks me "Zachary, do you love me?" I can confidently respond, "Savior, I love thee." (see The First Great Commandment by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland).
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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