Monday, December 16, 2013

'Tis the Season - December 16, 2013

It's a wonderful life!

Sorry my emails have been pretty short since I got to Waterloo, I am finally caught up on emails, so I can expound in this one! It has been one crazy week!

Monday we enjoyed some basketball on our P-Day. A member took us to Hardee's (Carl's Jr.'s duplicate) for dinner because his wife was sick. We had some pretty good conversation about his mission in the Philippines. Then we were invited to this less-active man's home for chili that night. His name is David and he has been through a lot in his life and rebelled in his youth, but he has a very strong testimony of the Gospel. His fiance is not a member, and earlier in the day she found out that she her grandma was a member of the church! We talked about the church, about Christ, and she will be baptized. They want to be sealed in the temple. They just have to wait to get married for reasons unknown to us. It was a very powerful spiritual experience full of testimony and them feeling the Spirit as well. When we first invited her to be baptized she said, "I probably will." By the end, she was sure. She would be baptized. 

On Tuesday, we met with a couple of our investigators. Sadly, since then, one of them has dropped us. But there is always hope! That morning we spent time searching for apartments for the Spanish Elders in our area as they were possibly looking to move. 

Wednesday we had a Christmas Zone Conference in Iowa City. I got to drive down there and it was crazy as it was super cold and pretty snowy on the roads! The morning of the Christmas Zone Conference was full of wonderful trainings by our Vehicle Coordinator (Car Czar), the Assistants to the President, and President and Sister Jensen. At lunch, I sat with Hermana Jacobson and some other missionaries from my zone and her zone. Hermana Jacobson is one of Elder Hess' friends from home. At this Zone Conference I also saw Elder Ammon Markstaller from West Linn, Oregon. He is serving in this mission speaking Spanish. It was nuts! I attached a picture from Wednesday! The afternoon of the Zone Conference were the musical numbers and skits. Each district prepared a musical number or skit to be shown to the rest. We had 4 zones there, so there were lots of missionaries there, probably close to 100! Our district sang Silent Night in English, Marshallese, and Spanish. Following those, we watched the new movie Ephraim's Rescue. It is an inspiring pioneer movie that had a lot more humor in it that I thought it would.

The missionaries were asked to come up with the program for the Ward Christmas party on Friday night. We had some ideas leading up to Thursday of what we wanted to do, but when we came together, it was marvelous to see the Spirit work through our talents. Elder Steele in our district (from American Fork, UT) is a natural born director, and so was born an incredible Christmas program. It has been recorded, so hopefully I can get a copy to send home.

Saturday and Sunday, in addition to Church, we planned and helped people move. We also received a referral, which is always a nice surprise!

Christmastime is an incredible time to see the hand of the Lord in the lives of all people. It is a time when we can show our love for Christ and be unified as Christians, and as God's children. May we do as directed by a Modern-day Apostle and "reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior." I share with you my love, and pray that we may share the Savior's love each and every one of us have felt with someone else. 

Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
D&C 6:34, 36
  Doubt Not, Fear Not.

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