Monday, March 31, 2014

Ottumwa, Round 2 - March 31, 2014

"Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom; / Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; / Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see 
The distant scene--one step enough for me.

"I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that thou / Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now, / Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, 
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.

"So long thy pow'r hath blest me, sure it still / Will lead me on
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till / The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!"
- Lead Kindly Light, Hymns #97

It has been a wonderful week.

Elder Schwendiman and I are both in Ottumwa for the next 6 weeks. It is so much fun serving with Elder Schwendiman. He is so willing to grow and we have some great times together. So needless to say, I am excited for the next 6 weeks.

With this last week being a transfer week, it was a little weird. Even when you aren't being transferred, it tends being a little off. That could be because Preparation Day is on Wednesday instead of Monday on transfer weeks and that District Meeting is on Saturday instead of Thursday. But it all works well.

Our district only experienced minor changes. We had 9 in our district as there was a trio of sisters. The extra sister from the trio got transferred and one of the sisters serving in Ottumwa was transferred out. So our district is 7/8 the same as it was a week ago. So that is pretty awesome. The new missionary to the district actually began her mission serving in Ottumwa 1 year ago, so she knows the area and the ward already.

We are already seeing some great things this transfer. The Ottumwa Hermanas had a baptism Saturday and the Washington Hermanas set 2 baptismal dates! So the work in our district is really progressing!

On our end here in Ottumwa, we are seeing miracles as well! Remember the 3 guys that showed up to church about 5 weeks ago? Well, we have been having a rough time trying to get in contact with them since. We finally caught one of them (Tim) at his home this last week as an answer to prayers! Tim and his friend Paolo came to the Hermanas baptism Saturday, and we were able to walk them around the church and answer questions. They agreed to work towards May 10th as a baptismal date. It was a miracle! For some reason, they didn't come to church yesterday, but we will keep working on getting them there.

President and Sister Jensen showed up to Sacrament meeting in our ward yesterday. It was super unexpected. But it was fun. I was pretty nervous, because I was supposed to play the piano for a special musical number in Sacrament meeting, but the talks ran long and so it has been postponed until future notice.

A missionary from Ottumwa just returned from his mission in Honduras last week! His name is Gordon. We have brought him out to teach with us and we are playing disc golf with him today. He is awesome! What is super cool is that his oldest brother is Bishop Lasley (from Waterloo). Gordon spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday. That in combination with their dad's 27th Annual, 39th Birthday Party, I saw Bishop Lasley a few times this last week. It was really cool seeing him and he enjoyed seeing me too. That was really neat.

I am super excited for General Conference! Please prepare spiritually and prayerfully to take in the messages of living day prophets. I know I will be! I don't know what could be better than God speaking to all of his children through His messenger. I am just bummed that this will be the last time I have to watch General Conference as a full-time missionary. :(

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

Week #86... - March 24, 2014

But who's counting?

Well, it has been a great week here in Ottumwa! We taught some people, we found some people, we learned the gospel better for ourselves, and we are becoming stronger in the faith of Christ. All in all, it has been a typical week in the life of a missionary.

I don't know that there is anything super out-of-the-ordinary this week, but I will share some of the happenings and some of my thoughts about them.

Last Monday we didn't have Preparation Day because of our attending the temple takes the place of our preparation day, but we were able to teach a Nicole about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see PMG Chapter 3 lesson 3). Nicole is a 16-year-old sophomore who has a wonderful testimony of the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel. Missionaries have been meeting with her for at least 18 months and she comes to church occasionally, she attends young women's occasionally, and she reads and prays about the Book of Mormon almost daily. She is very converted spiritually. She has not been baptized because her family isn't supportive of the action. But we continue to push forward with her. She has great faith and she meets with us regularly! 

This last Tuesday wasn't as productive for us as Tuesdays usually are, but it was still great. We had dinner with a family, and the father of the family was in Trevor Walker's Zone on their missions. Small world!

I have talked about exchanges many times in these emails, and we went on them again last Wednesday. Both of our Zone Leaders came to our area for what is called a "blitz" both companionships work in one of the companionship's area. Our investigator Doug was interviewed for baptism and he was cleared to be baptized! We taught some of our recent converts and we taught some of our investigators, setting a baptismal date of May 24th with Steve, the one that came to the church asking for the Book of Mormon.

Thursday was marvelous. We had a district meeting. We didn't have a district meeting the week before because we had a zone meeting, so we had an extra week to prepare for the district meeting. Right before I was called as a district leader, my district leader had the same amount of time to prepare for a meeting. So he called up each missionary in the district, and invited each of us to study a Christlike Attribute for the next week in preparation for district meeting. He had selected the Christlike Attribute he wanted each of us to study and told us to "really dig deep, study it more thoroughly than you have before. Once you think you have gotten all you can, go deeper." So we studied for 10 days, thinking of this Christlike Attribute, not exactly sure what would be asked as a result of our studies. When district meeting came around, our district leader told us, "the Christlike Attribute you were given was prayerfully selected. Now you will have the chance to go into a room with your companion and take 20 minutes to share with your companion what you learned. Because each of you studied this Christlike Attribute for your companion." It was a very uplifting experience and I attribute that to one reason Elder Newhouse and I were so close, is we had that opportunity to share with each other that Christlike Attribute had been prayerfully selected. So I borrowed that idea from my previous district leader and applied it in this district, giving each missionary a Christlike Attribute that I had prayerfully pondered and selected, and giving each one 10 days to prepare for it. It was a really neat experience and invited a Spirit of learning, humility, and unity into our district. Thursday night we ate dinner with a wonderful older couple and discussed member-missionary work.

Friday we were able to visit a somewhat-active family that we have been trying to meet with for the last 6 weeks. Appointments are very hard to set with this family so we were grateful to sit down with them! We talked about the Temple and their desire to go to the temple to be sealed as a family. They committed to improve the frequency of their family prayer and scripture study. We also taught Andy and Daniel on Friday. Andy is 10 and Daniel is 9. They are the sons of this family in the ward where the parents and the older sisters are members. They are a very fun family and it is fun preparing them to be baptized on April 26th! The biggest issue is their attendance at church. They are a Hispanic family and, like most Hispanic families I've met on my mission, have a hard time coming to church. But it is a gradual work in process.

One thing that Elder Schwendiman and I have been heavily involved in ever since I came to Ottumwa is Family History work. We live 2 blocks from the church and there is a Family History Center in our building. The ward is preparing for a large Family History Event we are hosting at our building, involving the communities around Ottumwa. The Director of our Family History Center has recruited us to help people search for their ancestors and prepare their own family trees. So we go to the FHC once or twice a week to know our way around familysearch.org better so we will be prepared for this event. It is awesome actually finding people! I am adding to my own family tree and helping others. This one man has been coming in for awhile and the past two times he was there, the FHC director recruited us to look for his family. We have had great success and we are finding his relatives. 

Malachi, the final prophet of the Old Testament said:
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
-Malachi 4:5-6, Old Testament

Jesus quoted that scripture and gave it to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon:
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
-3 Nephi 25:5-6, Book of Mormon

The Angel Moroni, when visiting Joseph Smith quoted Malachi, but a little differently:
1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
2 And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
3 If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.
-Doctrine & Covenants 2:1-3
36 After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus:
37 For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble;for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
38 And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
39 He also quoted the next verse differently: And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.
-Joseph Smith-History 1:36-39, Pearl of Great Price

This prophecy was fulfilled in the Kirtland Temple on 3 April 1836: 
13 After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:
14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with curse—
16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.
-Doctrine & Covenants 110:13-16

This scripture is the only scripture to be found in all 4 of the Standard Works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

This "Spirit of Elijah" has become more fully part of my life in the last 6 weeks and I pray it will come manifest in yours. Visit familysearch.org to learn more.

Study the Doctrine of Christ daily and apply it in your life. It will change your life.

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Nauvoo Temple - March 17, 2014

"And again, verily thus saith the Lord: Let the work of my temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease; and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works beredoubled, and you shall in nowise lose your reward, saith the Lord of Hosts. And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in heaven."
- Doctrine and Covenants 127:4, emphasis added

The words of this verse that I emphasized are what President Jergensen often emphasized to us when he was our mission president. We must work harder, and invest our time, redouble our efforts to serve our Father in Heaven. It is hard, but as we seek the Spirit, it is possible. I thought it a very appropriate scripture to share as I attended the Nauvoo Temple on Saturday (this revelation, D&C 127, talks about the Nauvoo Temple) and following the servants of the Lord as they are inspired by the Spirit shows we are willing to receive our Father's direction (see D&C 84:33-39).

For Preparation Day last week we got together as a district and played some games, like kickball dodge ball. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! :)

Monday, we visited an older widow in the ward. As we were going into the lesson, we were discussing what we would share with her. Elder Schwendiman suggested Charity, so we talked about how we would teach it and we went in. We chatted with her for a bit before we began the lesson. Right before we started a fire truck with its lights on parked in front of her neighbor's house. Later an ambulance came and took someone out on a stretcher. All the while we were talking about charity and how she should go to her neighbor's house and get to know them and ask if they needed anything. We followed up with her Thursday and she never went over... Remember to do something out of your comfort zone to show someone love this week!

Tuesday we took a young man who is saving up for his mission with us for a few hours and attempted to contact a bunch of people.

Wednesday we had a lunch with a wonderful older couple in the ward. They have 13 kids and their youngest is serving a mission in Paraguay right now. We talked about the difficulties of raising kids in a nonmember community and how we can help converts stay active.

Thursday we had a Zone Training Meeting. The Assistants to the President came and attended the meeting. It was a wonderful meeting and the Spirit was very strong. 

Thursday night we were able to bring our Bishop with us to a lesson with the Palma Family. They are a part-member family who is coming back to church. We are working with their two unbaptized boys Andy (10) and Daniel (9) to help them be baptized. The father owns his own construction business and the family is not able to attend church most Sundays because the father is out of town working Sundays and often his family goes with him to the jobs. Our Bishop teaches Spanish at the Community College here in Ottumwa and he chatted with Brother Palma for the better part of an hour about why church is important. It was wonderful as the Bishop talked about all that we wanted to talk about, but in Spanish so Brother Palma could understand better. It was wonderful! We reset their baptismal date to April 26th with the expectation they will come to church more frequently!

Friday we took Elder Schwendiman to the doctor and he is no longer in his sling! His collarbone is healing well! Also, if you remember a few weeks ago, I talked about miracles that were happening in Ottumwa. I talked about a man named Steve Graham. He showed up at the church wanting a Book of Mormon after his wife passed away the week before. We were able to meet with him on Friday and teach him with one of the members that he knows already in the ward. He has read from the beginning of the Book of Mormon and is about to start 3 Nephi 11 (where the Savior visits the Americas) in just 3 short weeks. It was great to meet with him again and he accepted an invitation to be baptized, so we will help him prepare for baptism!

Saturday. Saturday was the best day of my week and one of the best days of 2014 thus far. Our ward had their ward temple trip and we called and received permission to attend the temple from President Jensen. This is the first time I have attended since 3 November 2012. Needless to say 15.5 months is much to long to go without attending the temple. There were 8 sister missionaries there as well at the temple. A trio from Iowa City was there plus all 5 Hermanas (Spanish-speaking Sister missionaries) from our district. I also saw some people from my last area, Waterloo, Iowa, as a member from that ward received her own endowment as we were there.

The temple is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The ordinances performed for ourselves and those that have already passed on are some of the most sacred, spiritual things that happen in our life. I was full of love and the Spirit as I participated in the endowment for a man that has passed away.

Using the restored priesthood authority given to us in this last dispensation, given to me by my dad, I was able to participate in the laying on of hands for several sick and in distress sisters this last week. The priesthood is real. Have the faith to let it heal you.

We learned about the Atonement and repentance in our sacrament meeting yesterday. God blesses us as we turn to Him. One sister shared points from the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox (attached). One brother shared points from Stephen Robinson's Believing Christ. Do we Believe in Christ? Do we believe Christ?

Repentance takes commitment. Commit to our Heavenly Father today to access the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, continually in our imperfect lives. Access it through the Doctrine of Christ: "Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End" (Preach My Gospel, p.1).

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

Picture #1: I am going to miss the sunsets in Iowa SOOOOO much!
 
Picture #2: It was an incredibly beautiful day in Nauvoo! Especially as it snowed that night!
 
Picture #3: Angel Moroni.
 
Picture #4: The Hyrum and Joseph riding horses. The clouds really framed this one.
 
Picture #5: Me, Parker (a member who returned from his mission 8 weeks ago), and Elder Schwendiman in front of the Nauvoo Temple.
 

It's SO Warm!!! - March 10, 2014

It's like 60 degrees outside right now, I can't tell you how happy I am!

This last week was great! We found a great family, a single mom and her 3 kids.  We found them by knocking on the doors of the old potential investigators we have in our area book. We taught them on Monday night and they came to the church Wednesday night for a church tour, and they loved it! The mom and kids are going to prepare for baptism on May 3rd. She said "we will come to church and if we like it, we will be permanent." So pretty incredible!

Tuesday and Wednesday were missionary work as usual. Thursday, we had our first normal district meeting of the transfer. It was wonderful and full of the Spirit. We then taught a nice man who will be baptized on March 29th

Thursday night was pretty fun. We received permission from our mission president to attend the basketball game at the Indian Hills Community College here in Ottumwa. The basketball team here is the #1 junior college team in the nation going into March Madness. The Young Men's President here in Ottumwa is the Head Basketball Coach and the 1st counselor in the Bishopric is the Assistant Basketball Coach. It was the last home game of the season. They play so well and the final score after 40 minutes of play was 115-91. Our tickets were in the student section, that was unexpected. One of the students sitting next to us at IHCC is from western Iowa and he asked what church we were from. We answered. He told us that he had been to that church and his mom attends a branch in western Iowa regularly, so we have a potential investigator resulting from the basketball game!

At church we had our investigator and her son there, some less-actives gave them a ride to church, so that was cool! Also at church there was a less-active at church who hadn't been in years. He came because an active member simply called to set up an appointment to talk with him and they talked and the less-active member came! Another man who hasn't attended in probably 15 years who came to sacrament meeting with his sister. It was incredible! Our chapel was packed with 130 people at church! If we can sustain that number, they are talking about building an extension onto the church building here. 

God does wonders.

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

It's Another Freezing Week! - March 3, 2014

It was another very chilly week here in Iowa. As I am writing this email it is 1 degree outside.

Last Sunday I was asked by the member of the Bishopric who was conducting Priesthood opening exercises if I played piano. I said yes, so I played the opening hymn in opening exercises. Later that day, I was recruited to play for the Primary 3rd hour. That was stressful, but church ended up getting cancelled yesterday, so that is on hold, at least for now. Then I was asked if I would prepare a musical number to play in Sacrament meeting this upcoming Sunday. I like to see a ward use its resources when they find out they are there. It is fun.

So this last week, with it being so cold, we spent some time getting our apartment in order and all of our records in order. As a missionary, we keep records of all the members in the ward, actively participating or not presently participating, we keep track of all of our visits with our investigators, all of those who were previously taught by missionaries, and every one that we meet that has potential of becoming an investigator. "And I also command you that ye keep a record of this people,according as I have done, upon the plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them;for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept" (Alma 37:2). These records are not always kept well, or else they don't get updated. If you know me well, you know I like to organize and put things into order, so we took some time this week to get things straightened out and make a plan of attack to help us in our efforts to bring people to Christ in Ottumwa.

I have talked a lot about exchanges in my various emails, so I will talk about them again. I had an opportunity for the 4th time in 3 areas to go on exchanges with Elder Kilpatrick. He was in my district in Des Moines in January 2013, in my district in Story City from June-August 2013, and now he is in my district here in Ottumwa. So we have spent a lot of time around each other. It's pretty cool as he is a very cool elder. We taught some of the investigators and members in his area (Fairfield, IA) and had some good talking about where we are at now in our missions (we go home at the same time). It was a lot of fun to work with him!

Last Thursday, 27 Feb 2014, we had Zone Conference in Iowa City! It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of learning as the Spirit was very strong. One of my favorite parts about missionary meetings is seeing all of the missionary friends I have made over time, and making new friends. I got to see Elder Newhouse and talk about how things are going in Waterloo. It is always a joy to be trained by President Jensen!

Saturday and Sunday we were kept inside due to the cold, and Sunday church was even cancelled due to the snowfall we got. Iowa is a funny place. In Utah, even if it snowed 6" in one night, we would always have school the next morning because the snowplows started up early in the morning. In Iowa, there will be 2-3" of snow in one night and because the snowplows don't start until 6, 7, or 8 in the morning, school will be cancelled.

In spite of the cold and not being in our area for part of this last week, we were able to find 2 new investigators and to set baptismal dates with Adam and Angel Smith for August 16th. Adam is Angel's husband's uncle who initially referred us to them saying he was not interested, but 1 week later he was willing to sit in and listen to what we had to say. Angel's husband is currently away for a few months, so in the meantime, we are going to work with Adam and Angel and prepare them to make covenants with Father in Heaven.

Seek the Spirit. Learn to listen to Him. Let faith guide every footstep. Faith is not always waiting for an answer to prayer, it is acting while we wait for an answer. Reflect on your life, it's good for your eternity.

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

Picture #1: The temperature last night
Picture #2: Elder Schwendiman and I, not allowed to leave the apartment as it was too cold, watching The District. Just like Sunday afternoon's back home.


What a Wonderful World - February 24, 2014

"Miracles are the natural result of the correct application of true principles."
- MTC In-Field Orientation Manual p.43

It has been the warmest week in Iowa for about 3 months. It's been great! It was so warm that we didn't wear our big coats for a couple of days. It was great! But the weather was not even close to the best thing that happened this week. This was an incredible week of many miracles, but I wanted to elaborate on 3 incredible miracles that happened this week.

Miracle #1:

Last Sunday, Elder Schwendiman and I had set up to meet one of our investigators at the church Tuesday morning at 11am for a lesson. The Family History Center in our building is open from 10am-6pm on Tuesdays, so we thought we would head over there right after studies and do some Family History searching in the FHC before our lesson. So we go over on Tuesday morning and it turns out the ice on the sidewalks was really bad, so we began shoveling the ice. In Iowa sometimes you will have ice frozen over water on the sidewalks, it's kind of fun, but it was an adventure shoveling the ice off the top and then getting the water off the sidewalk. (We didn't want any of the older people going to do Family History to slip and have any nasty falls.)

Right before 11am, as we were shoveling, this man drove up in his car. He got out and introduced himself as Steve Graham. He told us he wanted one of our bibles (the Book of Mormon). He also told us his wife died the week before and he wanted to join our church. After picking our jaws up off of the ground, we asked him if he had ever been inside our church building before and he said he hadn't. So we asked if he would like a tour of the church and he answered he would, so we took him in the church and talked about the different rooms and what they're for and what the Spirit feels like. He was very receptive and by Friday, he said he had read 1/3 of it.

Sadly, I do not have enough time to tell you of the other miracles. But we found 2 new investigators next door to a referral we received and we were able to teach them before the husband goes into a halfway house today. Then 3 guys showed up at church Sunday and we taught them during the 3rd hour of church. One of the 3 leaves for basic training on Wednesday. God placed them in our paths so they could be strengthened through the Book of Mormon and prayer through their times of difficulty.

Miracles happen every day! I hope you can see and recognize them in your lives.

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

Enter Ottumwa - February 17, 2014

Hola mi amigos!

I am now in my 5th area with my 8th companion. My new companion is Elder Justin Schwendiman from West Jordan, Utah. He is in his 3rd transfer, which makes me his second companion, also known as a "Breaker." So I am breaking my 3rd missionary. Heavenly Father knows that I can't train a missionary, I just break them in! Thankfully, Elder Schwendiman is awesome and is an incredible missionary! He is my size too. We are virtually the same height, 5' 10-11", and he is 140 lbs. He is my first companion that ever attended EFY. And we attended the same session in 2010! His older brother Nathan and I were in the same company. It is a small world! And with a name like Schwendiman, we might even be related!

It has been a great week in Ottumwa. So on Wednesday, Elder Schwendiman broke his collarbone playing kickball. He ran into a wall after slipping on a base, while running full speed. So he is in a sling for the next transfer. So it is kind of an interesting challenge. 

In my new district we have 5 Hermanas (spanish-speaking Sister missionaries), and 4 Elders. And we are really spread out. I am excited to be in Ottumwa serving the Lord.

We have 3 people scheduled to be baptized in March that we set baptismal dates with yesterday. Andy and Daniel, they're brothers, and Doug. They are awesome!

Until next week!

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

Waterloo, Exit Stage Left - February 10, 2014

"Now, as [Elder Newhouse] was thus teaching the people of [Waterloo] continually, we will return to the account of [Elder McKenzie] and his brethren; for after he departed from the land of [Waterloo] he was led by the Spirit to the land of [ _________ ], even to the house of the [wonderful people of the Iowa Des Moines Mission]." -Alma 22:1, with slight variation

Well, if you couldn't tell from my somewhat incorrect use of that scripture, I found out that I will be transferred on Thursday! I will leave Waterloo and head somewhere else in the wonderful Iowa Des Moines Mission. It is interesting to note that Waterloo has been my shortest area yet, only 3 months/2 transfers. Sadly I will have to leave my wonderful friend and companion, Elder Newhouse here in Waterloo. I will continue to serve as a district leader over another district as I get transferred.

This week we saw some miracles in Waterloo. First of all, we were stuck inside for part of Tuesday and all of Wednesday and Thursday due to the very cold weather. So it was an interesting week.

Yesterday, Teta Ross, the Liberian lady we taught last week, came to church! It turns out that she actually lives in the Cedar Falls Ward boundary, so we won't get to see her baptized in Waterloo, but the Sisters in Cedar Falls will teach her tomorrow and help her be baptized pretty soon. She is SO PREPARED!!! :)

It isn't in vain though, because the Sisters in Cedar Falls have been preparing a lady named Julie to be baptized this Saturday in Waterloo. She preferred to be taught by Sisters, so they taught her, she came to church yesterday, and she will be baptized Saturday! We teach her best friend tomorrow. He enjoyed church and he wants to keep coming week after week.

Sadly my time is out, but I love each of you and I will email you from a different location next week! Remember, it isn't where you serve or what you do, but how you do it and that you do it with an Eye single to God's glory (see D&C 4:3).

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