Monday, March 17, 2014

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.

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.

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