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. :(

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

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