Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ottumwa, the Land of the Mustang - May 27, 2014

Good things come in twos! 

(And probably lots of other combinations, but we'll go with twos for my purposes here. :) )

The first two: it was another incredible week! Every week being a missionary, every day being a missionary is a miracle. It is fantastic. Never have I experienced so many highs and lows in my life. We come to appreciate the good as opposition comes. This week was pretty much all amazing though!

The second two: our district had two baptisms this week! One of them was the first baptism that branch had seen in years! Needless to say that miracles are happening here in Southeast Iowa!

The third two: Missionary companionships, they are the best, enough said. "And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God" (Doctrine & Covenants 42:6).

I don't know that I have many more twos, but I have some other great experiences to share! :)

We found the Frazier Family by going through our old potential investigator records in the area book. They are very awesome and are desirous to come to church because the church they attend now has gone from 85 members to 5 members in the last 2 years. We taught them and they both said they would be baptized! :)

We also taught Trish, the woman who I talked about last week. We taught her twice actually, so I guess there is another two. We invited her to be baptized on July 19th and she said she would work towards it!

We taught Tim twice this week too! (Maybe I shouldn't have ended with the two's so soon...) We reset his baptismal date for June 14th and now he is working towards that. He shared a deeper concern with us on Friday so now we are working to help him with that!

Steve Graham is now 2 weeks smoke free! It's a miracle! (Still with the twos? Come on Elder McKenzie!) He is super solid and we are excited for him to be baptized as well!

We had Zone Conference last Thursday. I gave my departing testimony. My two words of advice were: Stay Hydrated, and be loyal to your leaders. I have seen a huge part of both of these in my mission. Serving as a district leader it has been a blessing to serve around missionaries who support me. It is truly a strength to see them trust me. Two quotes another missionary shared: "Use the handbook, they'll call you innovative" and "A mission is a preschool for eternity."

Create Success in your lives! Elder M. Russell Ballard tells us how in the talk I have attached. You don't have to be a full-time missionary for this to apply to you!

My companion saw Jim Carrey on exchanges (he gave the commencement address at Maharishi University in Fairfield.) When he saw that, our other zone leader and I went to set a date with one investigator, but ended up with one new investigator and two baptismal dates.

Two words to close: Charity, Joy.

My joy is full as I serve others and I see the differences made in their lives. The reassurances that tell us we are doing the right thing often don't come until much later, and almost always unexpectedly. I had my life touched and my value to God manifested through small things that I did that others shared with me have made a big difference in their lives. Live to be the person God wants you to be. It will always be better than the person you can be without Him. Two is better than one.

This is God's work, let Him do it.

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

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