Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The End is Here - July 28, 2014

"What you have the power to do, you have the power not to do."
- Aristotle

"Progress or perish."
- Unknown

It is hard to believe that the end is here. My mission has been truly the happiest time of my life. I have grown tremendously and the more I consider on this time, the more appreciative I am that God trusts his little children and sends them out on missions to help his other children. God truly has it all worked out.

This last week has been truly miraculous. Each week we hold a weekly planning session, a time where we plan who we're going to see, what we will teach them about, and set a numerical goal for each of the 12 key indicators.

These Key Indicators are:
   • Investigators baptized and confirmed
   • Investigators with a baptismal date
   • Investigators who attend sacrament meeting
   • Lessons taught to investigators with a member present
   • Other lessons taught
   • Progressing investigators
   • Referrals received and contacted
   • New investigators
   • Lessons taught to recent converts and less-active members
   • Lessons taught to active members

This is the first and only week out of my 101 weeks in Iowa that we met or exceeded our goal for all 12 key indicators. That was such a blessing! We also found 9 new investigators this week! Which is the highest one week amount of my mission. The blessings truly do come after we have done "all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). So now I want to tell you about some of these investigators.

Colton and Clay Snakenberg are the sons in a part-member family in the ward. They are calf ropers and they do very well in rodeos and other various events they compete at. The ward has been trying to help them become active and baptized for a very long time. We received a call from Sister Snakenberg's visiting teacher saying that they wanted the boys to be baptized before Colton left for school in August. So we set up an appointment, and the boys are anxious to be baptized. So they will be baptized next week! It is awesome!

I was at the temple last Tuesday for our departing missionary temple trip, and so Elder Epperson was on exchanges for the day with a missionary from another zone that is a very good missionary. They found a family of 7! The youngest isn't old enough to be baptized, but the rest of the family is willing and open to listening and being baptized. They were baptized about a month ago in a baptist church. We teach them again tonight, we are so excited!

I also went to the doctor last Tuesday and got my cast off my leg. Now I am in a boot with the direction to stay off of it and let it heal for the next 3 weeks. So hopefully I can walk by the time fall semester comes around!

I received a quote from an Hermana in our district this last week and it has truly helped me so much. Please read it and apply it in your life. This is what I will leave you with as my last words as a full time missionary.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be!

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Unknown

With those words and the words I left for the missionaries of my mission, I leave you: 

"What I value the most from my two years of full-time missionary service is how closely I have come to know my Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I feel I have truly become who God has wanted me to become. I know that I have become that person, not because I am perfect, because I am not, but because I have felt the Spirit working with me on a daily, even hourly basis. This is evidenced by when I have been an instrument in His hands in the lives of His children. He trusts me and He trusts you. Exact Obedience brings Miracles. You can know you are successful when you feel as Alma expressed in Alma 13:28-29. I know that the Book of Mormon is true because as I have read its pages for myself and others, I have felt His love for me and charity for my investigators and other missionaries. Follow the uncomfortable promptings of the Holy Ghost. Stay true to Preach My Gospel, it will tell you what you should do. This work is true! Love the Lord and serve Him the very best you can. Love your mission forever. I will."

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

Descriptions of Pictures
  • My foot after standing up for 4 minutes.
  • Me with President and Sister Jensen in front of the Nauvoo Temple.
  • The Sisters going home this week with Sister Jensen in the middle.
  • The Elders going home this week with President Jensen in the middle.
  • The Elders jumping picture.
  • Me with Elder Bowers and Elder Firth (our MTC district).
  • The graves of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
  • The graves of Joseph and Emma Smith.
  • The graves of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith.
  • Me by the Smith family graves with the Mississippi river in the background.
  • My final district: (back row) Elder Epperson, Me, Elders Brooks, Kilpatrick (front row) Hermanas Howell and Eggett, Sister Oman, and Hermana Zamora
  • Funny district picture
  • Elder Epperson blowing out his birthday candles.

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