Sorry about not sending any pictures last time. I thought I'd send you some pictures first before I even started so no one leaves the church because of it haha! Your other question about when I'll be calling on Christmas Day, I actually don't know yet...I'll have to get back to you on that.
I also got the packages and I loved EVERYTHING in them!!! Harry's and everyone else's letters were awesome. It was also good to hear from Grandma and Grandpa. And Marqel, so thank you for having her write a letter too! Bo's little thingy (I forgot what those were called) just cracked me up haha! I'm gonna keep it, though I was tempted to throw it out ;) jk jk haha And I love the suit especially :) I'm going to wear it and take a pic and send it on Christmas haha!
Well here's the rundown of the week!
Mon- We had to regulate names and numbers and then we headed to Columbus to drop off some things for the zones down there. Needless to say I made a few stops on the way and got to see the Hydens :) It's always great to see them. I love them a lot. After we dropped off the supplies we headed back up to the Mission Home for a meeting with President. We had Elder Dyches coming for the week so we had a lot of stuff to cover during that meeting. It lasted for AWHILE!! Haha, but we were able to still get out in time to catch a little bit of FHE that night. We returned home and got ready for the next day.
Tue- Elder Dyches was flying in so we prepped everything for his arrival. We went to the office and got all the things we needed for the Conference because Elder Dyches was going to address the mission over the next 2 days, and got some things ready for MLCas well. President and Sister Carlson picked up the Dycheses and brought them to the mission home. So we had dinner with them and a meeting afterwards. What an experience for me. I realize how blessed I am to have these experiences. They are so down to earth. They are funny, humble, and filled with the spirit. During our meeting we discussed the general needs of the mission. Elder Dyches taught that whenever a change happens, lots of things tend to fluctuate, but he said our mission will be able to get back up to where it used to be. He share some insights on what we should concentrate on in the coming weeks and months of training now that Zone Conferences have been switched from 1 every other transfer to 1 every transfer. So we will be busy. After that we also discussed agendas for the 2 conferences and MLC over which Elder Dyches will be presiding. Again they are such humble people, and Elder Dyches likes to quote movies. He quoted Princess Bride a couple times (and you know I love Princess Bride) and Ferris Bueller (another movie I love!). He is awesome, and so is Sister Dyches. She is a convert from upstate New York, and she has a testimony like no other. Just being with them and learning from them has changed my perspective A LOT. It was a great experience.
So on Wednesday we had the city zones come in (Columbus, Franklin, Indy North, Indy West) so there were a lot of missionaries! It was pretty hectic to get them in and out and organize everything but we got it all done! Haha, but the best part of the day was the meeting. Good news was Elder Redmond and I didn't have to conduct the meeting or give trainings this time! We got to sit and enjoy a revelatory experience. Sister Carlson talked first, about being genuine, or sincerity. It really ties in with the mission theme "With Full Purpose of Heart". It was a great topics for me. I really think God always has to give me a constant reminder on doing things with a purpose. It's gotten to the point now that things I used to struggle with as a greenie, just happen naturally now, easy, and almost second nature. But when that happens sometimes our message, or the things we teach, is what suffers.
When I learned about and really studied the Restoration, I had to really understand it and try my hardest just to recite the First Vision. Now I can speak with anyone about the restoration and even sum it all up in 2 min. But sometimes it's robotic. I almost robotically start teaching people. When that happens, however, the problem is that we then are no longer teaching to people's needs or helping them understand how they can change. Same thing with church attendance, sacrament, prayer. Are we doing them with Full Purpose of Heart? I know I need to keep working on that!
After her training President Carlson taught on the Holy Ghost and His role in conversion for the investigator and conversion for us as missionaries. It was great. Following President's training Sister Dyches trained on Repentance. Now what was interesting was the Bible Dictionary definition of it. At one point it says that Repentance is a fresh view about God and oneself. Interesting. I thought about that and I realized it's true. It's funny what your view is about God before and after relying on the Atonement. It's kind of like when I was in high school and I would be mad because of what you and dad would make me do, or all the rules and expectations you set for me. There were so many and I did not appreciate it at all. What teenage kid does? But now looking back, I can see how you did those things only because you loved me. It was really cool to gain that perspective in learning more about the principle of Repentance.
After her wonderful training Elder Dyches taught a lot on being good teachers, teaching repentance and baptizing converts. But one thing that stuck out to me was memorizing more scriptures. I read scriptures. I utilize them a bit, but most of the time I can't say a verse word for word. Scripture power is real. And there is so much power behind true, word for word statements. It's like me trying to paraphrase the First Vision. It's not as powerful.. It was fantastic training. Following the conference, a couple of missionaries and I had one-on-one interviews with Elder Dyches. It was such a great opportunity for me to learn. He has soooooo much knowledge and wisdom and he has given me a lot to think about. During our interview Elder Dyches and I talked for awhile about what I learned during conference and what I can improve. There is a lot I can improve upon but I thought my main one was Prayer because I still struggle with trying not to say rote prayers. We also talked about the medical field because he is an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor so he was telling me how that field would be a great one to go into. Well after the interviews we headed back to our apartment to get ready for the next day.
Thur- Another conference, this time with all the outlying zones (Elkhart, Niles, Lafayette, Bloomington, Terre Haute) so again we had a lot of things to do! Aside from it being really hectic it was another great conference. The trainings were the same but I still learned something new that I didn't hear the day before. I learned that I can't skip corners. Sometimes it's easy to skip corners especially if you think something's so easy and you already have it down. But there is a reason we have processes and need order, and it's the same thing with missionary work. If we skip out on planning, the whole day falls to pieces. When we skip out on little details because we are lazy it makes everything else worse. The conference was great and I got to see Elder Quick! Haha it]s always good to see that guy. I love him.
After the conferences and interviews we went to Grandma Banks (the awesome member from Beech Grove where Elder Redmond was trained) who fed us. She also gave us Christmas presents. She is always so willing to give, but sometimes I'm afraid she gives too much. Some people are just born givers and are so selfless. That's Grandma Banks to a T. Next we returned to the office and prepped everything for MLC the next day.
Fri- MLC was great. We had training by President and Sister Carlson, and Elder and Sister Dyches. They all gave fantastic training about our roles as missionaries and how we can further increase our ability and capacity to love those we teach. Sister Dyches also did a great training on Leadership. How we should be and act, because many people are watching us, and if we walk around with our heads down, so will the whole mission. But Elder Dyches' message hit me the most. He trained on Accountability and the difference between acting and being acted upon. He talked about excuses as well, and how we tend to shove off responsibility. Why? Well a lot of it is fear of the consequences. But exercising true agency means being accountable and responsible. It really made me think about myself as I have a lot to learn a leader. Am I responsible? Am I accountable? Can people truly rely on me or is it a case of whenever it gets too tough, I leave it up to someone else? It really opened my eyes to not making any excuses and being fully accountable to myself, and especially to the Lord. MLC was great,
After MLC we spent the rest of the day cleaning everything up and finally finishing up some more paperwork. After that we returned home and got some good sleep now that all the stressful meetings were done and all the missionaries were safely back to their areas :)
That's pretty much what happened this week :) We are excited for the upcoming week because we are going to have more time to proselyte! Anyways thanks again for everything mom! Love you and tell the fam I love them too:)
Ofa Lahi Atu