So as you can tell from the subject, we had Elder Holland visit our
mission! He came and visited Sunday but don't want to talk about it
too much right now as I will later. It was the highlight of the week
and month and probably a big highlight of my mission.
We have had a lot of member visits or trying to visit members in some
cases as it is not always successful but we try. Still working to help
members find their own investigators or help fellowship our existing
investigators so they have someone to work with and the retention and
teaching is mostly by the members and not us. That is a focus for us
"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in square holes." Preparation day is a great day.
Really makes me love Mondays. We had a fun day today. We had studies
and laundry. Then got chipotle for lunch and got a few things at
target. Then went to the assistant's apartment to hang out with elder
Ko until the Zone Leaders arrived for him to go on exchanges with.
Then went to the Freeport chapel and hung around with the Freeport
elders. After preparation day, we went to visit some referrals in the
area and got a call to visit the Carters. We went and saw them and we
looked on Facebook for an investigator they had found and wanted to
refer him to us. So we looked on Facebook for a while and finally
found him. Got his info and called him up. No answer though and we
caught the carters up to speed on what happened at church Sunday. Then
"The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And
they have no respect for the status quo." Well, another average day in
paradise, er, I mean, New York. But it can be paradise. We did service
for sister Hare this morning and almost finished her front yard. Got
home and cleaned up, had lunch and met Eddy at a burger place near by.
He wanted to catch up and talk for the few minutes he had. Then we
picked up a YM and went knocking for the afternoon. We taught a lesson
to an investigator that has been investigating for a long time now.
Continued knocking until we got Wendy's and took him home. Went
straight to a less active named Bill and got to share a message with
him. He is really into music and performances. Loves the opera.
Interesting guy. Then went and got water for our less active family.
That takes like an hour and a half of our night to do that so that
topped off our night.
"You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them." It
has now been 1 year since I arrived in NY. Crazy to think about that:)
But today we had studies in the morning and went to go pick up the
Zone Leaders from Jamaica. We went back to our apartment and had a
quick lunch before we went to district meeting. Then Elder Corbett
went with other missionaries in Freeport and Elder Garza is with us
for the day. We went to go to a lesson with a guy we met last week but
he didn't answer. Went home and got changed for service and picked up
John, a YM, to go with us. We helped with roofing a shed and planting
new grass seed in part of the lawn. Fun projects to learn more about.
Dropped off John and got changed. Went to see the Brown family and
then Will and Sherrell. Both are doing good. Then we visited another
Brown family (confusing, right?) and help them with the difficulties
they are going through as a family. That ended our night.
"About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change
things." Exchanges were great. We had studies in the morning and then
had a weekly planning session to see what that should look like and it
is long! Took us an hour to plan for 1 person. Granted, it was our
first time using the new guidelines correctly so it would take a
while. Then we ate lunch at the mall's food court and dropped off
Elder Garza with Elder Corbett to take the bus home. We went to go
visit a potential from yesterday and got to talk to him this time but
he was busy. But we got his number this time. Then we went to the
church to clean out our areabook and send some messages so
investigators and less actives. The cleaning out areabook was long as
we went through all our potentials, new, and other investigators and
dropped them, deleted them, kept them. And finally started weekly
planning. We got to plan for 3 people before we had to go to sister
Tessel's for dinner. She got us Chinese takeout for dinner and it was
pretty good. We shared a message with her and went to go fill up water
jugs again for the family. Last time we did it, like Tuesday I think,
there was like half the normal bottles so we knew we would be doing it
again soon. And that took up our night.
"They push the human race forward." Today we had Zone Training Meeting
in Jamaica at noon so we ate lunch and got ready to leave right after
studies. It was a great ZTM to help a lot with the new planning
guidelines. Afterwards, we went home and ate dinner. We contacted a
few people during that time and sent uplifting thoughts. Then we went
to go look up a less active and try to share a message with him but he
wasn't home. Went to Freeport chapel and printed off some of the
planning guidelines for members that we got at ZTM today to start
giving to members and help them understand how to plan for people.
Went and visited with a referral we got and gave him a giant bible he
wanted. Couldn't stay for long though as he had to go to work right
then. Went and FaceTimed with John, the YM, on what he can do next for
Chris, the investigator we are helping John work with. It is pretty
cool when the members can take over and teach the investigator
themselves and we can help when needed.
"And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius." Today
was pretty good. We continued our endless weekly planning session but
we only had time for 1 person in the morning till we had to go to eat
lunch and then meet the Carters at the Brown Family home. That was a
great lesson on attending church so hopefully they come! From there,
we went and gave service to an elderly sister in the ward that wanted
us to do her yard work. Then cleaned up and had dinner at the Malinka
family's home. That was unplanned but when we picked up John, they
invited us in for some food. And we shared a message with them this
time. We took John to go see Bill, an elderly less active but can get
around on his own still. We talked about temples and wants to see Bill
go through the temple for his own endowments. Dropped John off and
"Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the
world are the ones who do." Today was a special day. One to always be
remembered for the rest of my life hopefully. It was one of those days
you will tell stories about it to your grandchildren going on
missions. And no vision happened or investigator was baptized in 3
weeks perfectly. We simply had a mission conference with Elder Jeffery
R. Holland. That took place in the morning at the Woodside chapel and
we not only heard from him, we heard from his son, the president of
UVU, his wife and sister Holland. But Elder Holland spoke the longest.
So we arrived an hour and a half before the conference was supposed to
start and sat there doing personal study for most of it. When he
arrived, he went with President Reynolds to another room and told him
the outline for today and he wanted to take a group picture to start
off and then shake all of our hands. That was a very cool opportunity
to do that. Then we sat down and heard testimonies from President and
Sister Reynolds, heard from Brother Holland (Elder Holland's son) and
then from Brother Holland's wife and Elder Holland's wife. Then Elder
Holland spoke to us. All of it was spirit driven and nothing prepared
extensively. Elder Holland spoke for a very long time so I took quite
a lot of notes. I'll just include my notes so you can get an idea of
what he talked about.
* Seek me and ye shall find me
* Helaman 3:35
Brother Holland President of UVU
* Every good thing we have comes from Christ
* I know that Redeemer lives
* Story of a David O McKays father
* Testify of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon
* D&C 1
* You are called by God to declare His message
Sister Holland (daughter)
* You are missed but you are right where you should be and need to be
at this time
Sister Holland (mother)
* Greatest missionaries in the world
* Such great love for the Book of Mormon that we can overcome fears
and declare the truthfulness of it
* He wanted to interview us with the handshake
* He wants us to feel the same way in 53 years from now that we are
* He has thought of his mission everyday for that long
* We have 101 reasons not to go on a mission, but if we don't go, we miss it
* Grateful we don't break so many mission rules, it is so easy here in NY
* Our lives as Mormons are measured before and after missions
* We have been giving everything to help us on the mission the church
and gospel has to offer; temples, blessings, priesthood, YM/YW
* We need your help in this work
* This is not about you, this is about Joseph Smith, the Book or
Mormon, the Restoration, Atonement, etc
* Be what God expects you to be
* You are not free to damage the look and feel of a missionary
* A missionary is what we want to have in the family
* This is not a checklist item, a mission. It is for life
* Never go back to what you were before. That can not be
* You weren't a return missionary before the mission
* We shouldn't tell stories of what we messed around doing, we tell
stories of testimony builders after the mission
* Can't live with a return missionary who goes inactive
* Much rather jump off the Freedom Tower
* If every missionary is just like me, what kind of mission would it be?
* Ask yourself this with any calling; parent, elders quorum president, etc
* This mission changes everything
(He switches from podium to the chalk board)
* The second coming has started happening in 1820
* Sings of the second coming
* Wars and rumors of wars
* Apostles lie in the street
* "Thanks for that reminder!"
* New York destroyed
* 3 Nephi 21:1-2, 5, 7
* The priesthood restored
* The Book of Mormon is the single greatest tool we could be given as
* 1 Nephi 1, we have a prophet that prays and has visions a result. He
sees Christ(divine) and a book. He praises God and sees the
destruction of a city. He is rejected by the people and seek to take
his life away. Same story as Joseph Smith, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and all
* No more important verses of scripture than 1 Nephi 1
* 1 Nephi 2-7, the Lord speaks in a dream. Nephi prays and has a
dream. There are commandments and the spirit speaks to us. There
records of scripture which are pleasing unto God. After Levi finishes
prophesying, the Lord speaks. Revelation.
* No convert is converted without reading the Book of Mormon
* We don't have a message if people don't believe in revelation
* There is a museum and guards around a piece of parchment in
Jerusalem called the Dead Sea scrolls. We have a book giving away for
free and it's better
* In 186 years, no one has claimed authorship of that book.
* Our testimony comes through the Book of Mormon. We are investigators to God
* Why isn't this easier? Why don't they read or come to church? Why is
this so hard?
* It's hard because salvation isn't a cheap experience. The atonement
wasn't easy, why should it be easy for us?
* A mission is a lot of things but it is not easy
* There is always a happy ending, a resurrection Sunday after crucifixion Friday
* No cheap grace, no easy mission
It was really cool because we got to see the family side of an apostle
with his son and daughter in law there and his grandson. It was funny
because Elder Holland took jabs at coming on a mission to get away
from UVU or teasing his family. It was cool to see this other side of
them that isn't seen at conference. So I could talk about this meeting
for the next 5 paragraphs but I won't do that to you. After the
conference, he left and we cleaned up the gym. We left to make it back
in time for church and arrived a few minutes early so we talked with
the members. We had church and during 2 hour, we got a call from the
Zone Leaders to take them back their inflatable beds which we forgot
to drop off during ZTM. So we went and did that and got back for the
last 15 min of church. Then we visited a potential. We got to teach a
little but he likes to talk so hard to get everything out we needed
to. Then we visited a less active family with Brother Jean but the
family was home and let us in but the dad didn't want to talk to us so
we left and went to bishops home for dinner. Always great food and
then visited Dave. He told us he is having to leave the nursing home
he is at so this would probably be our last time meeting with him. Sad
lesson but good one. Then we went home. Great day.
So that was a lot of writing. Not for sure how many of you will
actually read it but have fun.
So for investigators, not much. Will and Sherrell weren't able to make
it to church and only met with them once last week I think. It is hard
with them as they both work and both have different hours that change
constantly, not a set schedule so we have to go day by day to see if
we could visit them that day and they don't want to meet if the other
isn't there. Hard. But they have that desire to get baptized and are
working towards it as best they can. We contact referrals but it is
hard with trying to visit members all the time and prioritizing some
people or families before the referrals. So still working on how to
balance it all. Brown family is still working on coming to church.
Stuff comes up that stop them from coming so we are trying to bring
members to get involved and help more. That's about it for
investigators and less actives.
Hope everyone is doing amazing and enjoying life!
This is the YM, John we take out with us!
And I am waiting to see if we get the Elder Holland photo soon. I will send it if I get it today. Otherwise hopefully next week.