Daily Archives: November 16, 2006

Indonesian – all day?

15 November 2006 – Thursday

We spent most of the day from the time we got up until after our lesson ended at 5 PM. I did take time out for a nap but other than that I was busy reading, listening to and writing Indonesian. We were to share our testimony in Indonesian. I wrote mine on the computer and then Mary helped me make corrections and guess at how to say some things. As part of the lesson Sister Tippets made some corrections and now I have a short testimony and a more complete one that I will continue to study and practice.

Sister Tippets asked if I felt the spirit as I shared my testimony. I told her that I did not because I had to concentrate so hard on saying the correct words that it was hard to feel the spirit. She told me that I needed to practice it each day until I reached the point where I could feel

After our lesson we went to The Red Lobster where we had all you can eat shrimp. I had five servings and Mary had four. We had an interesting and very good waiter who as soon as his shift is over is going to get in his car and start driving home to Maine.

 I am now listening to music while I wait to go to a HP leadership meeting.

Musing about Mite vrs Mites

As I was thinking about our mission, the need to be a self-starter, and to magnify my calling, I got to wondering if I would put my whole effort into the work. Or if like so many things I have done in my life, be excited at the first but after a while only doing what was necessary to be considered to be fulfilling my call. This got me thinking about a talk I gave a couple of years ago about a subject that came through inspiration. A subject that I really needed for myself. I had a talk that I thought I would give pretty much worked out when I chanced to read the parable of what is known as the ‘widow’s mite.’

As I read the parable I noticed that the widow did not put in one mite but that she put in two mites. It was then said that ‘she gave her all.’ I had always thought of this as a story about the rich and giving money to help the church. However as I read the story this time I realized that it was about much more and the key was the fact that she had two mites to give.

If she had only one mite – as most people seem to think – then she only had two choices. To give nothing or to give ‘her all.’ Her having two mites adds a third choice – she could give only one of her two mites. In that way she contributes to the kingdom but still keep back something for herself.

In my talk I pointed out that I realized that I was often a ‘one mite’ giver when it comes to serving in the kingdom, raising my family, etc.  Although I put some effort and time into a calling, home teaching, and personal and family spiritual growth, I do not ‘give my all.’ I hold back that one mite for personal use. That is instead of really preparing for a home teaching visit, I throw something together at the last minute. Instead of looking for ways to magnifying my calling, I do what is necessary to get buy. When I should have been reading the scriptures or Sunday’s lesson, I would find myself listening to music or reading a novel.

 Now this does not mean that I was not doing my calling or was doing bad things, but it did mean that I was not ‘giving my all’ as I had promised in the temple. It also meant that the Lord could not bless me and our family as He wanted to. That is I was not eligible to ‘always have His spirit’ to be with me.

The problem with being a ‘one mite’ giver is that most people think I doing an excellent job in the church and in my personal life. But as I kneel to pray, as I write in my journal and report my day, I know and I know the Lord knows that I am holding back. I am sure that makes Him very sad. He gave everything for me and I am not willing to return that to Him. Also I am sure He is sad because He can not give me the blessings that knows are available when I am a ‘two mite’ giver.

My prayer is that I will commit myself to be truly a full ‘two mite’ missionary – a ‘two mite’ member of God’s church. That I will not find excuses for doing less than my best. I am hopeful that at the end of our mission the Lord will be able to say to me – ‘Well done my true and faithful servant.’



Lunch with Elder Carmack

15 November 2006 – We had an interesting morning and lunch today. We headed towards Salt Lake at about 9:30. Our first stop was the cleaners to drop off the suit I am taking to Indonesia. Then we got gas at Costco, where we pulled right up to the pump. Gas there is down to $2.03 a gallon – about $1.00 less than we were paying a couple of months ago.

Next was a stop at Mike’s office to pick up some new glasses for Mary. From there we drove down State street and Mary remembered we should stop at the CostCo there and get toilet paper or we would have to start using old newspapers. While there I found some nice lightweight black dress pants on close out for $10 and amazingly they had 4 pair in my size. Continuing down State, we came to the Sears store and I remembered I still needed some white short sleeve shirts. A quick trip inside bagged me 4 shirts and that finished off my clothing needs for the mission.

 We got to park under the Church office building. The security there is really tight but the men are very curteous. When we got into the building and reached the security desk, they already had our temporary passes ready to go.

We had a great lunch with Elder Carmack. He had salads waiting for us and so we sat right down and ate. As we ate we talked about our families, shared experiences, and then about Indonesia. I took the opportunity to check two stories about his experiences as mission president that I have used in a number of talks and lessons. I was glad to know that I got the main points correct.

The important thing that I heard was that we should feel free to find new ways to be effective missionaries. He said when he first arrived as the Asian Area President, there was little going on. He said about all they had to do was answer 4 or 5 letters a week. He soon changed that around by visiting all of the areas, opening new ones – including Mongolia where the Carlson’s from our ward went – and in other ways magnifying his calling. I am hoping that we can do the same kind of thing. I am just wondering what our travel budget will be.

The trip home and the rest of the day was very normal. In the evening I went home teaching and then we went to Albertson’s where we bought drinks for the family gathering for Thanksgiving.