Monthly Archives: February 2012

06 February 2012 – The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning…

Each week President Anderson send each missionary an e-mail with a spiritual message and usually some examples of how that message has worked by extracting sections from some of the letters he gets each week from the missionaries. Here is one that he chose to share this week and it shows the power that missionaries have when they follow the spirit…

“This week has been a great one as I was able to teach my district the importance of accessing the Atonement. We were all edified in the training and we were taught by the Spirit knowing the things that we need to do differently in our lives. After the Training on Tuesday, my companion and I were so excited to go out. We went out with the attitude that we would teach this to our investigators that we would be teaching that day and invite them all to be baptized. We went out that day with so much excitement and with the Spirit and we were able to set 8 baptismal dates that day. It was absolutely incredible what can happen when we really internalize our purpose because when we do that, we rely on the Spirit and when we follow the promptings immediately we are led to those that are prepared.”

4 February 2012 – Learning to be a Finance Secretary and other things.

It has been an interesting week for us. Tuesday’s District Meeting was video recorded and then on Friday parts of it was shown at the monthly Zone Leaders Conference. Since we were asked to help prepare the lunch for the meeting we were there and Mary got to see part of the presentation. Elder George talked about his style of leadership and how it has succeeded in our district.

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I grilled 36 hamburgers and a lot of sausages out on the beautiful patio of the mission home. President and sister Anderson says they do not have time to enjoy the pool but do appreciate the beautiful flowers and yard. I was extremely jealous of the gorgeous bed of impatiens that you can see in the middle picture. All the elders managed to get themselves around just three tables. They love to just talk to each other – especially those who have served together or were in the MTC together. There was a great spirit there.

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When we left the mission home we decided to drive down the street and look at the houses. At the end of the road was this house that looks completely different from any of the other houses on the block. It seems organic to it’s surroundings. The picture on the right tries to capture the size of the huge stag horn fern that is on the tree…it must is the largest one either of us had every seen.

On Thursday I started to seriously get trained as the mission finance secretary. The Steimles have just over 4 months left and then someone is going to have to take his place at what is probably the most complicated job in the office. If elder Steimle got sick and had to go home early  there would be no one ready to step in. On Friday when we are at the mission home, I mentioned to the president that I was starting to learn the job and made a case for me taking over for the year that we would be here after the Steimles go home. He said he had not thought of that and would take it under consideration. So we will just wait and see what happens. But while waiting I will learn what I can. Elder Steimle is a talented and willing teacher.

I am also learning much of what Elder Beagley does with the cars. Where the finance is pretty much learning the routine, the vehicle coordinator never knows what he is going to have to do day by day. There is of course some routine, such as posting the monthly mileage and gas card purchases. But every time his phone rings it could be someone calling because they have had an accident, have locked their keys in their car, lost their gas card, or that one of the cars is acting up. I can remember how elder Sessions in Durban hardly ever made it through one of our meals without someone calling with a problem. Elder Beagley does an excellent job in a very difficult position.

1 February 2012 – It is better to look up…

This morning I was reading from Elder Carl B Cook’s conference talk of that name, where he shared how President Monson redirected his focus to look up to God where he could be healed and strengthened through Christ’s atonement. Elder Cook said ‘That is what prophets do for us. They lead us to God.

This brought back the memory of an experience I had during the last month that I served in the Provo temple before we were to go into the MTC and then on to the Durban South African mission. The temple had been closed for a couple of weeks for cleaning and some remodeling. President Bateman pointed out that the original chandeliers  had all been replaced with new ones featuring beautiful crystals from Austria. He suggested that we take the time to go to the Celestial room and see the one there.

Later I did that and the chandelier was gorgeous but as I looked up at it my eye traveled to the right and the large painting of the Savior coming down with his arms outstretched in welcome caught my eye. I was immediately overcome with the spirit. It seemed to me that he was reaching out to me and telling me to trust him. At that moment any concerns I had for what we would experience in Africa or for the rest of my life left me. I decided there and then I would trust the Lord and as Alma 37:37 says, I would try to counsel with him in all my doings.

It seemed to me that this was my better to look up to Christ moment.  Thank you Elder Cook for reminding me of this special experience.

31 January 2012 – A special District Meeting

We received a call from Elder George on Monday saying that the District Meeting on Tuesday was going to be moved from it’s regular 11:30 time to 4:00. When we got there at 3:45 we found the reason it had been moved was so that it could be recorded for use in training other District Leaders.

Due to technical difficulties – and the sisters getting tied up in a lesson – we did not start until around 4:30. Before we started, Elder George threatened fire and brimstone to anyone who deliberately look at the camera. Since the camera was sitting just behind my right shoulder I was told I was not to raise my right hand – I only forgot once!

As always it was a very good DM. Some of the numbers for the week were disappointing and Elder George showed his disappointment but challenged the district to do better and tailored the lesson at how the goals for the coming week could be met. He also committed the district to an unusual request. He had them commit that if they found themselves in a lesson where they could not feel the spirit that if they could not quickly get it there they would quickly end the meeting and leave. He asked them to text him if that happened.

On Friday when I saw him again I asked if anyone had, had to do that. He said that so far no one had to do that for a lesson, but that he and elder Smoot ended a blessing visit when they felt opposition to the spirit. Instead they sang a song and prayed. When they were done the man felt the spirit and asked them back.

Mary made her famous chocolate/Ritz Cracker/peanut butter cookies and they quickly disappeared. I think Elder Neeley came out from interviews just so he could get another one.

As always it was one the spiritual highlights of our week. We loved to feel the spirit of the missionaries and they have accepted us as a real part of the district. We could not ask for more.

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Elder George before the meeting starts. The Zone Leaders Elders Beard and Clark…we found it was Elder Clark’s birthday on the 4th. Elder Meredith makes a point…it may be his last transfer here. He is a good missionary and I think he has learned a lot while in the district.

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Sister Hong is not texting Elder Clark. Sister Holder did not want to be left out of the picture so she stuck her head in front of sister Hong. Elder Clark looks on. David Bastias is a convert of a few months and willingly used his great Cannon EOS camera to record the meeting.