On the second Monday of most months, the senior couples meet together with President and Sister Anderson for a staff meeting. The calendar for the month – mainly transfer time – is gone through and then each senior missionary or couple report on their particular assignments in the mission. In this way we all know what the others have been doing or will be doing. This is especially interesting because some of the couples are not in the office during the month or at least not very often so this is about our only personal contact with them. Elder and Sister Boice are the Employment couple and spend much of their time in the Employment Office at the Miami Lakes chapel. Elder and Sister McCormick serve down on Marathon Key and work with the small branch – more like a twig to tell the truth. They have a good three hour drive to the office which adds lots of miles to their personal truck.
In the evening we all meet again at the Mission Home where we spend a couple of hours eating, talking and then sharing some spiritual lesson or discussion. Last night most of the talking at our table was about favorite foods and how to make them. Mainly it was the sisters talking but the men chimed in from time to time.
After dinner the President asked each of us to say something about one thing from a conference talk that touched us. Mary mentioned the new program for YM and YW and how it was based on asking questions and not lecturing. I talked about Elder Christensen’s talk about the Holy Ghost and how often our investigators are like his young son – that is they have never really felt the HG before and need to be taught what it is and why it is important. It was a great experience and a number of the points brought up by others brought the talk they came from to my mind.
Last nights FHE tied perfectly in to one of my experiences this morning. Because I went out to pick up some investigators for the Assistants, I was not home for the first hour of the Sunday morning session. So this morning I watched President Eyring’s wonderful talk on how we often hide ourselves from God but he never hides Himself from us. As he talked I thought of how true this is and thought of a number of times that I did jus that. I will go back to this talk often in the hopes of reminding myself to be careful and make sure I am doing what the Lord wants and not what I want, when I want it.
What a wonderful opportunity we have to not only watch conference to almost immediately go back and listen to our favorite talks again. And maybe listen again to those talks that we did not feel spoke to us and our needs. I know that when I do that I often find a hidden message that is there just for me or so it seems.
Each week I look forward to reading President Anderson’s letter to the missionaries because he shares a few of the great stories that he receives from the missionaries as they send in their weekly letters to the president. I told him that after their mission he should publish a book of these great stories.
“We spent most of the week on our bike so we didn’t run out of miles in our car. But because of it we met so many people and saw so many miracles from it. One of them was we had just got done with one of our lessons with a new investigator, at a members home, Martin. We were biking out of the trailer park and there were three guys sitting outside. We didn’t really want to talk to them, but we decided that we needed to. We asked if we could give them the blessing and they said yes. While we were praying Martin (the member) pulled up! After we got done praying we invited them to be baptized and they said they wanted to learn more. Martin told them to listen to us because we have the truth. In our next lesson they told us that in Mexico they had seen missionaries before, but they had never talked to them. They were waiting to see if we would contact them, and we did. We found three new investigators that we wouldn’t have found if we weren’t on our bikes! I wish we could have every member be like Martin. Members are such a huge help in the work!”
And another that shows the Lord does prepare people to hear the Gospel..
“We were just finishing up harvesting in a new apartment complex we found this week and as we were leaving we came across this awesome lady. We started talking to her and asked if we could pray with her. She was happy to let us pray with her and her boyfriend and after the blessing we invited them to be baptized and they accepted. The next day we went over and they were so excited to see us again. We asked how their day was going and they both said that because of our prayer they both got jobs. Both of them! By the end of us talking with them two of their friends came by and joined in on the conversation. We were praying, scripture reading, testifying, everything! After that we invited their friends to be baptized and they accepted too. I must say that it was the best night of my mission thus far.”
It has not been a great week because my companion has been sick! On Saturday the 30th Mary came down with a cold. I knew she was really sick because she did not feel well enough to go to Flamingo Gardens as we have been planning for 3 weeks. I do not think she felt well enough to even go out to eat which is the ultimate test. So we basically spent the whole day at home.
However she was a trooper and went as my navigator on Sunday as we picked up some investigators that the APs needed rides for. Fred is a great guy who the elders contacted through a small miracle. He works night and never answers the door when some one interrupts his sleep. But it just so happened that when the elders knocked he was up getting a glass of water and he invited them in to give his home a blessing.
Yesterday the elders invited me to go with them to see Fred so they could fill out the baptism record and give a short lesson on baptism. We held our meeting outside and I was able to bear my testimony of how wonderful he will feel when he comes out of the water. Then I got a great surprise when the APs suggested I do the baptism. Since I am already giving the talk on baptism at the service it will be an interesting service for me.
Also yesterday we had the opportunity to go down to the port and pick up our old friends Karl and Wendy Kaneen when they arrived from a two week cruise. After what seemed like forever driving around and around the pick-up area – security will not let you park where you can see the passengers get off – we finally saw them.
We then found a place to have breakfast and talk. It was a great time catching up on family and friends – Karl was one of my counselors when I was bishop in Redondo and was later a bishop and branch president there himself. The only problem was that I managed to leave my camera at home! Bummer
Not a lot of pictures this week. Some of our great missionaries came in to drop off baptismal records so Sister Bare could enter them in the computer before the Thursday deadline so I took a picture of 6 of them. Elders HoChing, Beer, Badillo, Bishop, Rasmussen, and Hoole. A beautiful sunrise from our apartment. Mary pointed out that in South Africa we took pictures of elephants, rhinos, monkeys, giraffes, and hippos. In Florida we take pictures of ducks, lizards, birds and squirrels – this little fellow comes and cleans up anything the ducks leave behind.