Thursday, June 25, 2015

9 Months!

Long time, no see, (9 months) and no write...that's my fault.  So here's the update for the week.  We started out with MLC (Mission Leader Conference) on Tuesday.  That meeting is conducted by the assistants under the direction of President Felix.  I'm not sure if you remember the 5 areas of Focus for the mission.  We recite them every morning or so...they are :
1) We begin with the end in mind
2) We are consecrated servants of Jesus Christ
3) We strive to serve the Lord through our obedience
4) We are led by the spirit as we find and teach
5) We desire the salvation of souls. 

Last month, President Felix had the mission focus on #4.  This transfer we are focusing on being consecrated servants of Jesus Christ.  During this MLC, President had a training on this area of focus. He had us give him synonyms for "consecrated" and "servant."  He shared some really good quotes about these two words.  They fed us chicken and waffles for lunch.  That was a new combo for me.

Another part of that meeting is reporting on zone goals.  We report on how last transfer's goals were accepted and met, then we explain our goals for this transfer.  Elder Willis and I came up with our zone goal this month as inspired from Elder Tad R. Callister's talk "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" (I encourage you all to read it.  The talk may be harder to find because it is a talk T. R. Callister gave when he was a mission president in Toronto, Canada.)  One of the last sections talks about going the "extra mile" meaning, the consecrated missionary gives every ounce of energy to the work.  He/she is exhausted at the end of the day because everything was left outside.  Our zone goal is that every day, each companionship will go the extra mile (do something out of the ordinary, something that makes them stretch or a random act of kindness) and they will send that extra mile in a text.  It's been working out all right so far.  We have some really good missionaries in our zone!

The assistants go on exchanges with all the zone leaders each transfer.  Since we live furthest away, we got to do exchanges the night of MLC and Wednesday.  I went with Elder Yager.  He and I have a lot in common.  We are both the oldest of four, we grew up in small towns, our grandparents own a farm, our dads are in the medical field, and we have very similar "conversion stories."  We both worked hard.  I went with E. Yager to Ventura for the day. We spent the whole day going to appointments with return missionaries.  It was awesome hearing their mission stories.  E. Yager set a really good example for me.

So, I'm working on becoming consecrated.  Being lead by the spirit (last transfer's focus) will help me do that, but if you have any suggestions feel free to send them to me :) Here's a story:  So, a pig and a chicken were debating about which made the greater contribution to the breakfast industry.  The chicken said, "Boy, I give eggs every day to that poor farmer.  I'd have to say that's a pretty big contribution/sacrifice." Then the pig said, "Sure, but I give it my all." Here's another one: A man walks up to a worker in a rock quarry and asks "What are you doing?" The worker said, "I'm cutting out this stone from the mountain." The man asks a second worker the same question and the worker replies, "I'm working to provide for my family." The man asks a third worker and this worker says ," I'm helping to build a temple of God." The third man was consecrated because he knew the divine purpose to his work.

"The church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni's always on the ball"
-Elder DuPlessis

I hope everyone has a great week!

I may have to skip a week with the blog.  We are going on vacation and I'm not sure we will have internet.  But, never fear, I will be back online as soon as we get back!  Thank you for all your support and interest in Hyrum's mission.  He is doing really good!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Zone Leader Lifestyle

Life has been crazy here in SLO (San Louis Obispo).  So, I'll explain mission leadership as far as I know.  (it's only been 6 days since I've been a zone leader).  The mission is divided into 8 zones and each zone is divided into 2 or 3 districts.  Each district has 6-12 missionaries (3-6 companionships).   District Leaders are responsible for the missionaries in their district.  They plan and conduct district meetings on Thursdays and they help solve conflicts (if there are any) in their district.  District Leaders collect "key indicator" numbers every week and report them to the Zone Leaders.  Zone Leaders authorize travel within the zone (outside of the missionaries' districts); we collect numbers from the district leaders every Saturday; we hold District Leader Councils; we solve bigger conflicts (there haven't been any); we go on exchanges (24-hour companion changes for training purposes) with the District Leaders and companions, we come up with zone goals; we got to MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) once a month; and we go on exchanges with the Assistants to the President!  Wow!  That was a handful of responsibilities in addition to being a good leader, example and missionary.  It's been exciting.  My follow-up trainer, Elder Walker, is a District Leader in "my" zone.

My first time in a YSA (Young Single Adult) ward was a new experience.  It's a bit odd being a missionary to people my age and return missionaries, but they really like us.  The ward isn't very big - probably 20 people there this week.  Lots of them are moving for the summer too, so our member resources are going to be low.

We did one hour of service this week.  There were lots of people moving because college is out, but not many people let us help.  That's okay.  We have some planned service next week.

FYI: the weather is beautiful.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

College is Out!

Elder Ruby didn't write much in his email this week.  He told me to expect a letter with more detail about what it is like to be a Zone Leader later in the week.  When I get the letter, I will share it with you:)

Here's what he wrote in his email:

There are a lot of prepared college kids out here.  The members are really good at sharing the gospel too.  Sadly, these past few weeks have been tough because of finals.  Also, probably 90% of the students here will be heading home or vacation for the summer.  We're not worried about finding people though.  Surely God has prepared/is preparing people who will stay.  He will lead us to htem or them to us.  We expect one of our investigators, who is leaving, to get baptized while he is back in Utah with his Mormon girlfriend. :)

 Elder Willis is a good missionary.  He is from Arizona.  I am going to kill him!  Haha.  In mission lingo, that means that I am his last companion before he finishes his mission (dies).  In some ways we are a lot alike: how we take a long time to make decisions (I swear I am getting better), and how we usually do what we are told, and we are polite to everyone.

I did 3 hours of service this week.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Zone Leader

I got a call from President Felix at 9:30 on Friday night telling me that I was being assigned to be a zone leader in San Louis Obispo! He told me that this assignment was definitely inspired.  Usually an Elder serves as a district leader before becoming a zone leader, but I trust this was God's will.  I am a bit nervous. Actually just unsure, but not worried or scared.  My new companion will be Elder Christopher Willis.  What is neat is 1) we are the only zone leaders who get a truck, 2) I will be in the same stake/zone as I was in Paso Robles, 3) I may get to go back to my old area when we do exchanges with the district leader there, and 4) I will be serving in the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward.  The only down-side is that I won't get fed very often because college kids don't have much money.  Here in Camarillo, the dinner calendar is already full for June!  I feel unqualified/inexperienced, but I trust that God wants me there and He will give me strength.  Surely, he has been preparing me.  I look forward to learning and growing  from Elder Willis in this new assignment.   Anyway, I am really excited.

There is so much about to happen here in Camarillo. I know I said this at the beginning of the transfer, but there is even more.  We have shared miracles that we have seen as we have followed the Spirit and now several members have shared amazing stories about being led by the Spirit to invite a friend to church or learn about what we believe!  Stephanie's baptism has started the ball rolling and we expect a lot of member missionary work to come. 

Stephanie and her family.

 Stephanie at her baptism.  An Elder who had taught her previously baptized her.

 Elder Ruby in Stephanie's "pool".

A church family who has connections to the Gillette area.