Well this weeks has probably been the craziest most stressful week of my whole mission, but at the same time one of the best.
Monday I was with Elder Stewart for an exchange. He is my zone leader companion, but not the companion I am with everyday. So while we were on exchanges we were able to have some great experiences.
Tuesday we had mission leadership council, which is where all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders meet together with the President and Assistants. It was probably one of the most spiritual meetings I have been in. It is so cool because you really get to understand how the mission works, and how God uses us to help accomplish His great work. We had a great training, and we just discussed the needs of each zone and the needs of the mission. We went over our mission standards for this next year, and we are ready to elevate to the vision that the mission president has for us. But MLC was nice cause it wasn't just a meeting but it truly was a council where we all talked and were able to help each other out. So I came off on a spiritual high from that meeting.
Afterwards we had lunch at the mission home and then went over to the mission office for supplies, and then to a church building that was close. We then took a couple hours to plan zone meeting. And between me, the other zone leader, and the sister training leader we prepared a meeting that we were excited to have. Well by the time we got back to the area that night it was 6 ish and we just decided to skip dinner and get to work with trying to find new people. So we went street contacting at the mall and actually had some great opportunities to talk with different workers and even some members we ran into. But that was a long day and I was completely exhausted.
Wednesday I had to leave the area again, now with the new district leader to go to a new leadership training meeting. It was good to hear about how we can do better, and the spirit was defiantly there. After this meeting we went back to the mission office, and the district leader had to take a test so that he could be able to drive here in Texas. So while he was doing this I was with the AP's helping them out with some little things. So I really enjoyed being able to do that.
Well just like the day before we didn't get back to our areas until later that evening. So then we just got back to work trying to find more people. We got back that night and again was just had no energy, but then I had to make calls and make sure everything was ready for Adrianns Baptism. I had been calling all week trying to set things up, and there were scheduling issues that came up after I had scheduled the building and it was just phone call after phone call trying to get everything worked out. I was also making calls out to the zone to help them prepare for the zone meeting that we were going to have. Finally after being on the phone for almost an hour it look like things were beginning to work out.
Thursday was my first real day in the area for this week. But we had weekly planning, and were working on ways to better find those out here are prepared. So we kept praying and were looking for ways we could help out investigators to progress. We also had our weekly meeting with the bishop. And half way through the meeting we paused and went across the street to a house that there children had bought, and helped them to get a dryer moved in. The moving people did most of it, but after I was able to talk to them briefly.
That is one of the big things that I have been trying to get better at. I have been trying to go and just talk to every one that I can. Even though there are those times that I am scared about bringing it up with some people I have been trying to work through that. But I am slowly getting better. And it makes me feel good even when I just am able to invite them to listen. Even if they don't accept, I know that I have done my part. I know that they will still have chances to listen to the gospel eventually. This gospel is such a great thing that we experience and we should be striving to share it with others. The Lord is Hastening his work, and I feel that this year we really will begin to see the work here in Houston just explode. It is truly a prepared place and we will see so many miracles!
Friday was the first zone meeting that I have helped teach. The spirit was defiantly there though. We talked about the new standards for the mission. And the first standard is baptize weekly. Now some of you may look at this and think that it isn't possible, but with the Lord it is absolutely possible. We may not be at the mindset needed for this to happen this very second but in the coming months we will work as hard as we can to get there.
I have a testimony that this is true. The work really will begin to grow here in Houston and so many people will be blessed because of this. But we are also needing the help of the members. This is the only way that we will be able to accomplish this. And I know the same goes where you are. Please pray for missionary experiences. The members need to be the full time finders and the missionaries the full time teachers. Last conference we heard this through out many of the talks, and I would just invite you to continue trying to spread the gospel with friends and family. It will bless your life just as much as it can bless the lives of others.
So with that being said, the rest of zone meeting went well. And the rest of that day we just went around to go and visit with members, and with anyone we could talk with. We tried to go to a Less Actives home and he wasn't there. I noticed that there were some people that were in the street, and usually probably not worry about trying to talk with them, but like I said I really am striving to talk with everyone, so I built up the courage and just started walking towards them, and started sharing the gospel with them. They didn't up up being interested, but I felt good that I was able to do that. And I know that later on if they want to learn more they certainly can.
Saturday we went and were pulling some weeds for a member that needed some help. And then just figured out the last details for Adrianns Baptism. And then that night we were able to watch her get baptized. It was a really good baptismal service, and were had 3 of our other investigators there. And we had so many members show up to the baptism so she defiantly felt welcome. The spirit was there and it was just great to be able to see how happy Adrianns is. Again, the best thing about being a missionary is being able to see that change in the people you teach. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can all become better and happier. It allows all of us to change! What a blessing it is to us.
I was able to confirm Adriann in Church, and that was a cool experience for me. And just another great day. Before church was even over Adriann came and found us and asked how she could get a limited use recommend for baptisms for the dead. We haven't really talked to her as much about this and she is dying to be able to go do work for the dead! She is truly prepared and will make a great member!
Other then that we just went and visited with members that day, and tried to get Elder Peterson introduced with more of the ward.
This week was kind of crazy, but it was defiantly worth it. We got to see so many miracles this week it has been incredible!
Well I hope y'all have a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen