So this week has been one of the busiest weeks yet, but it has been so good! Well as many of you know we had our new mission president fly in on Monday! And he is going to be so great!! He is so excited about the work, and he is all about raising the vision for this mission! I am so excited to see what will happen!!
I feel so blessed to be able to be serving at this time in my life!! I feel just how much this gospel has blessed me in my life and it just makes me so happy to be able to be serving and to be able to help others experience the joy that comes through Christ's restored Church!
Well I am going to have to be pretty short this week, we got pulled in for some meetings this morning so we are very limited on time. Well Monday after President Mortensen flew in we came back to the mission office and we had a great dinner with the Pingrees and the Mortensens. We got to get to know them a little bit better, but then after that night we were getting pictures with the both of them.
From there we went to a family home evening in our ward where some of our investigators were. But that is mainly what we did for Monday. I will admit though, it was very hard to say goodbye to the Pingrees, but I know they they have blessed this mission and the missionaries so much, and I know that the Mortensens will do the same for this mission, and the work of the Lord will go forward and will continue to hasten! What a great blessing that is!
Tuesday night we met one on one with President Mortensen and he began to lay out his vision for the mission! By the time we were out of his house we were both filled with the spirit so strong that we were ready to just hit the ground running again!! We both felt like the spirit was so strong the our hair was on fire!! He went over a lot of the importance of really why we are out here as missionaries.
He asked us what our biggest key indicator of our success was. Now some people would say it would be baptisms. But he went on to explain that our success is based on how many people we are getting to church. Now when I say this I mean church attendance as a whole. Not just how many investigators we get to church, but how many souls we are bring there to renew there covenants. That is the whole point of church, it is to go and to continually renew our covenants with God so we can become clean again and continue walking on the path that leads back to him. These were the exact same thoughts I had at the beginning of my mission. But when President brought them back up again it helped me to again feel the spirit and the truth of that!!
We should all keep this in our minds. Even if you are not our bringing new people into the church, you have a sacred responsibility to do your visiting and home teaching faithfully!! Now faithfully doesn't just mean stopping by and saying hi, but helping them to be nourished by the good word of God. We read our of D&C 20 about what home teaching is, and why its important, and we also see this principle in Moroni Chapter 6. And if we have less actives or other members who are going through hard times it is our duty to help them, and make sure they are getting to church to renew these covenants. Trials and struggles are apart of our lives, but they also can be the catalysts that lead to lasting conversion as we rely on our father in Heaven and work as hard as we can to keep the promises we have made with him.
I know that as we work hard to help those we have stewardship over, we will be blessed! I know that to be true, and I am so excited to be able to see the change that will take place in this mission! President Pingree laid the foundation for the mission, and now it is time to build upon that!
The rest of the week we had introduction conferences! We went around to different parts of the mission to introduce the Mortensen family, and that is where President began to share some of his ideas that will help this mission become even more productive. We also read a passage out of the Book of Mormon. We read Alma 17 & 18, I don't have much time to talk about it, but I would invite all of you to read this and ponder on the message we get from this story, and next week when I have more time I will talk about what I had learned! Look for the symbolism.
We have also been able to meet with Kyle some more this week, and he is continuing to progress! 2 days ago he read until Alma 39, yesterday he was in Alma 55, and as of this morning he is in Ether 8. He is going through it so fast and he is comprehending all of it! And the spirit is really taking hold and teaching and testifying to him that what he is doing is true! I am so grateful for the power that the spirit brings into my life! I know that it is because of the Holy Ghost that we can find comfort, it is because of it that there is guidance and a way to receive answers to our prayers! It is such a huge blessing that I am grateful for!
( This is me, Kyle and Elder Hillebrant at the temple! )
I am sorry this is so short again, but I hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen