So this last week was a great week! We started it off with a great MLC with all the mission leaders. And it was great because we brought up a lot of great discussions on different things we are working on as a mission and how we can accomplish those things. All of the leaders were participating which was making it a great revelatory experiences as we came to conclusions of what we should do to be more effective.
Alot of the week was interviews with the different missionaries. So we would help present training as President interviews each missionary. Now 3 months ago when we did this it was a bit more exhausting. And the reason for that was we taught the entire training which was about 4 hours long, and we did the same training 26 times over the course of 11 days. Luckily this time around we are giving a much smaller training. And it is also much more hands on. We do peer reviews for lesson outlines as well a lot of role playing. We have been trying to help many of the missionary become more effective through working with members and also setting meaningful and realistic goals. Now we have split the training between us and the zone leaders and sister training leaders.
Wednesday was our first day that we did interviews and we got there about 1 hour late. We had to run to the mission office real quick to pick up some supplies for other missionaries. And right outside the mission office was a guy that had high centered his car. Hafer rd. is a very small road, and on the side it has ditches that go down about feet. And so we decided that we would get out and try to help him move his car up. So we were in our suits in a ditch trying to help this person. And this guy only spoke Spanish so we had a harder time communicating. Just the two of us were able to move the car forward about 10 feet, and we had the car in a spot that it would be easier to push out. So we also called two more missionaries that lived in our same apartment and they came and helped. We had some police officers that drove by and then turned around to come and help with traffic. But we were able to get this car out safely, it just took a little longer than we expected.
It was cool because the Spanish elders were able to get the guys information, and then the police officer that was helping direct came and talked with us. She invited us to this big police department/ community party. She said they would do a little barbecue and then we would be able to meet new people. So that was a great way to start the morning. We got to interviews, had mud on our shoes and suit pants, and we were ready to go train on effective member missionary work! :)
The rest of the week was just more interview sessions until Friday. We were able to leave the 2nd interview session early so we could go to a ward service project. We went over to a library near the temple and helped set up tables and chairs and other things for this event called Creek Fest. It basically is a big event where kids can come and then they can do arts and crafts. We were able to serve there for about 3 hours.
Our mission is really wanting to emphasize being out in the community more each week doing meaningful service. Also the church has just come out with a new website that is called justserve.org. And it is a website where you can find all kinds of different service opportunities. It is so great because of the fact that when we are out serving people recognize us and talk with us. When we serve we do not openly proselytize. If someone asks us questions then we can freely answer. But while were were serving we are just as happy as can be!
And it was funny because we were having a great time serving and talking with people, and the person who was head over the service project came up to me and said, " who are you people? Y'all are just so nice and friendly and you work hard?" It was so simple but we were just able to explain how we were missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and then explained how we just love service opportunities and helping out in any possible way that we can! They expressed to us how grateful they were, and it was just a great experience.
And then to just finish off the week we were able to watch general conference! This is like my favorite time each year! I love being able to sit down and listen to what he prophets and apostles teach us. I know I came out of all the session just feeling so motivated and happy! And there were a couple of great themes that I was able to see! I loved how much they talked about prophets and apostles and sustaining them. There were so many talks that discussed that. There were also many talked about gaining this testimony through studying the scriptures and then asking God.
Now through out the sessions we were able to have a couple of people who are not of our faith join us for general conference. And specifically one of the girls we have met with a couple times came. And before hand she said she didn't really have any basic belief in God. And so then right at the end of conference when Elder Bednar spoke it was just the cherry on top. He did such a great job at discussing the role of missionaries and why members invite their friends. I also just love the boldness of his talk and the love that you could feel as he spoke.
I just have such a strong testimony about prophets and apostles! I know that they Gods mouthpiece here on the earth and are the way that we can learn more full how to stay on the path that leads back to the presence of our Father in Heaven. I love the idea that Elder Neil Anderson talked about in his talk about how for those who may not have a testimony of Joseph Smith, now is the time to get one. And he also explained how can also strengthen our testimony of Joseph Smith.
I loved the idea of how he said to read Joseph Smith History, and record it as you read and listen to it time and time again. And then read then how as we read the Book of Mormon we and pray with a sincere heart we can come to the knowledge that Joseph Smith was a Prophet here in the last days. This is something that I am going to try to do. I have a strong testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but the great thing is we can always strengthen our testimonies that much more! I would just invite each of you to strengthen your testimony of prophets and apostles.
There is a variety of ways to do this. You can start by doing just as Elder Anderson counseled and read the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. You can also then read the Book of Mormon as a family and pray to ask God if Joseph Smith was a Prophet. I promise you as you do this that you will come to the knowledge and and even stronger knowledge that Christ's original church was established back to the Earth through Joseph, I know this to be true.
I also promise you as you make this a priority in your families and as y'all strive to do this that you will find more peace and happiness with in your families. And you will know with an even greater knowledge that we are being led by a living modern day prophet and apostles! That is so comforting to know! I am so grateful for this knowledge and I know that to be true!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen