I'm hoping that these changes and updates from back home does not distract you too much and that you're still putting in your full heart and focus with the mission work. Remember to stay focused doing the Lord's work. The Lord will make sure that everything for you with education will all come into place.
Sounds good. I'm pretty focused out here. :)
So far so good. My companion right now is on his last transfer. The Missionary Department just recently put out a new program called MyPlan designed to help missionaries transition into post-mission life. From what I understand, they haven't quite rolled out everything, but they have the part for a missionary's last 6 weeks up. I hear they're intending to have a little training module to be completed each 6 months throughout your mission, concluding with 6 modules that you do the last 6 weeks. I'm really enjoying ribbing Elder Meise about how he's almost "dead." [going home when mission ends]
Yeah, I'm not too worried about education at this point. Not really sure how I'm going to transition back into Linear Algebra or whatever, but that's a bridge to be crossed another day.
Pray to him always for guidance and express your concerns to Him. He is very, very aware of all your thoughts, your joys, your concerns, frustrations, and willingness to do things. I remember being told: "Do not just pray for missionary opportunities, also pray for the courage to do those missionary opportunities." I've seen many of these happen while on my mission that miracles can and do happen. That quote, I'm not sure if it is by Elder Cook or Elder Bednar. Brother Crowther made that same quote recently on Sunday when we were discussing in Branch Council about missionary work and the Elders assigned with our branch.
You're in Branch Council? That's pretty cool. Are you there on behalf of Primary, or Institute, or both?
That's a really good quote about not just praying for missionary opportunities, but for the courage to take advantage of them.
That need for courage is especially true for members. When on a mission, the mantle of missionary is on the shoulders and the promptings are generally stronger. As members not serving full time missions, we do not have the same mantle, but we still have a similar mandate to help seek for those who are looking for His truth. The ability to know when to "open our mouths" (or hands in the case of the deaf) to share with others can be daunting at times and require courage to follow through.
Missionary work in language units (eg ASL branches) is pretty different, considering the missionaries can't really just go tracting (not that they could tract effectively in Utah, anyway). Pretty much the only effective way to find people to teach is through the members.
This missionaries will be coming to dinner this Tuesday. My mind has been thinking about possible menu choices. It has been snowing last night and this morning, but it seems the snow has slowed down a bit. It is supposed to snow all day and tomorrow. Hopefully the missionaries should be able to make it to our home tomorrow night. We have about two inches so far.
If those missionaries are worth their salt, which I'm sure they are, they'll invite the Spirit into our home by sharing a message and ask if the Spirit's indicated anyone to you guys that could benefit from some kind of invitation. Perhaps a good way to prepare would be to pray for the Spirit's guidance in preparation of the missionaries' visit. I wish that's something members did in preparation for our visits out here. If anyone comes to mind when they visit (or perhaps in the days following), I hope you or the rest of the family do something about it. :)
Somehow, up here in the frozen north, it's been unusually warm. It dipped down to -15 deg Celsius a few weeks back and we got a foot or so of snow, but the weather's warmed up since then and has hardly dipped below freezing. It sounds like you have more snow down south in the desert of Utah than we have up here now.
hope you got your two packages. I'm not sure if you got the birthday one already, or if your mission is holding that to give to you along with the Christmas package. There was an email that said packages would be distributed at the two zone/mission conferences. Perhaps you had the conferences already. How were these conferences and did you learn something that is really inspiring and motivating?
Yes. This last week I got the birthday package from the family, the Christmas package from the family, the Christmas package from the branch, and a Christmas package from the Jarvis family. Looks like everything arrived safely. :)
It was the special Christmas Zone Conference, so we sang a bajillion Christmas songs, including a rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas that probably ended up on the Canada Toronto Mission Facebook page. Not sure how it'll be labeled, but I'm in the Sudbury Zone right now, so that'll probably help you find me.
Something pretty interesting happened this Conference. The Abitibi Branch that was just across the mission boundaries in Quebec merged with the Temiskaming Branch (that Elder Meise and I were coverning) something like 2 weeks ago. I think I mentioned that, but I'm not quite sure. Anyway, with the branches merging, the Canada Toronto Mission inherited 4 French-assigned missionaries that were serving in the Abitibi Branch. Since the Montreal Quebec Temple has been closed for renovations until just barely, those missionaries haven't attended the temple since coming out to the mission field. So, our Mission President authorized the Sudbury Zone to attend the temple while we were there in Brampton.
Did we learn much at Conference? Honestly, not really. Apart from a good message on light being a symbol of Christ (similar to Bednar's Christmas Devotional talk), there wasn't much instruction given. It was a pretty strange Conference. Normally we practice teaching people and role-play. This Conference, we didn't role-play at all. Most of our time was spent reading about prophecies of Christ's birth and singing. I think we sang all 15 Christmas songs in the hymn book, and then some.