We had a really good week, thank you very much. Yes we did go to "This Is Kirtland!" on Saturday. It was really cool, and very professionally done. I didn't see the Butterfields there, but we sat by President and Sister Sorensen. It was in the cultural hall at the stake center (which is only about a mile from the Kirtland sites). I have introduced myself to the Butterfields, but I didn't remember to tell them that I live by the Britos.
I had meetings in Cleveland Thursday and Friday (and will again this week Wednesday and Thursday) with the rest of the mission leadership. It struck me over and over again that I will likely never again be able to associate with people of the same caliber as the elders and sisters in that room again in my life after my mission. First of all, where are you going to find a group of 20-year olds who can sit through a 7-hour meeting (with an hour-long lunch break) about teaching the gospel and be scribbling like crazy and hanging off of every word for so long and wish that it would not have to end? Not to mention the great, inspired comments, questions, and testimonies. The meetings were about some changes that the missionary department is making and what we need to do. Zone Conferences and Interviews will now be quarterly instead of every 6 weeks, which is good. I always feel like we have too many meetings and not enough time to work. Also, the MTC is changing it's curriculum to simplify it and focus on some more important points of PMG next year in May and the missions have to make some changes to be prepared. It's amazing how it seems like even the church and the missionary department seem to always be learning about Preach My Gospel. It was definitely written on the other side of the veil, and it is as multilayered as the scriptures and the 2nd most correct book on earth.
So Elder and Sister McQueen, a senior couple, came to our place this morning for an apartment check. Sister McQueen, a very motherly individual, said "Well done, Elders, it looks great. Your mothers would be proud." How's that for a mighty change of heart? I thought you'd like that, Mom.
Well, have fun at the cabin. Careful with the chainsaws. You can see the scarring on my pinky finger but the only really blatant scar is the one on my wrist. haha...thanks for keeping me up to date on all Delaney's 'social engagements'. Isn't it so cool how you have an instant network of connections as soon as you join the church? That's pretty cool how the guy from Mark & Lori's ward had someone from the church here waiting to pick him up at the airport. I love hearing the cool stories about that stuff. Mormons rock at coordinating!
That's kind of weird to think of Delaney driving by herself or driving Cody and Peyton. Is she nervous at all? Probably not, huh. What is "mission"? I don't know if I've ever heard of that game before.Whatever, Delaney, you probably aced the AP Spanish test. I'll bet you got a 6!
So Elder O'Donley's parents sent him this:
The Way It Is
A Mission President:
leaps tall buildings in a single bound
is faster than a speeding bullet
is more powerful than a locomotive
walks on water
associates with God
An Assistant to the President:
leaps short buildings in a single bound
is just as fast as a speeding bullet
is more powerful than a switch engine
walks on water in calm seas
talks with God
A Zone Leader:leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds
is faster than a decelerating bullet
is slightly less powerful than a switch engine
walks on water in indoor swimming pools
talks with God if special request is approved
A District Leader:
barely clears a mud hut
can fire a speeding bullet
loses tug-of-wars with locomotives
is occasionally addressed by God
A Senior Companion:
makes high marks on the wall when trying to jump buildings
can usually handle a gun without inflicting self-injury
gets run over by locomotives
talks to animals
A Junior Companion:
runs into walls
is not issued ammunition
can recognize a locomotive 2 out of 3 times
can stay afloat with a life jacket
talks to walls
trips over doorsteps
says "look at the choo-choo!"
wets himself with a water pistol
plays in mud puddles
mumbles to himself
A Sister Missionary:
lifts up buildings and walks under them
catches bullets in her teeth and eats them
kicks locomotives off the tracks
freezes water with a single glance
I thought it was funny
Steven's doing alright, but he's only made a little progress on smoking. He came to church yesterday, though, and he's been reading the book of mormon and praying. His baptismal date is no longer July 31st because you have to be clean from smoking for 3 weeks to get baptized. We haven't reset his date yet.Bro. and Sis. Hanny don't have callings yet, but they're active. Mission accomplished. Now it's mostly up to the ward to support them. We're not going to actively teach them anymore - they don't need it and their home teachers can take care of them now. (We took their hometeachers with us for several appointments to help them get started.)
Great news! It has been revealed to President Sorensen that we now need to wake up at 6:30 instead of 6:15. It may be a tough adjustment, but I will go and do what the Lord hath commanded. I know that the Lord will provide a way for me to accomplish this thing which He hath commanded and give me the strength to sleep for 15 extra minutes every day.
Patty Wrote: "When you said last week that it was your fault everyone slept in because you didn't get up one morning until 6:40 - I don't believe that the Lord would use your investigators to punish you for that! And since when do you use a cell phone for an alarm clock? I know we bought you an alarm clock! Wow - did that sound like a typical mom comment or what?"
No, the Lord wasn't punishing us, we just didn't exercise the faith to be obedient to the law upon which the promise in Malachi 3 and 3 Nephi 24 that He will "pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to recieve it." is predicated. Keeping the Morning Schedule is how missionaries pay tithing. And yes, that is a typical mom comment! It is just the mission culture that everyone uses the cell phones to get up, I guess. It's just what you do.
Well, now that I'm not serving in Cleveland and can't just go into the mission office whenever I want, I don't see as much of President Sorensen. I saw him Saturday at the play, Thursday and Friday at leadership meetings in Cleveland, Tuesday when he had a meeting with the ZLs at the same time and in the same building as our district meeting, and a couple weeks ago at both interviews and zone conference.
I'm kind of surprised you know what hump day is, Mom. Yes, I will be burning a shirt for hump day. I'll take some pictures for you. I'm guessing the tradition is to burn it on that exact day, but that doesn't always work. Yes, I'll burn an unusable shirt. I had to slice up one of my old long-sleeved shirts to make some "tie-buddies" so that's the one that will burn. A tie buddy is made of two button-holes of a shirt and it goes through the loop on your tie and keeps it from flying over your shoulder, etc.
Yeah, I am pretty scared by how fast the time is going. I feel like I just got to this area last week, Toledo was a two or three day blur, and I left Cleveland about a month ago. The MTC experience and civilian life just seem like a vague dream.
Elder Matthew Smith