This week was also a bit slower for the work itself. Because we spent two days in the leadership meetings and a lot of time trying to get the Stake President's report for February completed, we didn't have a whole lot of proselyting time. But as always, I'm amazed by how much the Lord can get done with limited time! We still were able to teach a lot of people, even if they weren't who we expected to teach.
We did get to watch Joseph Smith: the Prophet of the Restoration with Mariela. It's such a spiritual movie! It always winds up leaving me on the brink of tears. >_< Mariela loved it; she said "He was definitely a prophet: I think God chose him because of all the things he suffered. Not everyone can go through all that: I couldn't!" She didn't make it to church this week, but hopefully she keeps moving on forward!
The Stake President's report was awesome. President Jones is really on top of things. He already knew a lot about the investigators the missionaries have been teaching, and he was quick to suggest things they can do to help them progress. President Castro also attended, and was very excited to see all the work being done and how the split of the two Zones was inspired. By way of showing that: Compared to the last stake report, our Zone had more people progressing and with a date than the old combined Zone, and so did the English Zone! The work has doubled in a single month!
I thought about things I could write this week; and I want to share a bit about the Culture of the Great California Ventura Mission. In this mission, we focus on the scripture Alma 53:20: "And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valient for courage and also for strength and activity. But behold this was not all, they were young men who were true at all times, in whatsoever thing they were entrusted." We liken ourselves to them, and seek to follow that example. To do that, we recite and seek to live five "areas of focus" that President Castro has identified : 1) We are Preach My Gospel Missionaries 2) We Baptize 3) We obey with Exactness 4) We seek to be Trusted more than Loved and 5) We teach with Power and Authority. I love these five things: they truly highlight how to be an effective missionary, and by changing the wording just a little, you can highlight how to live the Gospel no matter our calling or assignment. 1) We follow Preach My Gospel because it's the Lord's way; why bother with anything else? 2) We know and fulfill our purpose 3) Anything less than exact obedience is disobedience; and if that choice is a conscious one, it's rebellion. God's word should be our LAW 4) God loves all his children, but he cannot trust all of them. It is easy to seek love for we already have that. It is a hard thing to gain trust, but that is the entire point of our lives. 5) We recognize the authority we have been given, and we demonstrate the power of God by living what we teach.
Just some cool stuff. ;) Also, I met a family from Arriega Chiapas. Did Dad ever serve there?
I'm glad you got the package. Some fun stuff is in there! I know I didn't get the camera card off, but I will soon: I've got to write up the explanations.
I love you all, and hope everything is going well. I'm super happy that Mom's procedure went well, although I hope they find a treatable answer soon. Keep up the good work!
Elder Matthew David Clough