21 January 2017
As I type this, I'm watching a heavy snow fall, and everything I see out our window is covered in a blanket of white. We're supposed to get up to 4 inches, and, since this was predicted, we ran errands last night so we wouldn't have to go out today.
The only big excitement this week is that Bob fell on the ice yesterday. He’s kinda bruised, but mostly, he wrenched his bad knee, and has gotten some treatment for that. He’ll be sore for a few days. He’s been cautioning everyone else in our zone to be careful walking on the ice, but, he was hurrying, and said that he forgot that he, too, is old, and needed to be careful himself!
Yesterday we got to attend another “Go Forth” meeting, where the mission president tells new missionaries what their assignments will be. (We’re happy to get one new missionary – it’s better than none – but, we had three FTMs go home this week, so we wish we could have more.) At this meeting, President Tate likes to share from the missionary journal of Claudius V. Spencer, who was called on a mission to England in the early days of the church – and later, on his way back from England, led a company of saints to Salt Lake City. I’ve searched for Claudius V. Spencer’s missionary journal with no luck (though I found a little about the company he led west and, also excerpts from an earlier journal, before his mission) so, I’ll have to ask Pres. Tate if I can get a copy of what he has. (He may have gotten it from the Church History Library, which is currently closed for renovations.) Claudius was a bit like Jonah, in the Old Testament – he tried to avoid being called on a mission, and, then, went very reluctantly to that mission, once called. Eventually, he caught the vision of what the Lord had for him to do and was very successful, but it’s interesting to hear his experience in his own words. (Pres. Tate usually says he hopes no one in that room is feeling like Claudius about their assignment, and he relates some of the inspiration, and, guidance from the spirit, that goes into determining each assignment.)
Last Sunday we received the materials for our mission reading challenge for the next 13 weeks. Wow!! What a wonderful course of study!!! It’s something President Tate put together for our mission and the theme is “Christ in You”
We’re reading from the New Testament, from Jesus the Christ, and, from a selected group of talks assembled into a booklet for us. The talks are from a variety of Church leaders -- mostly apostles and prophets -- but, also people like Stephen R. Covey, Sheri L. Dew, and Daniel H. Ludlow. All of them are meant to help us draw closer to our Savior. What a blessing to have these!
Since, as a mission, we don’t have to follow the same course of study as the rest of the Church, we’re also using these readings (which are broken down by week) for Sunday School and for Relief Society and Priesthood.
In Sunday School, we’ll focus on the scriptures and the readings from Jesus the Christ, and in RS/Priesthood, we’ll be taught from the talks assigned for the week.
Our sacrament meeting talks will also be on topics related to that week’s readings. I don’t know what we’ll be doing after Easter, but, these next few months will be awesome!
The zone leader role, as I’ve mentioned before, continues to expand, so Bob will not only be teaching some of the Sunday lessons, but, will assign all the sacrament meeting talks for specific months, and, will also assign and assist people from our zone in providing talks, and the sacrament, to members who are in a nearby Elder Care facility.
We already feel like we spend most days going from meeting to meeting, coordinating with staff for their needs, holding periodic interviews with each missionary in our zone, and attending to other details. And, we’re also trying to have occasional, fun, “team-building” activities with our zone. (It takes extra time to plan and develop those, so we finally got an assistant zone leader and wife to help with that.) Plus, some of the sisters in our zone who speak English-as-a-second-language often need extra help with things. . .
I guess that’s why we’re here, though! It’s good to be busy!