I am so confused. There were a lot of emails today. One of them from a Sister who was in my District last transfer, and then went to the MTC, and is now in Elder Ursaki's District there. Small world, especially in the Church, and especially on missions!
It was great to get your emails! Sounds like a fun week. We had a great week as well, but really only had two days in our area! Exchanges in Oxnard, MLC in Oxnard... Just a lot of things going on. Crazy to think that Elder Bradley is already home... Agggghhhh. Somehow, I am under ten weeks. INSANE.
Anyways, I like your idea about buying a home in Lethbridge! If you do that, I would have to consider moving out there. I think that would be way fun!
Well, we can go through the week...
Monday was nothing really special. Another P-Day. Had a great dinner with the Dalebout family. I think one of the best experiences for me being in this area for so long is the relationships I have been able to establish with so many people. I definitely love the wards I am in, and I can feel the love that the wards have for us!
Tuesday. We drove down to Oxnard early in the morning for our MLC. It was the most spiritual one I have been to. I really loved being there. We talked about our new focus, "Ignite the Fire Within." We are to become more dedicated and consecrated servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, and with that comes an unquenchable fire. One that consumes everything it touches. We have felt that in our area, it just seems like everything is working right now, which is a VERY nice change. We also received an announcement that Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be holding a Mission Conference for our mission on May 6th! We don't know why we are getting so lucky- having Elder Ballard come in December and now Elder Christofferson- but we are super excited.
Wednesday. We met with a member named Sister Farrar. Talked about the Plan of Salvation! She was really fun to meet with, asks some hard-hitting questions and is just trying to learn everything she can. I don't know if I told you, but we were told by the Missionary Department to not hold Zone Meetings anymore, so on Wednesday we had to hold a Council with the District Leaders to give them information from the MLC we had, so that they could relay the information in their District Meetings that Friday. So, we did that, and everything went well! I think we lost some of the fire that was in the meeting, but that was expected. We had a lesson with Alex that day, and we talked about Following the Prophet. She said that Mireya wants to be baptized as soon as possible, so we are looking to have that happen on May 6th. We went out with our WML in 1st ward after that, and went and visited the Fairbairn. It was neat, talked with the 13 year old kid named Sammy. He was practicing his lacrosse shot, and so I was messing around with shooting too. Shared a bit about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The youth in the three wards here were having a Joint Activity, watching the Best 2 Years, and so our YM President asked us to share our thoughts on why our missions have been the best 2 years. That was fun.
Thursday. We had our Weekly Planning Session in the morning, and then had a lesson fall through with Steve. He came to the door and didn't answer. Nothing more we can do, but he said he was reading the Book of Mormon before. Maybe one day he will be ready! Had a lesson with Margarita, and talked about the blueprint of Christ's Church. Elder McLawhorn is in love with that talk right now, and it went well when we used it! She loved it, and said she will pray over what we talked about. We had another lesson with Alex that night, and we talked about Tithing and Fasting. That went well, even had some oreos! Had correlation with our WML in 2nd Ward. Felt bad, we were so busy all week that we didn't have a lot of extra time to go out and make visits and such. Should be a different story this week though.
Friday. We had District Meeting in the morning. Before, with Zone Meetings, it was very easy to relay the information to everyone. What's funny is that we basically had a Zone Meeting. Our District Leader asked us to handle all of the information that was supposed to be given to the missionaries, and so that was fun. I talked about Ignite the Fire Within. Found some cool scriptures that went along with that. It was a very uplifting meeting. We saw Shane, a less-active man in the 2nd ward, and talked about his desire to go to the temple, and shared Moroni 9:6 with him. We then took the two hour drive to Oxnard again.... For our exchange with the Assistants!
Saturday was a fun day. I was with Elder Taufatofua. We came out together, but he's going home this transfer because he was a Spanish missionary, so he spent a transfer in the MTC. We had a lot of conversations about how crazy it was that we were at this point. Never crossed our minds while we were traveling together or in the Mission Home together that we would be on an exchange in Oxnard, him being an Assistant and me being a Zone Leader. We have both grown a ton, and it was very uplifting and refreshing to talk about our experiences together. He's a great friend. We saw a few people that day, and we also had to drive a spare phone down to Newbury Park. Had a very uplifting visit with the Kellerman's, and they pretty much ended up teaching us about Enduring to the End. It was great. Then had to drive all the way back to Nipomo. SO MUCH DRIVING.
Sunday was hectic. It's annoying, having two wards that majorly overlap. We missed most of our first Sacrament Meeting, and then went to the rest of church. Had a Stake Meeting, which was really great. Talked a lot about how we as missionaries can be out more with the members of the Stake. Had a lesson with Cruz afterwards about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he really enjoyed it. We got a lot of participation out of him, and he wants to be baptized! He is praying about a date right now.
Everything is awesome! I have a few scriptures in mind right now:
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." (Romans 13:12)
"And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 31:9)
Cast off the works of darkness. Ignite the Fire within!
"With perfect understanding of the challenges of our day, the Lord promises, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”5 We are children of God. Receiving light, continuing in God, and receiving more light are what we are created to do. From the very beginning, we followed the light; we followed our Heavenly Father and His plan. Seeking the light is in our spiritual DNA." (Mark A. Bragg)
Part of our divine identities is that we are children of LIGHT. Like Elder Bragg said, we have that light inside of us, and we continue to receive light until the perfect day! In an increasingly darkening world, the light of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will be shining brighter and brighter and brighter, and "[The Adversary] shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign." Ignite that fire. Let it burn within us, and let us consume everything we touch with the fire of the Holy Ghost, with the fire of the Covenant People of the Lord. That is our duty. And that is what will change this world, and truly prepare it for the Lord's Second Coming.
I sure love you all! Thanks for your prayers and continued devotion! Have an amazing week!
Here is Elder McLawhorn, Elder Swenson, Elder Taufatofua, and I. :)