13 September 2011
First of all, Happy Birthday to Nik. Pitty he had to work sick.
I'll remember to keep an eye/ear out for Elder Andreason. If I meet him, I'll be sure to introduce myself.
As for Dad's hand - that's my pop. Always toughing things out and never tending to his own wounds like he should. He and Jerry will be in my prayers, and I hope all goes well with them and they make full recoveries.
Now that is quite the number - 54 missionaries from our stake alone. I'm proud of the other young people like me that have made the decision to serve their Lord and proclaim his word. And I have some spiritually uplifting thoughts of my own:
Yesterday was our Mission Conference. We had a special guest speaker, which usually doesn't happen. This speaker was Elder Evans, a member of the seventy who is currently assigned as one of the executive officers over the missionary department.
He spoke a great deal about the fundementals of Preach My Gospel, and about the new curriculum being taught at the MTC. He also spoke about a missionary's duty and roles. Our true purpose is to live, and help others live, by the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also gave some warnings and counsel. Too many missionaries focus so much on Christ (which in and of itself is basically a good thing) that, unfortunately, the principle of a loving Heavenly Father is almost completely overlooked, which is one of the most crucial pieces in our message. If God didn't love us, why would he reach out to us through prophets? Or why would he have even sent Jesus Christ to atone for us as he did? We need to remember that God is our Heavenly Father, and that he LOVES us. The other warning is that too often, missionaries will focus on the numbers associated with convert baptisms. Baptisms are a wonderful thing and are very good. But there is no way to count the other lives we can change. As representatives of Jesus Christ, and as missionaries of his restored gospel, we must also be effectively involved in what President Monson has referred to as "the Rescue". We must help to strengthen the members, especially those who are inactive or less-active. Our duty is to invite all, members and non, to follow Christ and come closer to their loving Heavenly Father.
That is what I was able to learn from hearing an inspired servant of the Lord. I hope to be able to learn much more before my mission is through.
PS: I would really love copies of the two Grand Nationals (semi-finals) performances I was part of. I would also like to make sure I have a picture of both AF my senior year and a picture of LP the year I worked with them (one where they have their hats on). If you can find one, I would also really like a copy of LP's regional performance ... I know those tapes and pictures can get expensive, so I don't expect them. But if we can afford it, those are the ones I would really like.