So, in case you're wondering why I'm writing on Tuesday instead of Monday, it's because we got to have a member of the 70 come and tour our mission! Elder Corbridge and his wife came for a few days to help the mission. They did a fireside for new and returning members on Sunday night and then they had 2 zone conferences with half the mission in each of them yesterday and today. In case you're wondering if you've ever heard anything from a certain Elder Corbridge, you have! He spoke in the April Conference of this year and his talk was great! If you want to read it... https://www.lds.org/general-
you can click on the link :)
He also wrote a really famous talk that circulates among missionaries, it's called The Fourth Missionary. I read it towards the beginning of my mission and it change my perspective drastically. It's a good thing to review often. It's also 24 pages... but it's phenomenal. If you have the time to read it I would encourage you to do so.
Since I've last written a lot of things have happened. I went to mission leadership council, Halloween was last week, we went to a fireside in Houston Sunday night, and we had specialized zone conference with Elder Corbridge yesterday.... lots of meetings and trips to Houston. I think after tomorrow I will have spent 15 hours riding in a car to or from Houston in a week and a half. Oof. But, on the bright side, they've all been excellent meetings, we just live in the boonies.
So, to sum up what I've learned in everything that's happened...
We spent all day Saturday trying to coordinate this trip to this fireside on Sunday, but we ended up getting 2 full cars to go down with a couple members, us, 2 recent converts, and 3 investigators! :D We had a fun road trip and we all learned lots from the meeting.
Elder Corbridge mostly talked about our focus and on doing the best things. He talked of the profound regret that will come looking back on our lives when we see the wasted opportunities and lost potential. It hit me pretty hard and made me want to really focus on the best things. He talked about the Most Important Thing (MIT) that we need to understand, and that others need to understand, and that is "Through Christ we can be redeemed from sin, endowed with power and have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and eventually receive eternal life." I don't have my notes with me, so that's paraphrasing, but if you think about that statement as the 'why' as our destination, where we're going, and then you think about the 'how' or the route to get there (If you keep my commandments ye shall have my Spirit for example) then the conclusion of 'what' we do become pretty self explanatory. "I will keep the commandments so I can be forgiven, empowered and have eternal life." This works with any principle we teach, we first have to help others understand the MIT, the destination, the why.
Going along with that, in our leadership council we learned about helping our investigators understand revelation, and about being bold when inviting others to be baptized. As a STL I got the chance to go to that meeting and then teach the things we learned there to the rest of the missionaries in the zone. My companion and I practiced together and tried to demonstrate the power of that principle well. I thought we did a good job explaining it, and having practiced that in our area we had "moral authority" which means we were doing it, so people could believe us more.
I wish I had more time to write and send some pictures our our ward halloween party. We got to go for a bit because we had some investigators there and there were some great costumes, maybe I'll get to that next week. Everybody is doing well! We met some great new people last week. Jacob is getting baptized this Saturday! Life is good. I'd invite you to consider the things you spend your time on and where your focus is. Think of a lake vs a river. The latter has greater focus and because of that it leaves a much greater effect on the world than a lake does. What are the best things in our life? Are we focusing on what will make our life better? How can we help those around us do the same?
One of the things I saw emphasized over and over in both Sunday night and Monday was this, "The Lord expects you to make a difference. To be fruitful." One of the purposes of our life is gaining salvation, but another very important part of it is helping others do the same. Blessing lives. That was a huge reason why I came on a mission. How can you bless lives where you are?
Sorry my thoughts are so scattered today!