Mission Leadership Council is always awesome. I learn so much and always leave wanting to be better, but also having ideas and ways to do that and principles to focus on in helping lift, encourage, inspire, and bless others, especially other missionaries. Something we're trying to focus more on is keeping track of all our new converts and making sure they are getting follow up lessons and care and attention and love and a calling after they're baptized. The ultimate goal is receiving all the blessings of the temple, so we're tracking their progress until they get there. Another part of that is helping them to find the joy that comes from sharing the gospel, especially since they are such a ripe source of finding. They have tons of non-member friends and we need to be asking about that. Most of the time when I go hear President speak it's things that should have been startlingly obvious to me, but that don't really come to mind till he talks about it.. and then I'm like, "oh, duh! why haven't I always been doing it that way?" It happens all the time. #3 is focusing more on the Book of Mormon as the tool for missionary work. Picture working in a wheat field. If we're gathering them in, the Book of Mormon = the sickle. There's no way we can gather effectively without it. So I'm trying to focus on that more and help those around me realize the importance of that too.
Thanksgiving was super awesome. It's different being away from home and comfortable traditions, but it's fun to be with new people and see new traditions. It was warm enough that we ate Thanksgiving outside. I don't know how many of you can say that :P But we were at the house of Brooke, one of our recent converts and her family (22 of them there at the house), Brooke, Melane, and 8 missionaries. It was super fun. Some of the dishes were different than home, but still good, and let me tell you, Texans know how to do their meat. They had 3 turkeys and a ham and 1 of the turkeys and the ham were slow cooked in a smoker for hours--mmhmm and then they fried 2 of the turkeys--whole turkeys in a fryer. Soo good. It was good to be with so many friendly people and learn new traditions.
So Maddie came to the Mission President's Fireside last week and loved it and has since been meeting with the family ward missionaries. She and her husband went to church this Sunday in the family ward. I am beyond excited that they are learning and growing and for the truth and light and happiness they are finding, and I am so happy for Melane for having family learning about the gospel after some of the initial opposition she had. The Lord works in simple ways :)
The biggest miracle of this week is probably Laci though. 2 of our members, Blythe and Brian met her at an inter-faith dinner. Laci has a boyfriend on a mission and was excited to learn more. So we got in contact with her and she came to church and we met her and she stayed all 3 hours, and then we talked after church for 2.5 hours! We were waiting to teach the Restoration till Blythe and Brian could be there in the evening, so we just answered questions and talked about the Godhead and ended up going over the baptismal interview questions and setting a baptismal date before we had even taught the first lesson! She is so funny and thoughtful and enthusiastic and eager to learn. As we talk about things they "just make sense" It is so wonderful to be able to teach her and I only met her yesterday, albeit we had 2 lessons totaling 4 hours :P
I am also grateful for the Christmas season and the additional opportunities it gives us to share our beliefs with others. What a wonderful time of year, and what a wonderful message we have. The church has put a lot of effort into the #SharetheGift initiative, so hop on board! Discover, Embrace, Share! christmas.mormon.org has the video, it's on youtube. Check out Youtube Dec 7th, the church will be the main ad. Whoo!! :D Let me know how your sharing goes this season and who you can touch or what miracles you see.