Sunday, August 5, 2012

Time is flying by!

Wow, I'm constantly amazed at how quickly time is going by! It's already August, which scares me out of my mind, but it's all good, I'm slowly putting myself in a deepening stage of denial about the fact that time is moving by, so my mind is currently convinced that it's actually May or June. Anyways, this week was a good one with a lot of interesting and different experiences. First of all we had Zone Leader Council this Friday which was actually a really really good meeting. Haha if there's one thing that's changed about me on the mission it's how much I've come to enjoy meetings! Haha yeah kind of a weird thing to say, considering my first week I was convinced that District meeting was a waste of time, haha how things change! Anyways it was a really good experience of working together in council to determine the needs of the mission and how we could work
together as leaders to address the problem. In the past Zone Leader Council had been a discssion of rules and if we should change any of them. Lost transfer Elder Pierucci and I received some sweet inspiration on the true purpose of councelling. Or in other words we just finally realized what the true purpose of Zone Leader Council was, so this time we were able to make the agenda items much more specific and useful to the needs of the mission as well. We were able to  come up with some good action points which will hopefully be put into action soon. We also gave a training on To do v. To Be from that talk in conference. It was a really fun workshop to give, especially since we've felt that it's been one of the major things we needed to address throughout the mission. It's far too easy to fall into a routine of things, to fall into the trap of trying to sell the Gospel instead of preaching it, or in other words doing instead of being. It was a fun training, and an especially fun one to plan since we were able to learn a lot more about the subject as we stuied it. It really is all about the motive in which we do things. Of course the Do's and How's are important as well. The two are inseparably connected, but it was good to see the
emphasis shift a little bit more to the be and why of things as well.
This week I was also able to go on exchange in Landover Hills! That's two areas ago and the Elders had planned a lunch with Jorge Duenez one of the recent converts in the area! Man, it was just super good to be able to see him again and to see how he has progressed in just these last three months!
He's faithfully fulfilling his calling and doing misisonary work! In fact a friend that he invited to hear the missionaries will be getting baptized this Sunday! He's also planning on getting married to a girl in September who is also a faithful latter-day saint! Haha he's such an awesome guy and it was a definite tender mercy to be able to see him once again!
Ok then we had this crazy day on Saturday! Under the invitation of President Matsumori we went to a meeting in Southern Maryland, like  southern southern Maryland to be with the senior couples, and (drum roll please) a visiting emeritus General Authority!!! Yeah, it was awesome to be able to meet him and hear his conversion story. He has a powerful testimony of the truth, and it's still just incredible to me to see the depth of their personal conviction and to hear the power behind the words that they say. Though the words we say are just the same the conviction behind them is incredible! His name was Elder Kikuchi! Dad you may have heard of him, he's one of the first General Authorities from japan and he's served as a General Authority for something like 20 years or more. It was one incredible experience! He spoke about the pioneers on the plains and about how we find God in the plains of our lives. 
We were also able to roll out the new meeting program, and so far it's turning out well. It looks like it will be a good shift in the focus of the mission. It will give the Zone Leaders a much more organized way to train their zone, and will allow the District Leaders to have a little bit more responsibility as well!

Funny story of the week! We were at a dinner with some members and the family is super crazy! They have four little boys that are all super hyperactive! Anyways, their cat got stuck in a tree probably about 20 feet or more in the air and so one of the kids climbed the tree and got the cat. So he's stuck in this tree with the cat and he can't get down with the cat in his arms and he has to get  the cat out, so we're staring at him in the tree, slightly worried because he looks like he's going to fall and kind of wondering how they're going to get the cat down. All of a sudden two of the other brothers run out of the house with a towel! Yep, that's right, they were going to do it fireman style! Aka they were going to drop the cat from the tree and catch him in the towel. The parents completely agreed that it was a good idea and so on the count of three the cat was thrown from the tree!! Yeah, not the best idea.... Unfortunately one of the kids just didn't have that great of a grip on the towel, forseeable? perhaps. So this is the sad but kind of funny part of the story, the cat nailed the ground!
Yeah, just picture this poor little animal being tossed from twenty feet up, it was a crazy sight! He did get a little cushion from the towel and in the end the cat was ok, but it was definitely one of the crazier experiences I've had at a member dinner before!

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