Scottie with a prior companion, Elder Chavez!
Sorry I haven't emailed an update in a while...we've been crazy busy, and then I got super bad food poisoning last week, but I'm feeling so much better now. So here's some of the highlights of the last few weeks:
So over the course of the last 3 weeks, the work here has just exploded. The Lord is truly blessing us in our efforts to invite others to come unto Him.
It all started on September 2nd when we had our Mission Leadership Council (for all Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in the Salt Lake City West Mission - Scottie is a Zone Leader). The meeting started at 6:50 AM, but we're used to getting up early so it was no biggie. The first hour of the meeting was led by Elder Arnold of the Quorum of the 70, and that was intense. He's got a very strong, type A personality. He kind of tore into us about making sure we were doing everything possible to be the examples to the mission, since we were the zone leaders and sister training leaders. He explained that our divine motivation for everything should be helping our brothers and sisters return to their Heavenly Father. Just the way he explained everything got us all fired up. We also talked about goals for the mission. Later in the meeting, Pres. Swain said that too many people in the mission weren't hitting the standards of excellence, so he lowered them and we all made a plan to get every companionship hitting them, then we'd move them back up. He changed the standard from 15 lessons with a member present to 10. Jarvis and I were already hitting the 15 mark, so we made goals to keep that going higher as well as get more baptisms in our area.
At the Mission Leadership Council
Throughout that week, we really applied everything we learned and were really bold with baptismal invitations. We invited 5 people to be baptized, and they all said yes! It was so exciting and just a testimony to me of the truthfulness of the Gospel, I love it.
Fun note, on Thursday, 9/4/14, we went down to Temple Square, and I saw Ayala Noguiera (the girl with orange hair that's dancing in that picture of me that's on the lds.org site haha): Scottie and Ayala on church website (Ayala is from our area, they attended youth activities together before their missions), she serves as a Temple Square Sister (missionary) right now.
Elder Jarvis, Levi, Pepe and Scottie at Temple Square
9/7/14: Today, Jarvis and I spoke in stake conference (a meeting for all congregations in the stake/area where he is serving), and I think that went well. Then we had our first meeting with Alberto. He's the brother of a recent convert in our branch, and he's been to church twice, but he just moved in with them for the foreseeable future, so we met with him tonight. He shared his strong desire to be baptized, and we felt impressed to invite him to be baptized in two weeks (since he'd already been to church a few times), and he said yes! We're way excited for that. Then, we did a fast today so that Allie (investigator) would be able to get permission from her parents to get baptized. She said that she talked to her parents again, and they didn't say yes, but they opened up and were okay with her going to church and stuff! The power of fasting is real!
9/11/14: I can't believe it's been 13 years since the attack on the twin towers. All I can say is I'm proud to be an American and live in a country that gives me so many freedoms. I'm thankful to all those who have sacrificed so that I can have these freedoms, and I'll always keep them in my prayers.
9/13/14: The cold I've been having hit its peak today. In the morning, Elisa called us and asked if we could help them pull things out at their house for a yard sale, so we got to help with that, and then she gave us some medicine. It made us super sleepy, so as soon as 9pm hit, we were home, planning, and asleep haha.
9/14/14: Today was an awesome Sunday...until 10:40pm. It was a truly good day at church and everything, all went really well and we had a few good lessons after church. Our dinner was dropped off to us, pupusas de chicharron. Jarvis wasn't hungry so he didn't eat, but I
did. After FHE (Family Home Evening) with the Balderas family, we got our numbers report ready, called it into the assistants....and that's when my stomach started doing backflips. Around 10:40 I threw up for the first time....and then did it every half hour until 10 AM the next day. I didn´t get any sleep, and it was rough.
Some of the "numbers" the Zone Leaders have to report
9/16/14: Tuesday. Today was much better! I still can't eat much, but I wasn't throwing up as often, only a few times all day. We did our District Leader Training meeting today, had an awesome lesson with the Santana family (getting baptized on the 27th of this month), and then
9/17/14: Wednesday. We spent all afternoon biking copies of the Book of Mormon all over the zone to get them to missionaries. The shipment we ordered got delayed, so they finally got here and people needed them really bad haha. We dropped off about 100 of them on bike, which was fun. We had some good lessons today. I'm still not hungry, and I feel a little weak, but I'm getting there!
9/19/14: Friday. Man, I finally got to feeling mostly better. First day since Sunday I haven't thrown up haha, so I'm a happy camper. Today was chill, just some solid lessons and getting Alberto ready for his baptism tomorrow.
Scottie with his Zone - The Granger B Zone!
Elder Higgins, Emanuel, Alberto and Elder Jarvis (and one of the Sanhchez children)
Alberto and his sister's family