Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another productive and fulfilling week!

We needed a companionship photo, so on the way to the office this morning this is what we came up with...

My "21" Birthday mug

Meeting with our Chinese missionaries

It's a joke of how quick things are going, here is what went on this week:
This transfer we have specialized trainings and interviews with President Preston. Each Zone meets together and has trainings done by the Zone Leaders and ourselves. This week we were able to go to half of them, and then next week we will go to the other half. 
We have been training on "The Pathway to 20 Lessons" and how it comes through the phase of self-mastery to planning. We have been challenged by Elder L. Tom Perry to teach 20 total lessons a week. We feel this is something that needs to be emphasized so we have made it our training. 
It is a weird thing to give the same training over and over. You would be surprised to know that each of them has been a little bit different. I've learned that each Zone or District or companionship has its own "feel" to it. And with that comes different points to emphasize. We are not just planning and giving trainings, we are preparing ourselves and then following the direction of the Spirit to draw upon what each individual Zone needs.
This week we also had a landmark meeting. In the next couple of months we will be losing just about all of our Chinese speaking missionaries. And they have done fantastic work, and have learned much being the "pioneer Chinese speaking missionaries" of the England Manchester Mission. So President had them all meet together and work on compiling a binder. Of which has 10 main points of missionary work that they want to pass on to the next 10 Chinese speaking missionaries that will be coming later this year.   It was an inspiring meeting to be apart of, mostly because I have been apart of it. 
This week we also have been able to get many exchanges in. I spent most of the exchanges here in Manchester. Elder Smart and I have decided that the best place to catch students is on buses. So that is what I did on exchanges. We dropped the car and rode the bus back and forth from the University bus contacting the young single adults (YSA). We found great success! 
An example: After Elder Rodgers and I jumped off a bus we spoke to a YSA girl from Africa, we had a great conversation and set up an appointment. While we were doing that two YSA gentlemen came up and asked what we were doing. We told them to hold on tell we were finished. They patiently waited for another 2 to 3 minutes. We then got talking to them and found them to be interested. We invited them to sit down at a cafe with us so we could teach them a bit more. They agreed! It was a great miracle of not us just speaking to people, but being spoken to. What a rarity.
I also was on exchanges with Elder Hughes from my group. In fact he was the one I first met in Atlanta, and then sat next to him on the plane ride over. He is from Oklahoma, and we have become great friends. 
Elder Smart treated me this week...for my birthday he took me to a Thai restaurant.  Overall it was a great day. 
It is my week for The Corner:
Aldous Huxley once wrote, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”
Abraham Lincoln had this in mind when he firmly spoke out to the entire United States:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us.”

We too have been “recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven”. We are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are living in the dispensation of the fullness of times. We are the inheritors of a tremendous heritage.  -- “Thanks be to God”.  

Joseph F. Smith said, “the key to possessing gratitude is through living a prayerful life.”  When we offer prayers of gratitude we acknowledge God as the true giver of our blessings. It is also a sign of humility, showing God that we know greatness is not in us but through us. When this counting of our blessings occurs we start to see the hand of God working in our lives.

We invite you to ponder the question;  What are you thankful for? -- and then to act by offering genuine prayers of gratitude.

Skill of the Week:

At the end of a QGC, and after gathering details ask: “From what we have discussed, what is it that has caught your interest?”  From that question you can 1) see their interest and 2) testify that they will learn more of that principle. If they say “I don’t know” or “just because” help them to set an expectation for the lesson. They need to have a reason to keep the appointment, help them find it. Also, don’t forget to write their expectations and interest in the notes section of your planner. This will help you plan to meet their expectations, and thus “Teach People, Not Lessons”. 
Whom seek ye?
Elders Smart & Eliason 
I will be heading to the Isle of Man this week!
Elder Eliason

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