March 5, 2012

Wow, this week has been fantastic! Absolutely and completely
fantastic. Actually the past two weeks have been the best two weeks of
my mission when it comes to teaching. This is the busiest I have been
and I love it. Idle hands are boring hands, and you know me, I don't
like boring!! We are teaching many many Chinese students and as I look
on the street I see that there are so many more that need to hear the
Gospel. Life as a missionary is simple, see people, speak to people,
invite them to follow Jesus Christ. Where else can you have this job?!

Dad to be fair I have asked myself that question many times, "How much
is this time going to effect and influence my future?" I honestly
believe that it has and will effect me in every way. I agree, I need
to continue to progress and move forward in order to make that
influence and effect even stronger and longer lasting. So thank you
for the reminder, because I know it is true. Thank you for sharing
your own personal knowledge and wisdom acquired from your own
experiences. I will continuously ponder that question over the next
few months. What do I want to BECOME?

We have seen abundant blessings here in the Liverpool Stake as the
missionaries serving in their varies wards and areas have diligently
run the streets speaking to those they meet about the Gospel. From
their efforts we were able to see an increase of those at church and
those with a baptismal Date. There were 22 investigators at the
various wards and there are now 5 Dated in the Zone. Here is an update
on those progressing well in the area.

Chris Mangan, Date: March 17- Elder Diaz & Perego- Liverpool Ward:
Chris is the husband of a Less Active Member and since The Less active
member has started coming to church and he decided that he wanted to
increase his faith in Jesus Christ as well. The teaching process is
going well despite trials in his extended family. Yesterday he
attended the mission home fireside which he enjoyed.

Irene May, Date: April 7- Elder Misbach & Sumner- Warrington Ward:
Irene being a self referal via is very keen on learning
more about the church and becoming a member. She shows great
commitment and a desire to know and follow truth. As of now there
appear to be no major concerns that would keep her from her baptism
date which she prayed about and recieved a confirmation.

Max Guo, Date: March 24- Elder Fawcett & Okeson- Liverpool Ward: Max
has struggled as of late after he was taught the Word of Wisdom. He
feels that it is such a big part of his culture to drink Tea and he
does not feel it is wrong so he does not want to live it. He debated
on coming to church and finally decided to come. The Chinese class
along with the great support of members (Chinese & English) really
helped him to feel welcome and at peace. Teaching him later that night
with a member helped strengthen his faith to set a new date. He is
willing to live the Word of Wisdom to see the promised blessings that
come from it.

Recently Elder Okeson and I were thinking about the ward calling
Chinese Ward Missionaries. We feel it would give them a greater
responsibility and calling and would lighten our own personal load of
Recent Converts to teach so that we can focus on the others who have
not heard the Gospel yet. I can't believe how blessed we have been
with the Chinese work, it is a completely different story from the
first time. Progression feels oh so good.

The past few months I have been pondering the concept of "Learning"
Leadership. I have noticed that many missionaries come into the
mission and they have been prepared or born as leaders and because of
that they start very quickly and are ready to go about the Lords work
while serving others very easily. On the other hand some missionaries
come into the mission and don't know how to lead themselves let alone
others and it takes them a while to get into the role of a leader. I
have been grateful for the example given to us of King Benjamin in the
Book of Mormon. Words of Mormon and Mosiah 1-4 are overflowing with
perfect examples of a leader and how to help those we serve. I have
been able to read, study, and learn from those verses of scripture and
I love applying and implementing those taught principles in my work. I
have seen how other missionaries can grow into a role or even a
calling placed on them. This comes from the help of the Lord, but a
lot of it comes from the general willingness of that missionary to
whom the calling was given. As we ourselves are humble and remain
teachable, the Lord can teach us himself how to lead others the way he
would lead them.

This week at Zone Leader Council I gave a training on "Exact
Obedience." As always I was able to learn much more from studying and
preparing for the training more than any of those the training was
given to. As we are told, Exact Obedience is the pathway to the
promise, we first need to have an understanding of why God wants us to
be Exact in our Obedience. For a long time I thought, he wants us to
do it, so just do it. Now I realize the real reason behind it a little
more. He loves us, he knows how we can be happy, so he gives us the
tools and guidelines to do so. That is why I feel that in order for us
to want to be exactly obedient we need to have a firm sure testimony
of God being our Heavenly Father and of his son Jesus Christ. As we
develop our relationship with them we realize the love they have for
us and we KNOW that they want what is best for us, that is when we
will have complete trust and faith in them to follow the principles
and commandments given. Along with that, I wanted to let you know that
Mom and Dad, the prophet quotes have really been a blessing on my
mission, being able to share those with others on the spot means a lot
and brings a lot of power. So thank you for teaching us the importance
of knowing the words of the prophets both ancient and modern.

On Tuesday I was on exchange with a fellow German (Elder Helzer). Ok
maybe I am not German myself, but I feel like I could fit the role
fairly well. I love going on exchange with District Leaders because it
gives us a prime opportunity to speak about how things in the Zone or
District are going and how we can improve as a whole. As well it
builds the trust and unity between leaders which is essential for a
Zone to function correctly and smoothly. Elder Helzer is very aware of
the relationship we need to have with the investigators we are
teaching and from that he always teaches them according to their own
needs and concerns. He never pushes them farther than they should be
and never teaches a principle beyond the last principle they
understood. He is also very exact, straightforward and on time which I
appreciate greatly.

Well that is my week in a nutshell, if there are any specific
questions I would love to answer them. Keep looking up my family!!
Always look onward & upward.

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