3 Interviews with Prez

Krispy Kreme District Council

We’re racking in all of the exchanges. Right now I’m with Elder Hanson, and he’s a super cool Elder. I bought two boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts for district council because it was his birthday last week, and that was pretty epic. We had a lesson with one of their friends and he’s a super nice guy. He apparently always finds a way to integrate politics in the lesson. But that’s okay, we did a pretty good job directing the lesson and keeping it on track. He’s a super nice guy too.

Lots of Exchanges

I did an exchange with Elder Hanson’s companion, Elder Harmer. We did some door to door finding and some park finding. I learned how it’s important to teach and testify in these interactions, rather than only asking if they’d be interested. I’m really trying to improve in my finding efforts, I feel like my interactions would be more successful if they were improved. Anyways, it was still a great exchange, we had a good time getting to know each other. I’m trying to find ways that I can support these Elders. They are both 3 transfers in and in a completely new area with an empty Preach My Gospel. So they both are working hard. We had a nice conversation with someone at the park, so that was pretty good. Apparently while we were on exchanges my comp did some family history work in the library; and he actually found someone’s info that wasn’t in his family tree, so he was working on adding it. He also met a guy that was interested in learning more about God and they had a conversation for an hour. Which is actually so awesome! He didn’t get his number, but he’s in the library a lot, so we may run into him soon.

Big Update to Contact Syncing

Elder Yamashita updated the imos roster syncing system to version 3 this morning, so that’s pretty cool. Now we’re storing all of our contacts in an encrypted database. So the contacts were a bit wack this morning as they were getting synced. We headed over to the church this morning to unlock it for the Spanish Elders, cause they were having a baptism. While we were at the church I worked in the family history center trying to figure out the code and stuff for my technology assignment. I always feel bad because it takes more time then I intend, and I feel Like I’m not really doing anything. I’m just playing catch up trying to understand the code. I’m working on figuring out how to balance it with the rest of my missionary responsibilities.

Improvement & Google Voice

Lately we’ve been teaching more people, so that’s been great! I’m glad to see that we are seeing an improvement from last week. Now I just gotta schedule more appointments with members. I feel like I haven’t been doing that enough so I’ll try to message some more of them. I’ve been thinking about the logistics of transitioning from Android Messages to Google Voice. I believe it’ll be very positive for the mission if we could adopt that. But I first need to figure out the imos roster system.

Thesis Dude

District Council was pretty good today. We got a bit side tracked at the start, but it got really good towards the end. I’m continually trying to improve my district councils, I feel like I need to do a better job at guiding and directing the council. I’ll continue working on it. There was a guy that called the family history center and had some questions about our beliefs. So the family history workers gave him our number and he gave us a call. We hopped into a Zoom meeting with him and my companion was like “I sure hope it’s not the guy I think it is.” He said if it’s an old guy with a white background, it’s him. Needless to say it was an old dude with a white background, and it turned out to be him. Anyways he’s a super nice guy. My companion was only worried about it cause he talks forever haha. I didn’t think it was very bad at all. He said he’s working on his thesis and he had a few questions. He talked about the peace that religion tends to bring with the love of God and some scientific studies on it. Basically 4 Nephi haha. He also talked about the second coming of Christ and our thoughts on how we would discern if someone said that they were Christ if they were actually the Son of God. Anyways, most of it was him explaining his thoughts and his thesis. But we chipped in a little bit here and there. He said he really liked and agreed with our thoughts. He may send me his thesis once he’s finished so I guess that’ll be pretty cool.

The Trio Dream

Ahhh, where to begin!? Just when I think things can’t get any crazier haha. Let’s just say it all started with a dream I had that I was going to be put into a trio in Richmond. Now spoiler alert, that hasn’t happened yet, but very well can be happening in the next two or three days. Some stuff went down and one of the missionaries went home early, and we had a Zone Conference. So his companion was just with the assistance at that meeting. He also forgot to pack a suit so we real quickly had to run over to their apartment and pick that up for him. On top of that the ZLs weren’t sure if they had a projector at the Burnaby building, so we ran over to the Surrey Stake Center to see if we had one… lo and behold it was locked in the Clerk’s office. After doing a few calls we realized that nobody was going to make it in time to unlock it. So we just headed over to Zone Conference as fast as we could. Fingers crossed they have a projector. We ended up being late, but after President Gill found out we were getting the suit for that missionary he excused us. Pheew, that was good haha. President pulled aside a few missionaries during the conference for various reasons. There’s a lot happening right now, it sounds like that missionary will be staying with the assistants before they figure out where he’s going. The other tech Elder lost access to the code and stuff. Now it’s all on me to manage this stuff. Not gonna lie, I’m overwhelmed, idk if I have what it takes to figure out this whole thing and manage it right now. But I’m going to do my best and hopefully it works out.

Missionaries Moving Around (Pt 1. fulfillment of trio dream)

Today was a really good day. A lot happened and it was a bit stressful, but still a good day. This morning we had to get up pretty quickly to setup some tables and chairs at the church. I then ran over to the family history center to fix a buncha mission contact issues. It looks like one of the mission leaders deleted all of the mission office staff contacts, so that was really nice! I hope I fixed the issue, idk yet till the contacts try to sync again tomorrow. We headed back home to finish up our personal studies and then we headed back over to the church to take down the tables and everything. It was actually super sweet, they saved some food for us. So we had some brownies and chicken burritos! It also just so happened to be perfect timing because after we put everything away, the sisters had a church tour with two of their friends. Unfortunately they weren’t able to get a member there. Because the friends they were teaching were brothers, they couldn’t teach them alone without a member brother there. So that’s where we come along! They essentially passed them off to us and we taught them instead. They both were super awesome, they were interested and were asking questions and looking at the books and paintings. We gave them both a Book of Mormon and they were even reading it on the tour, so that was pretty awesome! Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Elder Sachadina, one of the Zone Leaders, is now the other Elder’s companion and is going to Brookswood with him. Elder Evans is now trioing with Elder Hanson and Elder Harmer in Richmond. Which works out pretty well because they were already in an apartment together. Which is kinda cool cause I had a dream about it a couple of days ago, but I just assumed I was going to be in the trio since I had the dream about it. We had a lesson with our friend Byron who’s progressing super fast so it’s been awesome! We taught him the restoration and invited him to read the Book of Mormon. It was a really good lesson. I’m trying to focus on bearing my testimony more. I feel like I improved a bit at doing that in this lesson, but I want to continue to focus on that more.

LDS Belief Discussion

We had a lot of our friends come to church today which was awesome! Even though 3 of our friends messaged us that morning and said they weren’t feeling well, we had a lot of them come. It’s been great to see all of the friends that our friend Byron is making. He’s progressing super fast, he’s going to be ready for baptism pretty soon. I’m looking forward to our next lesson with him; so far we’ve just taught one lesson, but he’s been coming to church every week! We had a nice discussion with our friend James. It was our first time meeting with James, he’s met with the missionaries a few times before. He said he had some questions about the Doctrine and Covenants as well as the Joseph Smith Translation. He’s a very avid reader, as he read his Bible a lot and has read many religious books. He also said that he’s read the Book of Mormon 6 times! And here I am about to finish it a second time haha. He said “I don’t have a problem with the Book of Mormon, it very well could’ve happened…” he just had some questions about some doctrine in D&C and the purpose of the JST. We clarified some misunderstandings of things he heard about our beliefs. Like Joseph Smith standing as a second judge next to Jesus Christ at judgment, and some misunderstandings about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Tithing. He’s actually one of the nicest friends I’ve taught on the mission, we had a really nice 2 hour conversation. It’s interesting he says he believes in a lot of the stuff Catholic practices, but there’s certain things he doesn’t believe in. He highlighted some issues he has with their church and acknowledged the imperfections. Which I thought was really cool because this is the church he believes in, and he isn’t afraid to acknowledge the issues. We highlighted some issues in our church with him as well, and it seemed like he had a pretty good idea of those too. He really wants to meet with us again and dive more deeply in the doctrine. He also really likes our current prophet, he said he felt like the Monson guy was more conservative and restrictive. So I guess that’s pretty cool, he likes our prophet haha. He did bring up that there’s a few scriptures in the Bible that say that God is a Spirit which contradicts what D&C says about God having flesh and bones. I concluded that it’s an error in the translation, “is” and “a” were both added into the english translation which leaves us with “God” and “Spirit.” I believe the verse is talking about God’s relationship and dealings with man through Spirit. The Joseph Smith translation clarifies this a bit, but that was the best answer I had at the time. I’ll have to study it a bit more. Anyways, the guy is super nice, I look forward to meeting with him again.

The 3 Meetings (Pt 2. fulfillment of trio dream)

Remember, when I said just when I think things just can’t get any crazier? I just gotta not say that anymore haha. And it came to pass, that thus things did indeed get crazier. We got a message from the Assistants this morning that I need to come into the office for a meeting. Elder Evans, Hanson, & Harmer came into the office as well. Elder Whipple trio’d with Elder Hanson & Harmer and Elder Evans, the Assistants, and I had a meeting with President. We discussed the imos roster system, and the future of missionary communications. I brought up the idea of using Google Voice in the future, and everyone seemed on board with the idea. That’s not something that will be happening soon though, cause that’s gotta go through Salt Lake first, but it actually comes in to solve even more problems than I initially thought. We talked about the migration of Elder Yamashita’s system to a new more stable system and discussed a few ideas of what that would look like. We’re moving toward something that is much more manual but should be more sustainable in the long run. Right back at square one with the system haha. But that’s okay, we’ll figure it all out. After that the social media leaders came in and we sat in and contributed to that meeting. And after that we had a 3rd! Yes, 3rd meeting with president, with just Elder Evans and I. I cannot disclose the details of that meeting at this time, but you’ll see what’s happening in the future. Anyways, this email’s long enough, I probably could just keep writing but I gotta put a stop to it haha.

Spiritual Thought

Our job as missionaries isn’t to convince people that the gospel is true. It is to create an environment where people can feel of the Spirit and invite them to learn for themselves the truth by the Spirit.

1st Nephi begins by discussing the goodness of God (grace), and Moroni closes the Book of Mormon by telling us to remember the tender mercies of the Lord. We are invited to look at all of the goodness of God in the writings of the Book of Mormon.

I can testify that as we read the Book of Mormon each day, although it may not seem like it’s making a difference, it is making all the difference. I wish I read the Book of Mormon more before I left on a mission, but it is never too late to start. If you aren’t making an effort to read the Book of Mormon daily, I invite you to start. One day you’ll look back and realize just how much it makes a difference. This book truly does change lives, not just right here right now, but for eternity. It will open up the windows of Heaven and will open opportunities for great joy and strength that we can not begin to understand. I bear solemn witness that the Book of Mormon was personally written for us at this time right here, right now. We need these words more than ever.