The Mission Tour Experience Feat President Bragg

I apologize I wasn’t able to send an email last week, it’s been one heck of a ride this week. I cannot begin to explain or begin to comprehend how much work and communication is happening right now, and how much God is in the details of everything; it truly isn’t our work; it’s amazing to see all of the imperfections come together to form a perfect whole, which cannot be fully realized in this life. I also apologize for sending this email out late, our P-day got pushed quite a bit because of the mission tour and some other busy stuff. The work just keeps moving forward!

My days in Richmond are Numbered

We had one crazy day. We went in the office to setup a phone for a missionary coming in; and I was resetting the device through the boot menu and one of the APs said, “Elder Anderson, what are we going to do in the lower-mainland when you are gone to Prince Rupert?” Quite the funny joke, idk if he was serious or not on that one. But be kinda crazy if President knew where I was going next transfer on the first week of this transfer. But we’ll see what happens. I know that I’ll probably be leaving out of the assignment to go somewhere, I just don’t know where yet. I just know my job is to get Elder Watkins trained and ready to go to run the MTS assignment, because President wants to get me out of the assignment so he can put me wherever the Lord needs.

A/V Tech Setup Madness

Words cannot express the experiences and miracles I’ve seen over the past two weeks. My eyes were opened when we had our mission tour with President and Sister Bragg. I feel like I have a better understanding of what this mission truly is. It was very eye-opening. Now before I get into this let’s do a bit of background; President Bragg is the area president of the North America West territory. Doing mission tours is his favorite part of the job, and he’s done three in the past three weeks. We had the wonderful blessing of witnessing two mission tours. They decided to split the mission in half and do two mission tours back to back. This consisted of Tuesday and Wednesday. Elder Watkins and I were in-charge of setting up all the A/V equipment, making sure it all runs smoothly, and setting everything up for the mission tour photo. Setting up the A/V equipment was quite the process. Basically everything that could’ve went wrong, went wrong. But that’s okay, in the end it’s all just God’s work and everything worked out. Last week we were testing a few things out and we realized the entire sound system was out for the whole building. Which made it a bit difficult to really test anything. We reached out to a few members of the ward and the Stake Technology Specialist and they said they’ve never seen anything like this before. They installed the new QSYS display just a couple of months ago and now it isn’t working properly. We tried quite a few things like power cycling everything and calling the QSYS support team to see if there was a way to force reboot the device from the software. The support team wasn’t very helpful. But the ward members and the Stake Technology Specialist created an email thread with the FM group to diagnose the issue. They were able to come into the building a couple days later and force the device to power cycle again to get it running. Which was so good because they wouldn’t have had their pulpit mic working for sacrament meeting if the issue wasn’t discovered. It’s important to note that this church building is outside of our Zone, it’s about an hour and 15 minute drive for us. So we didn’t have keys to get in, but luckily the distribution center was open, so we were able to get in through there. Which worked out really well considering their weird hours. While we were setting up we also needed keys to the library and the Chinese Elders happened to begin a lesson at the church so we were able to grab their keys from them. While we were setting up the woman that was working at the distribution center informed us there was a family that just showed up that was interested in English class. So we gave them a church tour and gave them the information to the English class. So let’s back this up just a little bit and get the big picture. We drove to the church next to the temple that’s outside of our zone. We happened to show up on the perfect day, to report the sound system in the church (and it just went down that day due to a recent power outage). And in the midst of everything looking like it wasn’t going to work out and it being a waste of time that day, the sound system was able to be fixed for sacrament, we met and taught a fmaily that were directed by God to meet us, and (I haven’t got to this part yet), we met a young member working at Olive Garden that was thinking about serving a mission but had some questions.

Mission Tour Day 1

The mission tour was awesome! President Bragg was really hyping up our mission. He said the Canada Vancouver mission is the greatest representation of the gathering of Israel in the North America West area. It’s the most diverse mission in the area because of the diverse set of missionaries and the diverse areas, and people. He said last night his eyes were opened, there’s so much opportunity in British Columbia, so many people are moving here and it’s growing so much. In the last 6 months the area had 16% convert baptisms, he said our mission was at 32%. The Lord is definitely preparing these people and this mission. He left us off with the idea that the strength of this mission will be in convert baptisms from diverse places. He stated that this mission becomes a model for the rest of the area. It was a really great experience, I learned a lot from hearing President Bragg. Luckily the equipment and stuff was working, we had a lapel mic for him and it worked great. We also had a wireless handheld mic just in case if he wanted to use it. The audio from the laptop went into the sound system just fine and everything sounded good. We did have the receiver for the lapel mic die during the tour. Luckily it was the receiver and not the actual lapel so we just ran over to the library and threw in some new AAA batteries and everything was good. We couldn’t have picked a worse day to take the picture, it had been pouring since the morning. So we ran over really quickly and dried off all the chairs with the towels. I had the camera set up and we were able to get the picture. The lighting was difficult to deal with, especially since people had umbrella’s, President and Sister Bragg were difficult to see, but the next day turned out to be a lot better. The weather decided to clear up on our drive home after the photo, so that was really awesome to see haha wish it cleared up before.


Mission Tour Day 2

President Bragg was telling us that the second day of the mission tour was going to look incredibly different compared to the first day. On the second day he talked about how we serve two missions: 1. To Preach the Gospel and 2. To bless our companion. He said we represent 0.0000001% of the youth in the world and that we are precious. He talked about the iterative process of revelation and what some of the process looks like when President Gill makes the transfer boards. He also talked about the process of selecting missions that missionaries will be assigned to and the revelatory process that the apostles go through while selecting those. He said that Preach My Gospel is the most complete handbook that the church has provided. And it doesn’t only apply to us missionaries but it applies to the general authorities as well, because they have the same purpose. That’s why they changed the name of Preach My Gospel from “A Guide to Missionary Work” to “A Guide to Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” The mission tour photo for today worked out a lot nicer. When it’s sunny and you can actually see, it helps out a lot. Unfortunately we had to do two separate shots, we couldn’t fit all of the senior missionaries. But I’m glad the photo turned out well.


Mission Tour Reflections

I’m just glad to be looking back on the mission tour. It was a great experience, despite the crazy amount of stress and problems with setting up, everything worked out. We didn’t have the right equipment, the equipment we needed got locked into the clerk’s office even after they said they would leave a key, the sound system was offline, Best Buy didn’t have the cable we needed, and despite all of that, the Lord found a way. And I’m just glad it worked out. Time and time again I look back on these moments in my mission, and I’ve really learned to rely and trust on thee Lord. Because it works out, every time. Maybe not in the ways I may have expected. But I know that with Him we can never fail.

Derek is so Ready

We put our friend Derek on baptismal date! Derek is just so awesome! The Lord has really prepared him. He’s basically done a bunch of research and he’s realized this is what he wants. He has a girlfriend that lives in Manitoba and she’s a member. She’s told him she wants to go to the temple with him, so Derek began doing some research to see if it was right for him. Derek actually met with missionaries about five years ago, but he didn’t commit to it then. It was actually quite the miracle how Derek was found. He saw Elder Heath’s Facebook profile and he noticed a picture from Coquitlam, where he has some family that lives there and he decided to reach out. He basically already had a testimony of The Book of Mormon and studied the Word of Wisdom and was trying to follow it. From his research he knew he needed to come to church a couple of times and meet with the missionaries, so he reached out because he wanted to be baptized. When we gave him a church tour and talked about the sacrament and the importance of making covenants with God, he said “yep, I believe all of that.” Everything we’ve taught him, he basically already believes, and he’s been keeping all the commitments we’ve extended. We’ve showed him all the principles we need to teach him and the qualifications for baptism and he’s ready to get it all done and make it happen! He works a twelve hour night shift every other week. And he came to church right after his night shift! Which is a huge sacrifice, and it was amazing to see him! He has so much faith. Looking forward to seeing him get baptized, it’s gonna be so great for him!