Conference was sweet! I really enjoyed it. We watched it here in Santa Cruz. I took a picture of the set up but forgot my camera this morning to sent it. Oops. I'd rock an Elder Holland foam finger. Crazy that this was my last general conference as a missionary! Ah! Where has the time gone? As always, we had plenty of GC snacks to go around- between Elder Nugent and I and a little bit of sharing we ate a 2 and a half pound back of butterscotch candies... and boy did we feel it this morning! haha The tradition of General Conference snacks had to go on though. I think my favorite talk was the one about how to have a happy marriage. I didn't bring my notes with me this morning, but if Jamaica (and the rest of the world) would adhere to that council, families would be so much happier everywhere. That is something that President Hendricks touched on in Zone Conference as well. He was talking about our relationships with our companions and that if you have the mindset of "My first priority is to make sure my companion (or in his case, spouse) is happy" and your companion/spouse has the same mindset you're marriage will last. That selflessness and then keeping the covenants you've made. Two ways to make a marriage last. I'm telling ya, a mission is the best marriage training haha
So this week was pretty crazy. Not in the sense that a lot of crazy things happened, more in the sense that just a lot happened. Monday we went to Mandeville where they were having a combined district fun day. I got to see members from Maypen, Old Harbour, and Spanish Town, and Junction! That was so sweet. I'd name drop but there was over 1000 people there and I can't even recall how many I was excited to see- so many. When Elder Nugent and I showed up, there were 15 buses parked outside the Mandeville church. I didn't even know we had that many members on this island! Anyways, we had to go to the bathroom SO bad, we drank a lot of water that morning, so we resolved to hit the bathroom first then mix and mingle- not EVEN close to happenin, which was fine. Before we even get to the gate of the church lot Elder Nugent has a member from Kingston who wants to give us something, so we head back to the car twice. Finally get to the gate and there is Khevar (formerly known as Elder McLeod) so we are chatting, and then J comes up we we start chatting, then Mama H, and then AT&T and J from Old Harbour came and then... you see the picture. and we had stepped in like 5 steps onto the property. I felt like a celebrity haha It was SO awesome to see everyone, they are all doing really well. After about 30 minutes we made it to the building to use the facilities, but it was a sweet p-day. After a couples hours we left, and then decided to come back just to honk as as went by. I should mention that there wasn't enough food to feed everyone so by the end of the day people were pretty cranky and hungry. Before I could even say bun n cheese I had this box of food in my hands and was literally running from people trying to snag it all and take it for themselves. It was insanity. I put the box down at the front, the district relief society president took over, and then Elder Nugent and I made a mad dash back to the truck haha It was pretty awesome.
Tuesday was Zone Conference in Sav. I love Zone Conference. It's so instructive and learning from President Hendricks is so sweet. I could listen to that guy teach all day. It was a very similar zone conference as we had back in July, about being the 4th missionary. Since we have so many new missionaries I think President wants to instill this attitude right from the get go. I've got a couple talks Mac needs to read right before he goes on his mission. The Assistants focused on the commitment pattern- Teach Doctrine, Invite/Commit, Promise Blessings, Bear Testimony, Follow Up- this is how a missionary teaches all day every day. As President says "Wake Up. Live the Commitment Pattern. Go to Bed. Repeat." The life of a missionary. It was very instructive and I was able to pick out places I can improve. I think my favorite was when President taught the doctrine of becoming, that we are agents of ourselves and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can change our natures. I really liked that. When we say things like "That's just who I am" "That's just my nature", that's not true. That is implying we can't change. A man said to a jail worker who talk prisoners how to be better citizens "Why do you try? You know leopard can't change their spots." the jail worker said "I don't work with leopards, I work with men., and men change everyday." So true.
Wednesday we stayed in Sav and did spits with the Elders there. There is two companionships so we each went with one. They are some awesome missionaries. I was able to see the whole D family, K, R, K, N and the G's. They are all doing really well. Mama D is engaged! I'm so happy for her. S and A are growing up! A is already 10 and S is 15! AH! I'm getting old.
Thursday we drove into Kingston for a meeting with the Zone Leaders, Assistants, and President. More training! This was my favorite meeting out of any of them. 3 hours of one on one instruction from President Hendricks- fantastic. That went really well. We take what we learn from Zone Leader Council (ZLC) and then teach it in Zone Meeting the following Wednesday (this Wednesday). My favourite part was the doctrine of desire. I didn't think this was something you could teach, that desire was an attribute that has to just be acquired by someone personally. But that's not true. Desire is an eternal principle. My favourite quote was from Neil A. Maxwell. I don't remember it word for word, I forgot my notes, but it went something like 'what we desire most in this life is what we become and receive in the eternities', something like that. Basically we become what we desire, so if you're a missionary and desire to be somewhere else, well then that's what you will receive. You serve with all your might, mind and strength, but withhold your heart. If you with hold your heart and don't make this your desire, the Atonement can't change you because you won't let it. Powerful stuff.
Ok, so no more checklist of the days, Friday was a great day, we actually got to teach our investigators. We had two come to conference and I think they really enjoyed it. One man who is a friend of many members came out of the blue and we will be teaching him. He loved conferences. He's an older gentleman with a cane but he said that he planned on coming to our church today no matter what. He go out on the road and it started to rain a bit but he said no matter what he was coming today. He said he'd be coming back, we are visiting him Tuesday. Definitely a blessing.
Yes we have names for our zones. We have the Kingston Zone, Spanish Town Zone, Mandeville Zone (our zone) then the Bahamas Zone. The only one I haven't served in is Kingston. Within each zone there is a number of different areas. In our zone there is 7 areas and 21 missionaries (including us and our area). This is the biggest our mission has ever been and there is no sign of it stopping growth. Exciting!
Henry the dog! What a cutie. His nick name is blingpup. That's sweet you are bumping up your workouts. thinking about running 6 miles makes me quiver haha
Well I love you Mom! Have a great week! I'll send pictures later.