Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 54- Arise and Build

Whoa! By the way, who was the author behind my sudden bombardment of letters? Elder P.  is pretty impressed with how many letters I'm getting even a year after I left! Right around my year mark, it started and it just hasn't slowed. I'm getting mail like a greenie!!! haha Thanks to everyone who wrote! I don't think I have the time or the memory to name everyone, but just know that I read and loved each of your letters and I'm grateful for you and for your encouragement. There's a lot of emotions running through a missionary's mind around a year, and it's fantastic to have the support that I do. Thank you all!
         Ok, so this week, in short, was fantastic! I'm short on time, so I'm going to just say I'm alive, well, and happy. I talked to my family Sunday, so they can update further (LOVEd talking to you all, btw :D ) Since my last few letters I've been short on time, I'll dedicate next week to be a "questions" letter, so if you have any  questions  send them to mom . I'll do Q&A format next week so I can fill you in on what I've been leaving out.
I'd like to dedicate this week’s letter to our Zone Training last Tuesday, where we taught the zone about what we talked about in Mission Leadership Council.
As everyone walked in, we had a long table up front with red solo cups scattered all over and around the table. On the chalkboard was written: "Arise and Build" We started off by reading from the book of Nehemiah....
I know, right? That's what I said. That's where the words arise and build come from though.
Nehemiah works for Artaxerxes the Persian King as Israel is captive. He receives news that the walls of Jerusalem are broken down. Right now, our missions walls are broken down. In the month of April, only 7 people came to learn of the blessings of Christ's gospel.  We do not feel as busy as we would hope right now.
So, Nehemiah goes to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and in chapters 1-4 and 6, we discussed many wonderful principles of how to build and dedicate ourselves to the work. Then, in chapter 6, it mentions how long it took them to rebuild the walls of jerusalem: 52 days. So, we made the announcement. We are going to rebuild the Washington D.C. South mission in 52 days.
In order to rebuild, we looked at the Calendar. From May 9th to June 30th is 52 days. July 1st the mission splits and June 30th is the halfway mark of the year 2013. Each stake at the beginning of the year set a goal for how many converts they wanted to see. We're desperately behind on those goals. So, in order to rebuild, we're going to catch up to those! For the Centreville zone, that means 18 converts in the next 52 days. sounds crazy, but Elder P.  and I had each companionship talk, name the people they were working with who they thought could enter the waters of baptism by June 30th, then, heads down, everyone held up a number of fingers... We counted 44 fingers up in the air! And we're ready to see miracles.
For the second half of Zone Training, we talked about what we needed to do to rebuild the wall. We had everyone take 6 of the cups and we had them each build a 5 cup section of the wall as we talked about the things we would be doing to rebuild. The first cup was a new contacting technique called ARs. The second was a new system of accountability and reporting we concocted at Leadership Council the week before. Third was Faith and Fasting, the foundation of any great endeavor. (we started the 52 days with a fast on the 9th). Next, we had the desire to work that we all need. Power Hours that we're all committing to do, and that gives us 3-2 pyramids all over. Then, we had everyone write unity on their cups and place them on their section of the table. Everyone started putting them on top to have a 3-2-1 pyramid, but we stopped them and had them place their last "unity" cup on the side, so we had 3-3 wall sections that the overlapping cups connected the sections of. Suddenly, instead of many pyramids, we had a wall. So, everyone has those cups in their apartment now and it's a reminder of what we all need to do to assist the Lord in this great work. It was easily the most powerful Zone Training I've ever participated in, and no, not just because I was leading it this time... It's because President and Sister Riggs received revelation of how we can reach our full potential. Elder P and I were the messengers, but the message was from God.
And now, miracles are happening.
-Elder Hodgson

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