Monday, July 15, 2013

week 63- none of us should leave unaffected when we talk about the Grace of Jesus Christ

Well, transfers came and went this week, and I'm still here in Manassas! Elder Flaherty and I are sticking together, which marks only the second time in my mission that has happened! Until now, I've been able to say I've had as many companions as transfers! It was pretty crazy!
Well, one thing of note, transfers are a lot less nervewracking to sit through when you're not moving! Usually, people don't go when they aren't moving, but the Zone Leaders have to be there to make sure nobody in their zone gets stranded. And we are the "hosting" zone leaders since transfers happen in Centreville, so we have to close the place out. Our zone was pretty much unaffected. The only changes were because of new missionaries or missionaries going home!
That evening, after transfers, we had stake correlation, so Thursday was pretty much shot... haha It was great though! Kind of nervewracking... President Dionne asked us to get up and speak to all the Bishopbrics and Ward Mission Leaders in the stake on what wards can do to help investigators follow through on commitments and how to help them do that. We felt like it went well!
Friday was Elder Flaherty's birthday, and President always calls, sings and asks if their companion made breakfast.... So, I planned ahaead! It was Elder Flaherty's first time trying Eggs Benedict, and he LOVED it!

The musical fireside last Wednesday was amazing! Since we pretty much have the same zone, we're hoping to do it again! We're excited!
This week we worked hard when we could, but it was busy! Yesterday was a killer day though, so it made up for it! We were crazy busy yesterday! But that's how we like it :)
The Syrian family we're teaching had a slight setback when the father went to the ER this last week. He was having heart palpitations due to some anemia... He's much better now though. We just  were missing  him for a while.
This week was kind of a pass-off week. We had multiple people either move out or start going to the singles ward. Something we're definitely not against. The singles ward (institute in particular) is great for people and the Sisters over there are amazing (I trust them more than myself with investigators!), It's just hard to not see these amazing people as often. It's all good though! That's the nature of the work! (and we still stop in periodically for short check-ins)

Zone Training was probably one of the highlights of the week. After Mission Leadership Council, we go back and train the rest of the Zone on what we learned. It's been very interesting lately to see the focus of President Riggs lately. His biggest focus has been consecration. Personal consecration to the Lord. He still teaches us missionary skills, but he feels very strongly that what will make us the best missionaries we can be is not the missionary "tricks" we know, but the people we are. It's been amazing putting our focus on the source of our consecration: Christ. President Riggs said the other day: "My success as a Mission President isn't going to be measured for another 20 years. My success is based on how consecrated you all are 2 decades down the road. Now, do I hope we baptize a couple people in the process? Absolutely! I LOVE building the Lord's kingdom, and I hope we do! But my biggest concern is that you each become consecrated to the Lord for the rest of your life."
So, we've been talking a lot about grace and the role it plays in consecration. Look in scriptures for this formula: Grace=Faith+Humility+Diligence. I'll even give an example. Ether 12:27. "And if men come unto me (diligence) I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble (humility); and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me (faith), then will I make weak things become strong unto them (This is one of the effects of grace)." So, if we have faith and humble ourselves, and diligently come unto Christ, His grace will make our weaknesses strong. Grace really can't be overdone. It's the GREATEST thing about this entire gospel. Through Christ we can receive grace. Elder Bednar talks often about the three powers of the atonement. The healing power, the enabling power, and the exalting power. All three come from grace! It's through grace that we receive forgiveness, it's through grace that we become better (or more obedient for example) and it's through grace that we can eventually become exalted.
Elder Flaherty put it best during Zone Training when he said "Nobody should leave unaffected when we talk about the grace of Jesus Christ." It really has the power to change; and that for the better! It's been such a huge boost to focus on the things that really matter. And it's been amazing too, to see how all the other aspects of missionary work just fall into place as we come to understand Grace and become more consecrated.
Love you all!
-Elder Hodgson

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