Friday, November 15, 2013

WEEK 80- the approach of transfers and office mayhem

This week was another exciting one!

Tuesday, we went out with our Elders Quorum President to visit a bunch of people from the ward! It was fun to get to know him and the ward better and do some work with him.

Wednesday, We went to the departing missionary temple trip! President takes the departing missionaries each transfer and the assistants get to go. Elder Flaherty, one of my old companions was there, as were Elders Creager and Oliverson, roommates from Manassas, Elder Holfeltz, one of my role models out here, Sisters Jeppson and Goates, my MTC sisters (Sister Evans is in the Richmond mission :( ) and many other great friends. It was a beautiful experience. That night, we spent a lot of time at the mission home helping President prepare for transfers and for the zone conferences we're going to have. It was way fun. It was neat to to talk about some of the struggles the mission is facing and the things we can teach so we  we  all can be empowered and become better servants. We also spent a lot of time working with the transfer board and prayerfully finding what the Lord would like us to do. It was awesome. It was amazing to just be a part of such open revelation, as we tried putting different companionships together, and trying different ideas out and just seeing how they felt. One of the things President often says during that process is "the Lord has already decided where everyone needs to be. Our job is simply to discover what He has decided."

Thursday we had Return and Report, which is when all the new missionaries and their trainers come together and we see how their mission experience has been so far. It was way cool to see all of them again, remembering when they were fresh off of the airplane and so nervous and now seeing them becoming settled in the mission life. it was awesome. That evening, I accomplished the single greatest task I've ever completed using Microsoft Excel. We have this HUGE spreadsheet called the "reporting document" that deals with recording the mission's key indicators. Well, we separated the mission from 6 zones into 10 this transfer, so we had to do some adjusting on that. Most of it was done, but Friday was Mission Leadership Council and we always have a powerpoint of zone accountability where we show each zone's indicators for the past 3 months. So, I had to go back 3 months in the reporting document and sort the areas from the old zones into the new ones and get them to show up with accurate reports of all the indicators for the past 3 months. I ended up setting up a spare monitor the office has so I could link the displays. i had the powerpoint on one and the spreadsheet on the other so I could be updating both... It was crazy intense!!!

Friday was another Mission Leadership Council. Elder Cluff and I taught the leadership of the mission how to motivate and inspire others so they could be better at lifting their zones.

Saturday was more office work, staying busy as always. We also had the opportunity to teach a sweet guy from Turkey who didn't have a belief in God. It was really neat starting with just the basics of prayer and who God is.

Sunday was church. I'm not sure I've said this yet, but we share the ward with a companionship of sisters. Sister Borland (who I've served near for almost a year) and Sister McCormick, who I didn't know too well until this transfer. They're the Sister Training Leaders for our area and way fun to serve with. We had the New Member Fireside in the evening! It was weird sitting on the stand for that fireside... .haha I accompanied two musical numbers yesterday. Sister Borland sang, and I accompanied her, then at the fireside, I accompanied Elder DeHaan (who I've served near a few times and is currently my zone leader) and Sister Goates (whoI was in the MTC with). Later that night, we called all the missionaries who will be training new missionaries to extend the assignment to them.

Today we had a dart war at one of the chapels! Elder Riggs got a ton of 18inch pvc pipes and a boxload of darts, so we had a whole bunch of wars with those, then played volleyball!! It was super fun! One of the best preparation day activities I've been to in a while.

That's been our week. it's been super busy, but we both love it. We're starting to grow really attached to the short hours we have in our beds, too haha. It's sometimes very sad for us to not be doing normal missionary work as much as we'd like, but we are often reminded that if we don't fulfill our responsibilities here in the office, thr missionary work id impeded , so that makes us feel better. We just pull as hard as we can to be out and about. It's a great life!  We also enjoy spending the time we do with President Riggs and his family. I'm really learning a lot from him and hoping to pick up on as many good habits as possible.

I love you all! Until next week!

-Elder Hodgson
~what is your goal until Christmas? to finish up the new year???

My goal is to have a baptism while serving as an assistant. Maybe even two! It's very rare for that to happen though because of the other responsibilities, so I want to change that!

~what is your exercise program / Routine?

Right now... haha let's just say I'm not actively doing six months to sexy.  We'll sometimes run to the high school and back, we play tennis with a soccer ball sometimes, it's a lot of fun.

~ what is one thing mom and dad should probably not know about your mission so far?
Mostly just mission drama

~you both "left someone behind" to serve the do you feel about that? what is your council to others? how much do you want to know of their lives at home?

I don't regret it at all. I've come out with many wonderful memories, and I know that, whatever happens, many more memories will come. I don't mind knowing much about life at home, I LOVE hearing how people are doing and what's going on in their life. I'd say the best council I could give would be to just trust the Lord.. Early on in my mission, my energy supply came from letters I received. I soon found that was simply not adequate for the demanding lifestyle of a missionary. One of the most trying times on my mission was when I worked to change my source and my focus to the Lord, but it was the most rewarding transition I've made. My advice would just be to make the transition early.

~ what was the best moment of the week?

Probably being in the temple. I miss that place.

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