I had a pretty remarkable week. My weekdays were completely packed with 1)Zone Leaders’ Council and 2)a new special training session. The Sunday before those weekdays started, our recent convert, Alexei was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. Our branch president is awesome and made sure that that was all taken care of– he even got Alexei’s wife from relief society so that she could see the ordination! We hope to be seeing alexei passing the sacrement in a week or so!
The training that we had was amazing. It was like being in the MTC without the awful cafeteria and awkward schedule, and everything annoying–including having 0 missionary experience to know what we should be learning anyway and how we might apply it. The church is going to be training missionaries differentyl in the near future, so they’re putting us through the training now. There were 8 lessons taught over 3 days to me and about 7 other missionaries–zone leaders. It was amazing to step back and look at what you’re doing and look at where your focus actually is. It’s amazing how off course we can get sometimes in whatever we’re doing. We had all these lessons, which really seemed to focus us in more on teaching people so that they feel respect, love and honesty from us, and so that we teach with the goal in mind of those we teach having a good understanding of everything they need to know from us. It was an amazing experience to be able to be redirected. I’m so thankful that I have so much more time left on my mission that I can now apply the things that I essentially just “relearned” but had somehow forgotten or put in the back of my mind.
But I guess that’s my message to you guys this week– I think we all generally know where we want to go in life and where we mean to go….. but how often are we letting side issues get us distracted and put our focus somewhere else? It was a big sacrifice of missionary time that for three days we did nothing but sit in the president’s house for this new training, but in the end I think it’ll be really worth it. Sometimes we all need to sacrifice that time to relearn the things we already know and reevaluate the focus of our lives. It’s like we sometimes tell the people we teach: the reason that we do things like go to church on sunday is this: imagine walking down a long line ot tape, blindfolded. Sure you can stay pretty accurate for a while, but after 100 steps you’re going to be far away from the tape line. If you can take off the blind fold every so often and look at where you are and readjust and recommit yourself to that goal, then you keep yourself close to what you should be doing.
Thanks for all your letters of support and emails and prayers.
ps. pictures: a funny russian add for some happy event to happen on sept 11… which is the day we remember the twin towers
also, we drew the plan of salvation for one sports night with sidewalk chalk. (click on photo to enlarge!)