From Ethan: Mon, Oct 13, 2014 1:11 pm
HA. Just kidding, I'm staying here in Burley with Elder Bagels (Bagley) for another six weeks! I'm finally starting to get to know most of the people in the ward and the people who live around us. Changing areas is always a struggle because we essentially need to put all the names of people we know in the back of our minds and fill up our memories with new names and faces. I'm thankful that God gave me a pretty good photographic memory to be able to handle this fairly well.
Our mission was visited by a member of the Quorum of Seventy this week! Elder Christoffel Golden from Johannesburg, South Africa came to our Zone Conference on Thursday. At 7:15 in the morning we had a leadership meeting for all trainers, District Leaders, Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. Elder Golden was a bit late so I got called on to play prelude music on the piano. Turned out I had to play for 45 minutes! (Thank you, Taleah, for teaching me the basics of piano!) In the meeting, one point really stuck out that I need to incorporate in my everyday life. Elder Golden said, "To get really good at teaching, you have to get really good at learning". With Elder Bagels being fairly new to the mission I need to teach him about lots of things. Elder Golden's advice tells me that I also have to learn a lot from Elder Bagels to be a good teacher.
We had a great lesson with the Heisingers about the Restoration of the Priesthood and the divinity of the Book of Mormon. To have an understanding of the Restoration, we need to have a full understanding of the Apostasy. Historical and Biblical evidence of an apostasy just years after the ministry of the early Apostles is undeniable yet very hard for some people to accept. The Heisingers are those people. I can totally understand what they are thinking though, they asked some really great questions which we answered, then testified of the need of a Restoration. I could literally feel the Spirit increase whenever we testified! We just hope that Ron and Shirley were able to feel it. We invited them to not take our word for truth but to really search it out and ask God.
One of the biggest things that I learned this week is the need to "watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds" (Mosiah 4:30). It seems to be a problem here in Idaho and Utah of people not living what they preach and it rubs off on people who aren't of our faith. The talk given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks this last weekend was very timely. I implore people to watch their thoughts, words and actions and "be the change you want in the world" (Mahatma Ghandi). We need to strive to live all that we teach and not be hypocrites. We don't realize the mockery of Jesus Christ's atonement when we perform deeds contrary to what we say and present on our outward facade. Please be watchful! Read this talk!! https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/loving-others-and-living-with-differences?lang=eng
Love you and pray for you all!
-Elder Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org)