July 1, 2013
Welcome to the ATM...yes, the ATM. I'm trying not to be glum about this whole thing. And I was doing pretty good until Pres Taylor sent us a final goodbye text this morning calling the Tempe mission the ATM. Here in Phoenix...well, when I was part of Phoenix we referred to ourselves as the APM (Arizona Phoenix Mission). Now, I'm part of a money supplying machine. Silly thing to be upset about, I know. But well, it doesn't take much these days.
A lot happened this last week. Not much with investigators or anything since we let them all go last week since they didn't come to church, but ew talk 11 member lessons most of them to the youth, like Elder Ballard asked us to do when he was here a couple of weeks ago. It's so cool to go into their houses and get to know them, see where their testimonies are, and you just can't help but love them! It's interesting to hear the young women leaders talk about their girls. They say things about them, then we visit them and see that what the leader said was completely inaccurate. For example: She isn't interested in church and when she comes she never stays for young womens. Then we go over and the girl testifies of the power of prayer and of how much she knows her Father in Heaven loves her and the Spirit is so strong that you know she's telling the truth. Then when you ask her why she doesn't come to YWs she says it's because she doesn't like the leaders or the girls. This has happened on 2 occasions. And both of them were baptized about 3 years ago. It's so sad. Now, don't get me wrong, the YW president really tries so hard. She's an awesome lady. (if I wasn't a missionary I'm sure we'd be fast friends =) ) She really is trying to magnify her calling.
Also we had our final meeting with Pres and Sis Taylor on Friday. It was intense. Full of testimonies and the Spirit and love. My goodness I can't even explain in words how much I love those two. THey've helped me through a lot the last 9 1/2 months. I've learned so much from them about relationships and what I want. Once I asked Sis T how Pres T was before. If he just always respected her like he does. (if I've told this story before I apologize) They've known each other for a long long time. Like since they were children. She said "Now doesn't think I'm bragging, but he's always adored me." =) Before his mission he used to have nightmares that she wouldn't want to marry him when he got back. =) Pres T holds his priesthood in such a dignified way, even though he speaks from the pulpit with his eyes closed sometimes. =) I can't even explain it to you in words. But I love them so much. And I am so grateful for their example and their support. So as the final goodbye text said this morning I will see them again on the other side of my mission service.
We also met the Tempe assistants to the president and we learned that they wear their name tags on the right side. They don't know why but their guess is because they have a rivalry with the Mesa Mission...I will continue to wear mine on the left until Pres Toone tells me otherwise. I'm proud to have Christ's name visibly written on my heart right now and no rivalry is going to change that fact.
Yesterday I spoke in church for the first time on my mission. EEP!! They told me at 8:40 in the morning and then told me the topic at 10:10. Church starts at 11. =) Well, it was no where near as long as it should have been. Good think Elder Jarvis took up the slack on that one. But I think it went well. It was mostly testimony. And I don't remember most of what I said. So that means it was by the Spirit right? ;-)
Well, I think that's it. Missions are awesome. Love you all! Thanks for your prayers and everything!
PS Mormon message of the week. Elder Holland man! Love him, love priesthood session of conference, LOVE THIS TALK