February 17th 2017.
Time goes by so quickly in the mission field. It's always busy and things are moving all the time. We enjoyed a world wide missionary broadcast on January 25th and it was amazing that the senior brethren of the missionary executive council, Elders Oaks, Bednar, and Anderson, invited all missionaries into that meeting via a teleconference live feed and it was awesome! How many missionaries can say that they have prayed with an Apostle! Or watched how a council meeting is held. They taught the principle of teaching repentance and baptizing converts and stressed to “not skip a step”. We also had brother Donaldson from the missionary department and brother Glazier from the Provo MTC come that same week and do some training with our missionaries. It was fantastic! They are both wonderful and insightful teachers and we all learned so much about how to share the gospel with our brothers and sisters. The interesting thing is everything we learned was just going back to basics and tied to our missionary purpose. You have to build faith in your investigators before they can move forward. Such a simple thought and yet so easily forgotten. The missionaries that were able to attend were very excited about everything they learned and were anxious to get back to the missionaries in their area and share with them the new trainings. Everyone seems to be very excited about using these teachings and have seen the benefits of sticking to the basics in their teachings already. We love our missionaries and we love the Kansas Wichita mission!
We sent home so many awesome missionaries lately who completed their missions and we miss them already. They make such a mark on the mission and with the other missionaries. We’ve had many new come and it is exciting to see their progress. Missionary work is work! It’s living on a schedule, following guidelines, studying, keeping close to a companion, making goals, keeping track of people you meet...it’s a time of losing yourself and focusing on others. It can be quite an adjustment but I love when I see the missionaries finally get it and lose themselves and get into the work. What an awesome thing for anyone to do….lose yourself in the service of God and your fellow man!
We just started a new round of stake conferences for the year. Last weekend we had conference in the Wichita stake. The stake presidency was changed and they had two visiting authorities, Elder Weatherford Clayton, a General Authority Seventy, from Utah and Elder Spackman, an area authority seventy, from Canada.(Elder Claytons niece just finished her mission here with us 6 weeks ago!) All of the talks were so good and motivating. President Williams was released and his first counselor President Chandler was put in as the the new Stake President. Such good men! We had to leave as soon as conference was over to drive 3 ½ hours to Garden City for a missionary training meeting Mitch and his first counselor Matt Steel were doing for all of the bishopbrics, ward mission leaders and stake presidency. After that meeting we held a mission president’s devotional. We had new converts share their conversion stories and testimonies as well as some more seasoned converts do the same. It was a powerful meeting on how the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives. I am so impressed at all that Mitch does and the energy he has to do it all. The Lord has truly blessed him in this work to have the stamina to do it all! It is the busiest thing we have ever done!
Yesterday we sent home Elder Gilliam who was one of the assistants when we arrived June 30th. He has been having some back problems his whole mission and it just was time for him to go and take care of his health. I loved making food for Elder Gilliam because he could eat and I love when people eat my food. You’d think with the way he could put down food he would be a big guy but he’s not! Anyway, I will always be thankful to him and Elder Labrum for being our guides when we first got here and didn’t know what we were doing. I love these two young men!
We've had a few really cold days but for the most part it's been a pretty mild winter. I'm looking forward to leaves and green grass!The Gospel is TRUE!!!