I love Sunrise! I definitely love being here. It is so nice to hear good news from warm springs and i'm trying hard to keep in contact with people because of a neat experience i had this week. This week we had sister exchanges. Basically all the sisters in the mission come together, eat lunch, have a little training and then we go on exchanges the next day. I stayed here in Los Feliz and to my surprise, Sister Celis came back with me! It was so fun to be companions with Sister Celiz again! I love her a lot and it was so easy to see that she has become a very effective missionary. I learned a lot from her even in just one day. The 30 minute drive back to the mission office, She was calling old investigators and inactive members to make sure they were still going to church and reading their scriptures. It was really simply but i learned something from her in those last 30 minutes together. Once a missionary in an area, you can always be a missionary in that area simply by extending more and more invitations as we keeping in contact with people. We must show them that our love for them is not conditional on our assignment to serve them. I believe that much of missionary work is done after leaving an area. Every member, missionary, friend, even interaction leaves an impression. Is it a good impression or a bad impression. Did you look happy or hurried or frustrated when you served them? Is it a lasting impression? My goal is to leave lasting impressions of positive and spiritual moments on the lives of everyone i come in contact with. we have been working hard at talking to everyone. It has been pretty fun but hard to make every contact a meaningful and lasting impression. we have a goal to leave our trace everywhere we go. So much that someone could walk down a street and find us simply by following the church materials we leave. Talking to people is sometimes hard, especially when they are obviously trying not to talk to you or avoid you. Almost always, when genuine love is expressed they open themselves to receive more. Kirsten, i love your goal to give out 1 book of mormon every month! i know you can do it!!! Even if it is the first of the month, you can still do it! Talk to the missionaries too. they will help you. When the members give the investigators a copy of the book of mormon with their testimonies it is more effictive. As missionaries, we have a different objective than most. We all naturally want to be needed but ultimately, in the Lord's work and as missionaries we work so that we are no longer needed. Independence in our spirituality is only obtained through our single dependence on the Lord. The missionaries leave so quickly that converts and investigators will not last if it their activity is dependent on us. Our job is to find the perfect fellowshipper so investigators don't even want to sit with us at church. If they prefer to be with a member than YES! we are doing well. Sounds kind of funny and i'm not sure how exactly to express it but more than anything, missionary work is working with members to help others feel loved and welcomed in Jesus Christ's church through genuinely sharing our testimonies and offering help through the restored ordinances of the priesthood. This is how active and strong members are creative: Networks of supportive and righteous influences. It is true of members and Non-members. Active and Inactives. Even true of our friendships. What a neat work this is! Life is flat our wonderful! There is so much good to be done, so many good books to read, so many lives to touch, so many people to serve. There is no reason for idolness! "Actively engaged" in God's work is the Greatest work we can do. I love you all! I hope you are well. I am praying for you right along with my investigators. Christian, i even fasted for your mission prep last month. I'm excited for you! Keep preparing and you have no regrets. Nobody wants to start a mission with regrets so make sacrifices now to prepare. I love you all!
ps- mission ideas: Dad, i was thinking about how you put the General Conference Ensign in the waiting rooms and exam rooms of your office. You could even go one step further and put a tab on Elder Russell's talk, "Ask the missionaries, they can help you" with the missionaries phone number on a mormon.org card or something. I don't know. Missionary work is creative, it's fun, and exciting! another idea. Do we have a spanish branch? The church offers an english program. It is really effective. our branch had 2 people baptised from english classes last month. it all has to be approved through the stake presidency and even the mission presidency to get help form the spanish missionaries. it's pretty cool though! Last idea. We've been encouraged to help people make family mission plans.....cool idea? do we have one yet? Well, i'm in! :) One more idea. so you meet someone ask them what their weekend plans are. then they ask you and you say, "hey, i'm going to church on sunday....want to come!?" with a zoo face. Missionary work isn't as hard as we make it! dnc 24:12 and it has existed since the beginning! moses 5:58 sure love you and keep up the missionary work.
Dear President Neider,
Today was a fun week! I'm not thinking of any specific reason it was a fun week. Simply, i love being here! I know my days are numbered. No matter how big or small the number is, they are numbered. Elder Dubois and Elder Kerr always say, "what a blessing!!!" about everything that happens in here. That is how i feel about being a missionary. What a blessing! I love the singleness of purpose here. I love the structure and organization. I love the dependence on the Spirit for inspiration. I love how individual God's love is for his children. I am so blessed to share that love with the people here. We meet people daily that don't have the slightest glimpse of their worth. I know that their worth is defined and has been since the beginning. Our decisions don't change our worth. Our past doesn't change our worth. We have a whole future ahead in the Atonement. thank you
President for All you do! I am so excited for Zone conference tomorrow!