Dearest Family and Friends,
The reason you didn't get an email yesterday was because of May long weekend (can be compared to our Memorial day weekend kind of). The library was closed so we are here today. I have tons I want to talk about so hopefully I can get it all in. Time permitting.
This past Wednesday we enjoyed Mission Tour (aka a General Authority came to visit) Elder William R. Walker (select the following link to learn more about Elder Walker http://www.lds.org/church/leader/william-r-walker?lang=eng ) He was pretty legit. He is the Executive Director of the Temple Department. He had a lot of great insights and his voice sounds just like Elder M. Russell Ballard. It was funny because Elder Lane (one of my Zone Leaders) said, "He sounds just like Elder Ballard. I just close my eyes and it's like we are recieving instruction from Elder Ballard." Anyway, the following are some random insights that I enjoyed from that conference. Sister Walker spoke and one thing she said that I specifically said was, "When you find out (in the next life) who you are you'll be sorry you didn't try harder." She talked about our Divine Potential. Elder Walker talked a lot about quotes from some of the Brethren on Missionary Work and then he went through Alma 8 with us about Alma and Amulek and the amazing missionaries they were. Some insights from that chapter were:
Alma 8:10-Pray for the Spirit to pour out on the city you serve.
Alma 8:15- Be happy Missionaries. Rejoice you're keeping the commandments. If you're a Latter-Day Saint you should be happy.
Alma 8:18- Do things speedily. When you recieve an assignment or prompting, do it now! Also, if you aren't having success do something different. Change is good.
Alma 8:19- Open your mouth all the time. Don't miss the opportunity to speak. The Lord had someone prepared for Alma, He has someone prepared for you.
Alma 8:22- Bless the homes and people you come in contact with. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools you've got. Use it!
Alma 8:22-24- Cite your authority. While introducing yourself say, "My companion and I have been called by a Prophet of God to be a missionary."
Alma 8:27-31- As missionaries we have power given to us!
I loved all these insights! It was amazing to go through that chapter with him. Another thing he talked about I thought all my "Thompson Uncles" would appreciate. He compared Missionary Work to a Batting average. An average batter has a .250 batting average. If someone has a .300 batting average they would be considered Really Good. And a .350 batting average is considered Exceptional. So, what's the difference between an Average Batter and a Really Good Batter?... 1! 1 additional hit in a week can make you a Really Good Batter. The difference between a Really Good Batter and an Exceptional Batter?... 1! 1 additional hit in a week can make you an Exceptional Batter. So, let's translate this into missionary lingo. What can make you a Really Good Missionary? 1 more door knocked, 1 more lesson taught, 1 more person contacted, 1 more testimony shared. To become an Exceptional Missionary is just to improve 1 or 2 things a week. Less overwhelming when you look at it that way hey? I loved it! It was a call to action for me. A call to go a little longer, push myself a little harder. He also said, "If we're not going to work hard for the Lord, who are we ever going to work hard for?" So great!!! Loved it! He then took questions at the end and one Elder (who goes home this transfer) asked, "How do you not let yourself get trunky and not fall into old habits when you get home?" Elder Walker's answer? Run through the tape. Act as if your mission isn't ending and that this is all you do. Work until the last day. Keep looking like a missionary. He specifically said, "Elders, do not grow facial hair, wear colored shirt, etc. when you get home." When he said that I immediately thought of my brother Matt. He always says that. :) Great advice big brother!! He also instructed us to still pray, study scriptures, go to the temple often, pay your tithing, etc. Don't put down your devotion. Be proud to be a Returned Missionary! These were the best years of your life and they don't really have to end when you are released. I really loved that.
We also got the opportunity to attend the Edmonton Temple. It was beautiful! It was the smallest temple I've been in. Only one Endowment room with about 40 seats total. 20 on both sides. It's been almost 8 months since I had been so going last Wednesday was a treat for sure.
Well, I love you all! I hope you're all having an amazing day!!!