Do you want the bad news first, or the good news first? Bad news, you say? Alrighty then.
We had a bit of a disappointing week. One of our super solid investigators was supposed to be baptized next Sunday. She knows everything is true and wants so badly to be baptized. She’s been meeting with the missionaries on and off for EIGHT YEARS but she said something was different about when she met with me and Sister Griffin. She knew everything was true and wanted to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. But, before you can get baptized you have to have the consent of your spouse. Friday night, we role played with her to practice telling her husband. She bore her testimony, and was bold, and firm, and we honestly couldn’t have asked for a better response. She was so prepared and so, so ready. Saturday, she told her husband and he was noooottttt happy. He told her she had to wait 6 more months, but within those six months, she can’t go to church or meet with us. She’s still convinced that she’ll be baptized in December, but if you’re not continually inviting the spirit into your life by attending church, praying, and studying the scriptures… well, the spirit leaves. We told her all of our concerns and talked about procrastination, life in the eternities, the works. But she felt that compromise was the best she could do. Regardless, it broke my heart =(
Aside from that, there was a pretty big storm this week. I hear there was a tornado not too far away from here. Didn’t affect us at all. Anyways, we were on the edge of our area at a dinner appointment (about an hour and a half transit ride away with traffic) and had to be at ESL in less than an hour. We were taking the elevator down to the lobby when the power goes off!! There was no cell phone service, and fun fact, the emergency phone thing doesn’t work when the power goes out! Eventually the phone thing started working, but when we dialed, it said “all lines are busy.” So we had no way to tell anyone where we were or that we were going to be late! Eventually the power came back on and when we got out of the elevator, a member of our church just so happened to be standing at the door and offered us a ride. Tender mercies of the Lord. We were only 15 minutes late to English class. We only ended up having one student show up anyways haha.
As most of you know, the World Cup is going on right now. As a missionary, we can’t watch sporting events or anything like that because we are literally every minute of every day from 6:30am-10:30pm spending our time proselyting, or studying, or preparing. Even on our preparation days (mondays) we have to do laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, emails, etc. The point of my story is that we do missionary work all the time. I’m afriad that this is sounding like a complaint… it’s not! I absolutely love what we do. The reason why I’m telling you this is because I know some of you aren’t familiar with what missionaries do, or what we do with our time. So long story short, we don’t watch the news or sporting events because we’re here to do missionary work, and we wouldn’t have time even if we were allowed. So back to my story! The World Cup is going on right now, and it’s so cool here in Toronto because you have people from literally all corners of the earth. Every car has a different world flag on the window. Some cars even have hood and mirror covers with their country flag on it. We were contacting on Yonge street (Longest street in the world, by the way) while there was a soccer match going on (Germany vs Ghana I believe, if any of you care to know). A lot of people were inside pubs and restaurants watching the game, and at one point the whole street goes “OOOHHHHHH” Like you know when something intense happens in a sports event. The whole city is celebrating the World Cup right now, and it’s really cool since they’re all cheering for different teams. People honk and wave at other cars with the same flag as them, the whole street freaks out when someone wins a game. The Iranians go bananas whenever their team is playing, even if they lose. I think they’re just happy that their team is still in 😛 (Or at least they were last time I heard).
Oh that reminds me. The Farsi elders have educated me that Iran is not pronounced “I-ran.” It is “E-rahn.” And it’s not “I-rain-ian” it’s “E-rahn-ian.” So fix it. 😛
In the mission, there’s a whole bunch of leadership for organizational purposes and whatnot. So there’s a companionship, which consists of two missionaries. Then there’s about 3-5 companionships in a district, and each district has a district leader. Then there’s about 5 districts in a zone, and each zone has 2 zone leaders who work together. In the whole Toronto Mission, I think theres 8 zones. There are usually 2 Assistants to the President who do exactly that, assist the mission president. Right now there’s 3 assistants, probably because 2 of them go home this transfer. The Mission President is an adult who presides over the whole mission with his wife. They get mission calls like we do, so they’re not from Canada. The Mission President is the guy who decides where we go, who we go with, and how long we stay there for. Well really it’s God who decides all that, but he works through the mission president. Anwyays, we get a new mission president this week. His name is President Clayton and he’s also from Utah. We’ll get to meet him early in July. Mission presidents usually serve for about 3 years at a time, or at least that’s how long President and Sister Scott served here for. I’m excited to work with President and Sister Clayton!
We had Zone Conference in Richmond Hill this week, which is where all the missionaries in 3 zones get together for training from the mission president. President Scott talked a lot about the theme of Light and Darkness, which is my little spiritual thought for you today! He gave us a lot of scriptures to study and words to ponder, but the biggest thing that I learned from it was that every single thing we do either brings us closer to God, or pushes us away from Him. Every thing we do either invites light into our lives, or darkness.In Preach My Gospel chapter 6, under Virtue, it says: “Your mind is like a stage in a theater; in the theater of your mind, however, only one actor can be on stage at a time. If the stage is left bare, thoughts of darkness and sin often enter the stage to tempt. But these thoughts have no power if the stage of your mind is occupied by wholesome thoughts, such as a memorized hymn or verse of scripture that you can call upon in a moment of temptation. By controlling the stage of your mind, you can successfully resist persistent urges to yield to temptation and indulge in sin. You can become pure and virtuous.” Darkness is just the absence of light. So, if our minds are not constantly filled with light, they are filled with darkness. How do we fill our minds with light? You may have heard the answer before…. go to church, pray daily, study the scriptures every single day. It really is that easy! Avoid entertainment that drives away the spirit, give service, speak kindly to others and about others, etc etc. Often, people don’t realize that they’re living in darkness. Their eyes adjust without them fully realizing it. As missionaries, it’s our job to help people realize that they’re living in darkness and to help them fill their lives with light. Just like stepping outside from dark room into the sunshine, it hurts at first. The repentance and adjustment process can be hard at times. But eventually, our eyes adjust and we can see clearer than we ever could before. Once we live in the light, we crave more light. Sometimes, people think they’re happy when they’re living in the dark; they don’t see the need to change. But once they experience the light the gospel brings, they find true happiness that they hadn’t experienced while in the dark, and they never want to go back. Buuuut Satan is one sneaky guy, and can slowly drag us back into the darkness little by little without us even noticing it. That is why it is so essential that we fill our lives with light constantly so that there is no room for darkness to enter. The theme of light vs darkness shows up all over the place in the scriptures, and I’d encourage all of you to look for that theme during your daily scripture study.
Also, since it was Zone Conference this week, I got my mail faster than I thought it would. Which means that I got a few lovely birthday cards and packages from some very kind friends and family members. Thank you so much!!
Love you all!
Oh yeah, the title has nothing to do with the blog post haha. I just had no idea what to title this one. But this week I learned that it is the longest English word. It’s a type of lung disease that occurs when you inhale some sort of volvanic ash I believe. The more you know!