Looking back on this past week, I feel more like a glorified secretary than a missionary. Tuesday we spent 2 hours trying to fix a report we got from the office to give to the Stake President here in Kennewick (he's the man over all the members in the city of Kennewick; there are bishops – most similar to a pastor – that’s over a congregation of about 150 members and then the Stake President is over 8 of those congregations) in a meeting we have once a month to let him know how the missionary efforts are going here in this zone. The meeting went well but it was just a pain and a half trying to fix the report. Thursday was pretty cool. There was a set of sisters in the next stake over (Kennewick East - we are very original in our naming protocols) who wanted to get baptized, but they speak Spanish, and since there wasn't anyone that could speak Spanish and was allowed to do the interview, they normally default to our APs, the only problem is they were on exchanges with some zone leaders up in Othello so they asked us to do it, since my companion and I both happened to speak Spanish. It was a neat experience going back to Spanish mode (haven't completely lost it yet) and helping these people make the last step towards getting baptized.
Friday is when the true craziness began. That morning my companion and I spent two hours planning for a meeting we had to give with all the District Leaders in the zone the following day before going to an appointment that fell through, only to return home and start our weekly planning (where we discuss what we are going to do the following week and the needs of the people we are working with) just in time to get a phone call from some missionaries that needed a ride somewhere for something (we give a lot of rides seeing as we don't have a mile limit; they all just fade into a giant blur), and then return home and start planning again only to turn around and head to an early dinner to be able to be on the road down to Umatilla, Oregon. There was a similar situation happening down in another zone across the way where they were in need of another Spanish interview and since the APs were in Moses Lake this time we got to make the trip down across the river into Oregon to make this interview happen. There was some intense fog on the way down but we made the hour drive safely and relatively uneventful only to come back up for yet another meeting, this time for the high councilor over missionary work and the JustServe committee. JustServe is the new initiative that the church is starting to get members and missionaries more involved in the community so each stake has a representative called to that position to be in charge of making things happen. The representative for our stake has done a good job thus far in making things happen so we met with him to discuss the finer points of a project coming up this week. It’s gonna be cool. Anyways by the end of the night my companion and I were dead tired (sitting in a car is surprisingly exhausting) so we decided the only logical solution was to go get a shake.
And then Saturday started. We had the aforementioned meeting with the District Leaders followed by lunch at a mexican restaurant (trying to curb my need for handmade tortillas; it didn't work) followed by even more planning since we weren't able to get to all of it on Friday like we were supposed to. We had a baptism to attend a few hours after we started planning for some of the missionaries in our zone which was a good problem to have and afterwards we were so sick of planning and sitting around we gave up trying and just went to work. From there it was a relatively normal night. We had correlation with our Ward Mission Leader and then a lesson with our recent converts and then came home to finally catch a breath. If nothing else, I've been sleeping really well the past few days.
So the quote for this week I think originally came from John Bytheway but a missionary - who had got it from the member he lives with - handed it to us as we picked him up for a meeting this past week, and I think it is known as the unofficial '14th Article of Faith' but is very fitting to the events of this past week. Just a little background really quick for those of you who may not know: Back when the Church was first reorganized in the early 1800s a newspaper asked Joseph Smith to write a quick article summarizing the beliefs of the Latter Day Saint faith. The article - 13 points stating our beliefs - then came to be known as the 13 Articles of Faith, which do a very good job at describing in simple terms the basics of our beliefs. And with that in mind, this is the very unofficial (like so unofficial this is a joke; don't take this seriously) 14th Article of Faith:
"We believe in meetings - all that have been scheduled, all that now are scheduled, and we believe that there yet will be many more great and important meetings. We have endured many meetings and hope to be able to endure all meetings. If there is a meeting, we seek after it."
And with that, I wish you all a very tired goodbye until next week.