This was a good week. I thoroughly enjoyed all that went on and all that I learned this past week here in Othello. It started Tuesday with an exchange with one of our District Leaders who is serving in Mattawa. He is a young missionary and still learning from experience but it was a wonderful exchange. To give you an idea of Mattawa, think of the most middle of nowhere place you can imagine, multiply it by 2, and that about describes Mattawa. It’s a tiny little town of maybe 1,000 that's set up off a highway that is just kind of there. The only substance for the town is the 1000s of acres of farmland that surround the area. If it weren't for that, the town would disappear. It was a fun experience though. There wasn't much going on in the area at the time so for an hour we put on some gloves, grabbed a trash bag, and started picking up some trash. Two full bags later we continued on with our day but it was great for me to see the strong desire this missionary had to do well with his area. The rest of the night was great and the pool table in their basement just added to it.
The following day we had his district meeting in a place called Royal City in their seminary building (the church building is 10 miles down the road literally just sitting there, nothing around it) which is about as the middle of nowhere as Mattawa but it was a great district meeting. Remember this meeting because the quote of the week comes from it. That night after we went down to North Pasco (all in all I think we spent about 4 hours driving that day) to interview some people that our other district leader and his companion had been teaching. I was able to interview a lady that had only been meeting with the missionaries for maybe a month, 2 at best but had already developed such a strong desire to be baptized. She had church-hopped as a kid and in the recent past but she said she never felt anything or got anything out of it until she went with her boyfriend (now fiancé who was inactive at the time) to his church. She felt something special there and was so excited about all the questions she was getting answered and the opportunity it provided her to learn even more. It was a really special experience for me to be able to meet and talk with someone who had developed such a strong testimony that early in her search.
This weekend was also a great experience with Stake Conference. We were able to attend the Saturday night Adult Session as well as the Sunday morning so we had some great opportunities for learning. Saturday night they talked a lot about Ward Council and what makes effective councils and how to hold them and things of that nature which was great for my companion and me since although we don't run Ward Councils we do have Zone Leadership and Mission Leadership Councils that we run and sit on. The principles for both are the same. Anyways I'll spare you all that I learned but suffice it to say that it was a great experience. My comp and I were able to play a small part as well since we do have a small part in the Ward Council for the English ward we cover and so we were part of a demonstration that talked about the missionaries' role in it all. All we did was stand there but it was still cool. Sunday morning wasn't anything terribly out of the ordinary but it was still a great experience as well. The stake leaders here are great men and did a very good job with their teaching. One of the members of our Mission Presidency also gave a talk and made mention how there are currently 10 missionaries from mainland China, 1 from Syria, and 1 from Lebanon in the MTC learning English to go serve missions. If that isn't the hastening of the work I don't know what is.
So the quote this week came from a meme that was hung up in the seminary building in Royal City. Quick history lesson since it won't make sense to those of you that don't know won't understand this at all. The Book of Mormon is a compilation of prophetic writings much like the Bible (Matthew + Mark + Luke + John +.... = the Bible; Nephi + Jacob + Enos +.... = the Book of Mormon) and the man that compiled most of the Book of Mormon was named Mormon (hence, the Book of Mormon). So there was a picture of Mormon sprawled out over some records as he was compiling all of them together and the caption read thusly:
"Oh you don't have time to read the scriptures do you?”
“That’s cool. I only spent my entire life preparing them for you."
So if you didn't get it, I'm sorry. Ask your nearest Mormon and they'll be happy to answer. If you did get it, I hope I was able to brighten your day just a little.
Either way, enjoy the beginnings of March Madness.
Until next week,