This has been an eventful week up here in Moses Lake. We started the week off on Tuesday by heading out to Quincy to have one final meeting with our mission president before the mission split the next day. It was for all the leadership in the north half of the mission and overall it was a great meeting. Both sets of APs (one for the WKM, one for the new Yakima Mission) gave a training along with President Ware, touching on various leadership subjects. I guess the A/C was out or something though because we all about boiled to death inside the chapel but despite the heat we were able to have a great revelatory experience with our mission president before the split the next day. It was also a great chance to see so many friends I had made in the mission one last time since we had all gathered together for the meeting. Definitely was a great way to end my experience in the Washington Kennewick Mission.
After the hour drive back we head straight to dinner with a family and when we came in the news was on and talked about an explosion that happened in Moses Lake, which definitely piqued our interest. We inquire of the family we were eating with more and apparently someone had been making homemade fireworks that went off unexpectedly and got the bomb squad from Spokane (about 2 hours away) to come down and investigate. It was interesting because it happened right in the middle of our area, so as we leave we see the actual location of the pictures they had broadcasted. Thankfully, no lives were lost and no serious damage happened to any of the homes.
Wednesday morning we woke up and about the only thing that happened to celebrate the new mission was a text from our former branch mission leader saying he wanted to be the first to officially welcome us to the new mission. No parties or celebrations happened really, until Saturday. I guess the message took a while to get out but Saturday the whole city seemed to be celebrating for us....
Friday though we were blessed to meet our new mission president and wife. He comes to us from Orem, Utah and had up until his call been working in external relations at BYU. He is a very articulate man that you can tell just by seeing him has a burning testimony of the Savior and of the Gospel. I am sad that I won't have a long time to learn from him because his knowledge of the gospel and his way of teaching seems like it would provide a lot of great insights into the mysteries of the kingdom. As with most life changing events he seemed a little overwhelmed with everything that was going on but he was ready and willing to tackle the obstacles that lay ahead of him.
Saturday was pretty uneventful for us. We had a meeting that morning with our zone (this was a regularly scheduled meeting; the other two just added to the plethora of meetings this week) but then afterwards went to work for a few hours until 6 PM when we were required to be inside. Can't have missionaries going crazy partying now can we? Thankfully we live with another set of elders so we were able to keep ourselves mildly entertained and were able to see some cool fireworks from the top floor of our apartment building, but the majority of the evening was occupied with throwing pop-its and confetti things at each other, coupled with lots of food. We made sure to prepare ourselves and stock up with only the importants, namely cheescake, root beer floats, and apple cider.
The only other thing to note that was different was I got bit by a dog this week on the ankle. Not enough to draw blood but enough to be mildly painful for a bit. Oh the experiences of a mission. The quote for this week comes from the zone meeting we had Saturday morning and was given to us by our marvelous zone leaders. We had an excellent training on finding joy in missionary work (if you want some cool scriptures, check out Luke 6:22-23 and Romans 14:17) but the quote that really stuck out was the following:
"Joy is the key indicator of living the Doctrine of Christ."
If we are doing what we are supposed to and living the way that we should, namely exercising faith, repenting, making and renewing covenants (like baptism), and keep following the guidance of the Holy Ghost and endure faithfully in that way, then the only natural result will be a true joy that only Christ can provide. Already between now and then I have been able to look for and find that joy in our service as missionaries, despite the rejections and not so nice people that we see on a daily basis.
May you all have a joyful start to the month of July!