Thanks for the email. Here is the report for this week.
I went on exchanges in the Spanish branch on Tuesday s that was super fun. I have Spanish elders and sisters in my district so I have been a little bit involved in the Spanish work. Plus, we did some service on a ranch. I got into pipe boots and everything. We basically helped put up a fence.
So I heard about the bombings in Brussels this week. It is the top story around here. Everyone sees us and assumes that we know the missionaries that were over there. It has been a great conversation starter. I'm glad that the missionaries are still alive (at least I think they all are).
We had a zone conference on Thursday. It was really awesome. Our zone was combined with the zone I was just in so I got to see a lot of missionaries I am close to. Elder Stevens was there and he gave me some Astoria updates. Amanda got baptized so that is cool. They have been struggling with the Spanish work. In fact, I have probably taught more Spanish lessons than they have so that is a bummer. The McGloughin's and Joe have moved down to Portland. It was really good to see them, (the missionaries from Astoria zone) though. President Taylor was awesome. He (along with me) only has one zone conference left. He kind of took a different approach. WE have been drilled about baptisms baptisms baptisms for the last few months. This time, he talked about spiritual gifts and different roles. When somebody asks you what Book of Mormon missionary you most want to be like, who do you say? Ammon, right? Maybe the sons of Mosiah? Nobody ever says Nephi. We never read about Nephi baptizing. How about Mormon? We never read about him baptizing thousands of people. In fact, his people were so wicked that they got destroyed. But if he didn't fulfill his role of putting together the Book of Mormon, we wouldn't have any baptisms today. So he is responsible for thousands and thousands of baptisms. Our missions are the same way. Sometimes the Lord uses us in different ways other than baptizing. I thought it was really good.
Something else he talked about that I really liked was the Holy Ghost. He had a Q&A session and I asked him how he knows he is following the spirit when he does transfers. He talked about some good stuff. I am constantly trying to figure out how to follow the spirit. He said that he pretty much just goes with what he feels and he doesn't overthink it. Simple as that. He said there have been times when he thought that he just ruined the mission. He said that whenever we talk ourselves out of a decision, it usually is not led by the spirit. Then he said when they brethren decide where to assign missionaries, they assign them to mission presidents. How cool is that? I thought it was a really good discussion.
Ed came to church AGAIN! It is crazy. He is one of the most noncommittal people I have ever taught and he keeps coming. I guess we will just continue to teach him and help him understand why he needs to be baptized. We found a lady named Trish with a lot of potential. We called her up and she wanted us to help her out with her yard. Her 6 month old great granddaughter was just adopted by an active family up in Seattle. She is really interested and is thinking about joining the church. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was like, "Oh that's not too big, I will try and have it read by next time you come here." HaHa. Okay. I am excited to teach her. She wants to feed us next week so that will be cool.
My studies went really well. I have a new appreciation for Christ and what he did. He stood there like a champ and took the abuse. People were taunting him and he was suffering for their sins. I wonder if that helped Christ get through it. He knew their entire story. He knew their weaknesses and struggles and I wonder if that is what prompted Him to ask the Father to forgive them of their sins. I learned a ton of other stuff. too, so it was really good. I also have a new appreciation for the Father. Can you imagine your child that had never done anything wrong, just begging for a way out? He had never complained and he did everything you ever asked him to do. Then just this once he asks for a way out. That would be tough. There is a really powerful, but long quote by Melvin J. Ballard about that. It basically talks about the Father withdrawing Himself which prompted Christ to ask the Father why He forsook Him. Ballard suggested that maybe the Father was looking down and couldn't bear to watch His perfect son suffer so much, so He withdrew himself into some corner of the universe. It is just a theory, but I was really powerful.
Thanks for the updates from home. March Madness is in full swing. I knew if I could get through Christmas and March Madness, I could make it! Haha! Hopefully baseball continues to go well. I'm glad the Cavs keep winning. I hope the Indians have a decent year this year. It also sounds like everybody had a good Easter.
Thanks for the email. I love hearing form you. I am very thankful for tall of the love and support and prayers. I love you all and I hope you have a good week.
The first two pictures are the second half of the hike. The last one is Elder Brase and I at zone conference. We probably won't see each other again until we go home in July.
We went on a hike as a zone last week to Beaver Falls.