The News From Oklahoma- Week Monday Jan 6 to Sunday Jan 12, 2014
Hi Family and Friends-
Hi Family and Friends-
Another blog and it hasn't even been 3 months! Part of my new years resolution. I'm just letting you read my journal (minus all the names- remember I can't include that). This is part of my new year's resolutions. You might decide it's too much to read- you won't offend me. But I'll have a great record- with pictures- of some of the things we did.
Hope everything is OK wherever you are- we love you - and pray for you.
Monday Jan 6, 2014- Mission Leadership Counsel
It was a cold day- I think our low was 10- and the high in the teens. School was canceled because of the ice on the roads, so we decided not to do a neighborhood service project, for the first time in months. The Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders came in a little later, but we enjoyed a nice dinner together and then an evening of training about leadership qualities. It is such a pleasure to be with such remarkable young people.
Tuesday Jan 7, 2014- Mission Leadership Counsel continued
Tuesday Jan 7, 2014- Mission Leadership Counsel continued
Up at 5:30 for breakfast at 6:45. Some of the missionaries helped me cook.
We had 5 hours of training this morning- the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders doing most of the training. It's impressive.
Lunch at the mission home about 1:30pm. Then there are just so many details to be taken care of - things to be sent out to the zones, we always take a picture, individual interviews for some leaders, and I had a few that needed to talk about medical issues. This was the first time President Shumway didn't interview all the companionships together- probably the only time that will happen.
Then everyone heads back to their areas- they are dedicated leaders and they are all determined to help their zones do great missionary work and improve in any way they can.
|They love to be together!|
|Our beautiful missionaries! We adore them!|
Thursday Jan 9th 2014- Happy Birthday McKay!!
I was up by 5:30 to be ready to leave for Miami Oklahoma by 7:30. Got Abby on the bus and made the hour and ½ drive to Miami to spend the day with 3 Sisters- a tri-panionship. These are some of my best missionary days! I love it! We had companionship study and then went out to teach. These Sisters are on fire! They have so many investigators right now they are having a hard time teaching all of them. I got to meet two of them. One is a new investigator who already has a baptism date. She prayed for the first time today, with help from one of the Sisters. She held our hands and afterwards she stood up and hugged us and cried. The Spirit was bearing witness to all of us of the truthfulness of the Gospel and that the Lord loves her and is so mindful of her. It is a remarkable thing, a great blessing, to watch the dawn break as the Gospel comes into an investigator’s life.
Friday Jan 10th 2014
President Shumway and I were up early and off to the Tulsa East Stake Center for our monthly mission broadcast. This has been one of our creative endeavors. Just another way to get in front of the missionaries. The Friday after our Mission Leadership Meetings, the Zone Leaders pull their missionaries together for Zone Training Meeting - 10 zones in 10 different places all over our mission. After the opening song, prayer and recitations, President Shumway and I speak to all of them via camera on the computer. I’m going to admit I really don’t even know how they are doing it. It takes them an hour to set it up, and it always works! So I guess I don’t need to know- these missionaries are so smart!
This was a special broadcast to us- President Shumway and I have been praying and talking and planning. We are trying to receive some inspiration about how we can move forward now with the 250+ missionaries in the OTM. The hastening made the size of our force explode. All of our indicators went up too, but we know we’ve got to be constantly working to help our missionaries stay strong, obedient and motivated to do the Lord’s work. Their work requires huge effort. They have to want to do it and find joy in it – and they do.
I spoke about “climbing mountains” and President Shumway spoke about the 5 anchors that get us up the mountain-
1. Put your armour on every day- obey every rule whether you agree with it or not!
2. Pray constantly and earnestly for the Holy Ghost to be your constant companion.
3. Make your mornings a spiritual experience (get up on time, use personal and companionship study as a sacred time to prepare)
4. Don’t go in early- stay out till 9pm (all your effort- all day!)
5. Stamp out all negative thinking (positive thinking- don’t let Satan influence your thoughts)
That was the basis of his talk. He had felt so inspired about these things and also used them in our last zone conference. They are having a huge impact on our mission already. We have had dozens of emails from the missionaries telling us of the miracles they are having from doing these things.
One of the sisters yesterday (in the area that is exploding!) on my visit told me she wondered why everyone said missionary work is so hard- you just do everything you are asked to do and miracles happen every day.
I had another sister call me to tell me they had decided to be “super obedient” today and make their morning “a spiritual experience”. They felt directed to follow up with some media referrals and amazing things happened. One man, whom they had never met before, but at some time had previously had missionary lessons asked them if he could be baptized! They were thrilled!
I’m so grateful to know this is the Lord’s mission. If we just will listen, He tells us what to do!
Saturday Jan 11th 2014
Our preparation day and for the first time in weeks, we actually used it that way- washing our cars, organizing and catching up with some things.
I got to go with Abby early this morning for a private tumbling and cheerleading lesson. She has been working out in a gym for the last 4 weeks and is preparing for Jenks High School cheerleading tryouts next month. She is the cutest cheerleader you’ve ever seen! I LOVE watching her!
Found an hour to catch up with some medical issues with the missionaries. I had spent 3 hours yesterday afternoon sitting at my computer I was so far behind. Today I can finally see that I might get a handle on this! This is another thing that makes me so grateful for the Lord’s help. What do I know! A missionary calls to tell me what health concern they have, and I just wait and open myself up to the feeling I know will come that tells me to get them right to the Doctor, or to take an ibuprofen and go to bed. I have to trust that feeling- it’s always right.
Friday after the broadcast, President Shumway and I went to pick up a man that was supposed to come with us to the mission home for a lesson. We have been working with him for a very long time. He wasn’t there- so disappointing. But he called me later and again today to tell me he will come to church with us tomorrow. I’m praying that happens-
Also had a great conversation this morning with Abby’s gym coach about the church. He said he would like to join us in church tomorrow! I’m always hopeful.
Sunday Jan 12th 2014
Well- my two friends didn’t come to church- I’ll keep working with them! I went early to pick up a recent convert and her two girls for church. She wasn’t ready and was very depressed and upset. She didn’t come to church. It was our ward conference today and it seemed like every word that was said would have been encouraging and helpful to her. That’s the way it is- she’ll never know the blessings she missed by not being there. But I was able to go get her and her girls after church and bring them to the mission home for dinner with the assistants and the one of our senior couples. (Sister Linda Shumway and her companion had their investigator to dinner again! So great!) We watched “The Testaments” with the little girls- they asked tons of gospel questions- I was so happy- and the feeling was wonderful. The recent convert asked President Shumway for a blessing. She felt much more calm on the way home, and we had a great conversation. I challenged her to prepare for the temple and she expressed the feeling that she really wants that.
So, the end of another week, or the beginning, however you look at it. And this next week is already full of appointments and missionary activities.
Hope your week is great too! There are always so many blessings in all of our days and weeks! The Lord loves us and the gospel is true.