President Tedjamulia posted the pictures he took of the Festa. Thought you might enjoy a few of them. You just have to love his wife. She couldn't find a straw hat, so she wore the chicken!
The "Padre" is the first counselor in the Branch Presidency.
We had our first District Meeting with our new District Leader. He was a real trooper the night of the Festa and stayed to help clean up.
On Monday, we went with two of our Brazilian Elders to the Emporium Elder Dixon and I like to go to. We don't usually go during the early afternoon, and so there were people we had not met before. A man who was behind the counter looked at Elder Dixon and my name tags and quietly said, "I belong to your church." We sent the Elders over to give him information about when and where we have Church. It was so interesting that the younger missionaries had been there before during those hours, but he had not said anything.
It has made me think a lot about Senior Missionaries. I wish that the members understood how important Senior Missionaries are, and how needed they are.
For those who are members, this story will be familiar, but I am guessing that my focus will be different than you have previously pondered. For those who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is an account of a people in the Book of Mormon. There were people in the Book of Mormon who had engaged in war and fighting until a Prophet came and taught them about Jesus Christ and the gospel. Those people had great sorrow for the things they had done, and repented. As part of their repentance, they made a covenant with God that they would bury their weapons of war and would not fight any more. When their enemies came against them, they were willing to lay down their lives rather than break their vow. Their children had not made the covenant, and those young men came forward to serve in their place. They are known as the stripling warriors.
That is the part of the story most people focus on, but I want to turn to another part of the story. The Nephites had been protecting the people and were concerned about the young men having to go to battle. The Nephites developed a battle plan that used the youth as decoys so that the Nephite adult men could have the advantage in the battles, and that the young men would never have to fight. It was the Nephite adult men who were there to back up the young stripling warriors. They didn't leave the stripling warriors to fight alone. At one point, when the stripling warriors realize that their enemies were not following them, the stripling warriors turned back to help the adults in the battle. None of the stripling warriors were killed, but that was not true of the adults.
As adults in the gospel, we need to realize that the youth need us. We need to help them in the battle to save spiritual lives. We need to provide our experience to help them. We need to join them in the mission field. We need to help those missionaries who serve in our Wards and Branches. We need to love our neighbors and friends enough to share the gospel with them. Pray for the missionaries by name, and pray for those you would like to share the gospel with.
One of my sweet non-LDS friends taught me a good lesson. Her daughter (also not a member of the LDS Church at the time) had dated a young man who went on a mission. While he was on his mission, he had missionaries sent to her. She was angry and sent them away. She said that if the gospel was important enough to him that he would go away on a mission to tell people, but he hadn't felt like sharing it with her, she was not interested. After he returned from his mission, he made up for his omission and she eventually joined the LDS Church.
My friends and family are as important to me as the people here. I hope I have let them know that they are important and that the gospel that I love is something I would love to give to them.