Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Columbus Day celebration!  Ever tried to explain that to someone from another country?

The picture above is our Stake Center at 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning.  Pretty beautiful.

Our week was very busy again.  By the time I sit down to write the blog, I find that I have to check back on the calendar to see what happened.

We do a LOT of driving.  From Friday until Tuesday one week we drove over 500 miles.  President Bennion has asked that we assist the young missionaries to budget their mileage.  Perhaps we need to do that with our own!

This week was Zone Conference.  Their was a real emphasis on exact obedience and the blessings that come from that.  One of the young sisters organized the sister missionaries (and included me) to sing for Sister Bennion.  The song was written by Callie Reed and is a tribute to her mother.  It uses concepts from Primary songs to tell how Callie's mother taught her concepts of the gospel through music.  It is a touching song and took me back to times when I taught those songs.  The young missionaries have really nice voices and sound beautiful.

We spent a lot of time this week trying to find ways to get less-actives back to church and get people who are interested in the gospel to come to church.  The Brazilian community is a hard-working group, putting in long hours and often working on Sundays.  Many of them would like to come to church, but they cannot get off of work.

Some of our time in the evenings has been spent helping Bala prepare for the written exam for a driver's license.  Imagine how hard that would be if you had not been raised with terms like "right of way" and "yield".  He struggled with how far to stay away from a fire hydrant because he did not know what one was.  I am happy to report that his studying paid off and he passed the test.  He begins driver's school this week.

Elder Dixon has been spending time with the young Elders helping them in their planning.  We are excited to see them grow and develop.  We are beginning to see referrals to them, and that is far more effective than just knocking on doors.  We are hoping to soon see the first baptisms in the Branch since we arrived 4 months ago.

This is known as "The Big Chicken.  It is reportedly made from an airplane wing.  The beak and eyes move.  It is a landmark in the area.  The GPS will even instruct us to turn after "The Big Chicken".

We have received a report that "Meet the Mormons" nearly came in at Number 10 over the weekend in box office proceeds.  Apparently several theaters had to reassign it to their larger theaters because of the response.  In some theaters, it was sold out.  I hope that our non-LDS friends and those who want to know about us will continue the interest so that it will remain available to people.  It gives me hope that there are many people who just want to understand us, not simply to mock us.

If I challenged each of you like the ice bucket challenge, would you take a friend and go see it?

In addition to our other assignments, we have been assigned to be part of the Stake Public Affairs committee.  That will be a great learning experience.  I look forward to learning from them and providing whatever insights we may have from our assignments in our home wards and stakes.

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