Monday, March 23, 2015

A "blessed" week- March 22, 2015

People here will often send one off with a farewell greeting of "Have a blessed week".  Many (if not most) of our missionaries have that as part of the message on their voice mail.  This week was one of those blessed weeks.

We were quite busy this week.  We began with Elder Dixon moving furniture for our friend, Bala.  Since so many missionaries are not being replaced. we find that the mission is closing several apartments.  Bala was able to get a washer, dryer and sofa.  It is wonderful to have those extra things go to good people.

On Wednesday night, Elder Zwick came to speak to our Ward Councils for two Stakes.  His message about the importance of the Ward Council in missionary work was wonderful.  He emphasized that the Ward Council should be actively involved in working with the less active members and part-member families.  He is so right on.  Missionaries come and go.  Their influence does not continue long if the members are not loving the people that they bring into the Church.  Please be kind to everyone you see in the building.  You never know whether a stranger is looking for that "blessed week" and will find it in you.

Elder Zwick also spent several hours in training with our Missionary Zones.  He and his wife have some incredible experiences.  He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, and would occasionally address the missionaries of those languages in their native tongue.  He also announced to our missionaries that they will be getting I-pads.  The missionaries have mixed feelings.  They love the fact that they can use media in their teaching, but they still like their paper scriptures and planners and are not certain how that works.

Elder and Sister Zwick shared some amazing stories.  Here is just one.

The Zwicks have a son, Scotty, who almost died when he was born (he has spoken of that in Conference) who is now impaired.  I struggled just now, to find a word to describe Scotty.  While he may be impaired by the world's standards, by the Lord's he is a powerful force.  He cannot read or write, and so, was unable to serve a mission.  When he and his parents went to pick up his youngest brother from his mission, Scotty was allowed to serve as a missionary with his brother for a week.  It was not an English-speaking mission and it was not until the last day that Scotty and his brother came across a couple speaking English.  Scotty immediately used his charm to speak to them.  He gave them a Book of Mormon and explained that, because he could not read it, his family read it to him, He knew that it was true and it would bless their lives.  That couple joined the Church.

Scotty is an awesome example of someone who understands the wonderful gift we have been given in receiving the gospel.  He knows that it will bless their lives.  He loves people enough to want them to know that.  I need to be more like Scotty!

On Saturday, we had lunch for Elder Cruz's birthday.  He loved the chocolate cake and ice cream.

He and Elder Castro are such sweet young men.  I had them come to my Sunday School class last week to talk about the power of prayer.  The spirit in the room was awesome.  Love these young Elders!

On Saturday we also assisted in the Family History Center.  Our little Branch attends faithfully once a month.  We had about twenty people come.  In  Sacrament meeting, they said that there were 258 names found and cleared for Temple Work.  The picture was taken before they all arrived.

Friday night was a little difficult for me.  We had scheduled a reception for a non-member in our building and were there decorating when we learned that the other Ward in the building had planned to use the building that night for babysitting, had a pinewood derby planned the next day, and planned to decorate for their Visiting Teaching conference after that.  I have to say, that the other Ward was gracious and kind in helping resolve the mess.  They moved to rooms other than the cultural hall, did not disturb the decorations when they were in the building, and waited until 9:00 p.m. to set up for the Visiting Teaching conference.

So, we were able to set it up for her reception.

Except this picture of the mother of the bride (one of our members) My pictures didn't turn out, so I will have to wait to include more in the blog.

It was quite unusual.  The bride and groom were married at another church, then came to our building for the reception.  It all worked out, but I was worried for a while.  The reception was scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m., but did not begin until 6:45 because the bride and groom did not arrive until then.  We were supposed to be finished by 8:00 p.m.  Fortunately, the other Ward worked with us and came in later.

That's it for now. Have a blessed week!

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