Well this week was tons of fun! It was incredibly busy and ironically I think I ended up losing weight this Thanksgiving because we lost track of time on Monday and didn’t go shopping, so we had like no food this week. We literally had to skip meals this week so we could get everything done.
With how much we did, I wish I could say we got more done. With Thanksgiving and just the way things worked out, we didn’t have as much missionary success as I would normally like.
Anyways, it was still a good week.
Monday was fun but not much to talk about. We did stuff here with the Gaffney Elders. We pretty much just hung out and ate food. After that our appointment in the evening ended up getting canceled so we had a pretty slow night.
Tuesday was very tiring. We had zone Conference which went from 9-5, and then we had an hour long drive home in the worst traffic I have seen in SC since I’ve been here. Zone Conference was very cool, though it was very long and grueling. Our mission is one of 12 missions to pilot a variety of new programs the church is hopefully going to implement soon. We will be the first to have access to the new preach my gospel and white handbook they are releasing, as well as some really high tech information gathering technology. Also as a part of these changes, they are basically completely changing the way we go about doing missionary work. Our focus is still the same, but they are eliminating and replacing a lot of the ways we go about fulfilling our purpose. For one, knocking doors is pretty much not a thing anymore. We are encouraged to spend time finding through more creative methods. There also isn’t a structured lesson order now. We are to center our lessons around people’s needs rather than covering all the topics.
Anyways, there are a lot more changes, but I won’t bore you with the smaller ones. This stuff is probably a lot more exciting to missionaries than it is to anyone else.
After Zone Conference we had dinner and then went to an appointment with B. and J. It went really well! We had a really good discussion with them about reading the scriptures and read through some of the Book of Mormon with them. After that, we stopped by J. to talk to him and his family and then went home and ended our day.
Wednesday was a ton of fun. I took care of a lot of going home stuff in the morning, we tried and failed to get an oil change for our car, and then we went to the Habitat for Humanity re-store for a while. We had to move a bunch of nasty wet couches and carpet, and then did more furniture demolition as usual. On the way home we drove past some cool graffiti so we decided to take some pictures, and then had dinner. After dinner we went and visited the M. family (non member/recent convert family) and talked with them for a while. It was a pretty fun laid back day overall.
Thursday was way awesome! We had Thanksgiving Dinner with Brother T. and his non member children. It was really fun and the food was really good. They deep fried their turkey, and I may be converted to that method now because it was really good. We spent pretty much all of the day with them playing games and talking. It was a way fun day!
Friday we went back over to Brother T.’s to help him set up his Christmas decorations. We helped him go buy a tree and decorate it, and set up all the Christmas lights. We spent a large chunk of the day doing that and getting to know Brother T.’s non member kids. I don’t think we made much progress with them, but who knows maybe one day something will come from it. Other than that not much else happened. I spent a good chunk of time dealing with getting rid of my bike too, but that’s not very important.
Saturday was wild. We spent a good chunk of the morning/afternoon getting our car worked on. We didn’t really feel like sitting around to wait so we walked around town which was fun. After the car was done we went to our usual Saturday appointment with the M. family. It was good except I discovered a roach infestation in one of their closets and we spent some time dealing with that. There were SO MANY ROACHES. SO MANY. By the time we got done there it was late and we hadn’t had dinner so we ended our day and had a late dinner.
Sunday was pretty slow and all. Church was good as usual, though we didn’t have anyone show up. After church we did weekly planning, which took quite a bit of time with the new methodology we are to use now. Our evening was pretty lame cause our appointment with the M.’s was canceled and our usual Sunday appointment with J. W. didn’t happen either.
So the other day I was working on an online study course that the Church has departing missionaries take called My Plan, and something that was said really struck me. In an interview, a returned missionary said that one of the things that makes missionary work so special, is that missionaries give up 2 years of what is arguably the most selfish time in their lives, to focus on others and become selfless. Now I don’t bring up this point to raise myself or any other missionaries onto a pedestal, but I bring it up to point out that this is true in aspects other than the church missionary program, especially with the Christmas holiday.
The Christmas season is an amazing time, and honestly my favorite time of the year. Something amazing changes in the world for the season, as we celebrate the Savior’s birth. Unfortunately, the world gets carried away and the holidays can become the most selfish time of the year, with so much focus on ourselves, receiving things from others, and focusing more on fulfilling traditions than the real meaning of the season. If we can take this time of selfishness, give it back to the Lord, and make it a time of selflessness, we will have the “happiest holidays” possible. The church has embraced this idea, with the Light the World Christmas initiative being rolled out for the second year in a row. The church doesn’t normally reuse Christmas initiatives, so there is something special about this. I would encourage everyone to find ways they can help others this Christmas.
Anyways, that is all I have. Things are getting weirdly surreal here with my time running out here. I am just trying to make the best of what I have while I have it.
Until next week,
Elder Jeremiah Brown
Zone Conference Pictures