Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Hey hey hey family! 
Wow, it was so good to hear all of your voices last night! I love the chance to talk to each other twice a year. You guys all sound like you're doing awesome, I'm so grateful for that. I have the best family ever! Mom, I hope you had the best Mother's day ever too. Elder Wilson and I were talking, and we feel like we just talked to you guys all yesterday at Christmas. Weird. It's like we turned around and somehow we finished training, are now zone leaders, and time is warping like crazy. It's so weird, but I'm loving the mission. It's so nice not to have to worry about anything for two years. Honestly. No school, major decisions, worrying about making ends meet, girls (well, except for letter-writing and such, but that's mostly fun ;)), and what not. Just two years to talk to people about a message that's shaped the course of my life. It's like it's just my personal time to show the Lord exactly who I can be, and strive to live up to the expectations He has for me, without a whole ton of worldly influence. Yeah, it's still stressful, and there's ups, downs, and all arounds, but I wouldn't trade this time for anything else. Even though it means two years away from the best family in the world, it's worth it to show the Lord that I'm trying to be a humble and worthy servant. Plus, at the end, if we're all faithful, we'll have eternity together. So what's two short years compared with all of that? Totally worth it.
I've been worrying a little about the exchange I have with Elder S in Gdańsk tomorrow. I've been on exchanges before, but never as the missionary leading the exchange and having to teach something. This week, however, the Lord has shown me what I need to do. Elder Wilson and I stopped in at some recent converts to share a quick spiritual thought and to get to know them better, since we are both quite new in the area. We decided to share 1 Ne. 4:6 with them, talking about how things may seem scary, daunting, and we may be unsure of how it will all work out, but like Nephi, we will be led by the Spirit, and the Lord will help us to do what He wants us to do. That night, during the lesson, it occurred to me that the Lord was trying to send me a message through this scripture. I may not be sure of everything I will be doing on this exchange, but trusting in the Lord, I can be led by the Spirit to teach Elder S those things he needs to learn. Now, that's not to say I will go in unprepared. I'm doing my best to prepare to teach him the lessons I learned about teaching and talking to everyone from Elder M. I plan to help him and make the exchange the best it can be by first and foremost being an example. I have to show him that I do what I preach in order for it to be effective.
Zone Training in Poznan

A principle I learned this week was from Zone Training in Poznań. Zone Training is when we go out and teach the missionaries in the zone what things we learned from the Mission Leadership Council meeting held once a month. We went to Poznań on Wednesday to teach Poznań and Szczecin. Anyway, Elder Mikolyski made a comment while we were diagramming the progression of vision, goals, plans, and actions. We had found this progression in PMG, as well as in the story of Captain Moroni in Alma 48. Basically, what we were trying to put across is that before we can have a goal, we have to have a vision. That vision shapes our goals, which goals shape our plans, which plans shape our actions. Elder Mikolyski quoted Pres. Eyring and said that the missionaries who really draw on the powers of heaven are those that understand the plan of salvation. Moroni definitely understood the plan of salvation. In thinking about it, I realized that the eternal perspective from the plan of salvation that Moroni had gave him the vision of what he wanted and needed to do--create a land where people were free to have agency, giving them the opportunity to choose to experience all the blessings of the gospel, or not. This is a progression I'm beginning to see everywhere, and I'm so glad for the knowledge I have of it right now. I'm striving to look for it more in my life, as well as seeking to understand the plan of salvation. I know that with the knowledge of both, I can do all the Lord expects of me.

I forgot my umbrella. I wont be doing that again anytime soon.
Another minor principle I learned this week was not to get caught outside without an umbrella. Elder Wilson and I were caught in a downpour that came out of nowhere, and had to sprint home in the pouring rain. It was wet. We had a good laugh about it, and we definitely won't be forgetting our umbrellas anytime soon. I'll try to send a picture so you guys can see just how bad it was.
A miracle I've seen this week definitely happened with S. He was from our Area Book, and an investigator Elder Gudnason mentioned we might want to visit. That advice turned out to be very worthwhile. We had a great lesson with S. It's amazing to see the miracles the Lord is willing to put in our path if we will strive to be obedient and serve Him. I know this is His work and it goes forward in His time, and I am grateful that He feels Elder Wilson and I are ready to help S work toward baptism.
Hannah, good job on squeezing Tao so she would meow and say hi! I had a great Mother's day, and I'm glad yours was good too. I love you and miss you lots! Oh, we placed 8 copies of the Book of Mormon this week.
Heath, tell coach Mower hi for me. Sounds like he's doing great. He's a great teacher and coach for sure. I'm glad you get to dance some, even if it's not as much as you'd like. Keep being awesome, enjoy Cavestock, and fight those boys off! Remember, both Dad and I have to approve whoever you date. That's a new rule I just created. Just kidding, I trust you--well, I at least trust that Dad will lay down the law. Haha, I'm just having a good laugh here. Don't take me too seriously ;). Love you and miss you lots!
Emms, of course we will throw. First thing when I get home, after you guys drive me straight to the lake from the airport so I can go wakeboarding. Just kidding. But not really. For serious though, we will definitely get in a good toss. Keep having fun with life, try not to get too busy, and enjoy the journey! Love you and miss you.
Dad, you're the best. I'm so lucky to have a great example of a righteous priesthood holder that I can follow after. Yes, we bring up Baptism on the first lesson actually. It's much better to let them know exactly what to expect, rather than bring it up later. It avoids so much confusion. It's scary though at times, to be that straightforward, but it's what the Lord wants. Yes, I actually play the piano for sacrament meeting every week, so that's fun. Oh, last thing, can you get me Bro. Cuillard's email address? Thanks. Love you and miss you.
Mom, you're the best! Happy Mother's Day again. Yes, time passed way too fast on that phone call. I'm so glad we can talk though. That's the best thing about it. Anyway, good luck with your lesson this week! Keep being the best mom in the world, and don't stress. You're always in my prayers. Love you and miss you lots.
Well, my time draws to a close, but as always, I love you all! The church is true!
Elder Spencer Vernon

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