Monday, July 8, 2013

Meeting President and Sister Edgren

Elder Vernon on the Rynek
 Naked Nathan. He's actually some famous balancing statue above a river, but he's quite naked. So, we called him Naked Nathan (direct quote from Elder Vernon)
Sunset by Elder Vernon's apartment
Hey hey hey family! How's it going? It sounds like everybody had a great, fun week, except for Emma's bee sting. There was a huge bee in the library just a second ago, but I don't see it know. I'm talking around the thickness of my thumb. This guy was a monster. Nobody would ever want to mess with him on the playground when he was in elementary school. Anyway, I digress. Emms, I'm glad you're okay and there was no lasting, serious damage. This week has been a super awesome week. Especially with going to Mission Leadership Council and getting to meet President and Sister Edgren. They are awesome! I'm excited to work under them. Sorry that you are missing Sister Nielson's blog, but I will try to update you on as much as I can now that you have to do without.
Tuesday: We head to Poznań for Zone Training--Elder R and I are teaching. President and Sister Edgren will be there to do interviews, as well as the Assistants--Elders Ż (an Aussie, he loved to hear that my Dad served in Australia) and Raines. Missionaries from Poznań and from Szczecin will be there (that includes Elder J, Elder M, and Elder K). We return that night from Poznań and we will have a mini-exchange with the Assistants for a few hours, after which they'll be sleeping at our apartment.
Wednesday: We will teach Zone Training in Bydgoszcz, again with President and Sister Edgren present, as well as the Assistants. Gdańsk will be coming down for that as well. Apart from that, our week looks pretty mellow.
My plans to achieve goals this week are some plans that Elder R and I set during weekly planning after Mission Leadership Council. We've set the goal to find and baptize a family this transfer, and in doing so, these next two weeks are going to be heavily focused on finding. We're planning to study finding, contacting, and planning in these next two weeks to be effective and skilled in our daily contacting. Using all the tactics and strategies we've put forward and making sure we are contacting to a destination is going to help us place ourselves in the path the Lord needs us to be in. Above all, we're trying to be aware and focused on our purpose.
A spiritual experience I experienced this week was contacting on preparation day. Elder R and I were out and about and a little bit behind schedule as preparation day was coming to an end. I looked at my clock, saw that it was 5:59 PM, so I pulled out a copy of The Book of Mormon and got to work. The very first person I contacted, right before 6 PM, stopped, listened to our message, and took a copy of The Book of Mormon. We were also able to exchange numbers with D and we hope to be in contact with him. Wiem że Pan cieszy się naszą ciężką pracą i jest gotów nam blogoslawić pod warunkiem naszego posłuszentwa. (I know the Lord is pleased with our hard work and is ready to bless us when we are obedient.)
Another spiritual experience I had came with a similar situation. Elder R and I were planning for Zone Training coming up on Tuesday last night. Unfortunately, planning took a bit longer than we realized it would and we weren't able to get out on the street as quickly as we wanted to. We were faced with 20 minutes until planning and decided that our best use of time would be to get out on the street and talk to people. As we set out with a destination in mind, one of the first girls with whom we talked was very ready and prepared to hear our message. She took a copy of The Book of Mormon. It may not seem like a big thing, but once again, I do know the Lord will bless our obedient efforts and strive to help us, even when all we can put forth is a short 20 minute block of contacting.
The principle I learned this week was focused on planning. I feel that everything we learned in Leadership Council was directed specifically at me. I understand much better now that to plan effectively, vision is absolutely necessary, as are specifics. I think it's similar to building a wall. Vision is the mortar, and specifics are the bricks. Without both, a sturdy wall cannot be made. Obedience also plays a role in this analogy. If we are not obedient--in other words, if we do not place all the bricks in the right places and build the wall according to directions--we will not be effective and the wall will still not be built correctly. Understanding the role we play in gathering Israel, being specific, and being obedient and three main keys that I know will help my companion and me be more effective tools in the Lord's hands and accomplish what He expects of us.
This is from my President's letter. If you're wondering why part of it is in Polish, it's because President Edgren is really trying to learn Polish, and is doing a great job. He's asked us to write portions now in Polish with a translation to help him learn. I thought you guys might get a kick out of it as well. Google translate it maybe, and see how I did.
Mission Leadership Council this week with the Edgren's was awesome! They're going to be fantastic. President really understands the principle of planning, having a vision, and being prepared. Something he said that really struck me was this, "Puny preparation, puny revelation." I believe that this is true. We can't ask the Lord for His help worthily until we've done all we can. The better our preparation is, the better our revelation will be, as long as we are worthy. He also focused a lot on not only being obedient and working hard, but doing so efficiently. He's incredibly focused on the missionary purpose. He talked to us about the Abrahamic Covenant and how we fit into the equation. It was very instructive. He takes great pride in his work, as is obvious, and makes sure that it is suitable for the Lord. He's going to be a fantastic leader here in Poland and will do great things.
Mission Leadership Council was mainly focused on planning. It was awesome. The Assistants lead a lot of it. They're playing a huge role right now in all the mission does, mainly because President Edgren is so new. I'm realizing now just how much they have to do. I've got a lot more respect for Elder M now and all the hard work he's put in as a missionary. It's a tough job.
We also extended a baptismal date to a man named G this week! It's for August 3rd. He's been very busy, and it was our first meeting with him, so we haven't met again, but we should be setting something up today. I'll keep you updated on him, but for now, he's reading The Book of Mormon and will hopefully progress to baptism!
In other news, we had a meeting with K, our other recent convert, this week. She's doing great. We talked about prayer, and she brought up an analogy we shared with her a while back. We were thrilled she remembered it. She's learning and remembering what she learns! We told her it would be very strange if we went through a whole day at home and never talked to our mom or dad. Such it is with Heavenly Father. If we don't talk to Him all day, we begin to stumble, and His influence in our lives is put on the back-burner. It's interesting. I'd never understood what Alma meant when he talked to his son Helaman and told him to pray at all times, in everything we do. I'm now beginning to understand. Prayer is so vital. It's playing a much bigger role in my life now than it ever has before. When I remember that it's the act of bringing my will in line with Heavenly Father's, it becomes even more powerful. The gospel is so perfect and so true!
Dad, as always, thanks for the great advice and counsel. I so appreciate it. As for PMG, my advice would be as follows:
1) Though it may be centered on missionary work, this is really the Lord's way to teach. As I've learned lessons and seen principles in PMG, many times I have had the thought that such a principle or pattern is how the Lord wants all teaching situations done.
2) Regarding teaching situations, commitments are powerful. Everything centers around them. Without commitments, people will never grow.
3) For me, a lot of times things seemed like they didn't make sense and that such a way would never work. Now, I know they will, and will work the most effectively, for it is the Lord's way. Preach My Gospel is directed toward the perfect, sanctified, consecrated missionary. If we follow the things it says in there, such a missionary (or person) we will become.
4) Lastly, these are not new things or revolutionary processes. These have been used in all missionary work that missionaries have done in ages past. Watch for patterns found in the work of Alma, Ammon, and Aaron especially. You'll find the things they do match up with Preach My Gospel perfectly.
I'm glad you're still willing to take kids out to the cabin and go boating. I realize how much time you sacrifice to do so, and how rarely you get to ski or wakeboard. Thank you for all you do. You're the best Dad ever! Love you.
Hannah bear! Have so much fun at ballet. Hey, I've been seeing advertisements everywhere for a new Monster's Inc. movie. Did you get to see it? Is it super good? I bet so. I'm glad you get to play with Haley. We're working for a baptism! Love you lots and lots too!
Heath, I'm jealous you guys all went up to the cabin and had fun out there. I miss the cabin tons, but I wouldn't trade a mission for anything. The cabin, hopefully, can wait. We'll definitely be getting out there as soon as I get home though and be doing some serious boating. Enjoy time with your buddies before they all leave. I can't believe they're all leaving so soon. Life moves fast. I'm laughing about your scarf story. What color was it? Was it mission appropriate? Anyway, love you! Have fun at Dixie Camp!
Emma, don't worry, I plan on doing some serious boating as soon as I get home. Not so serious that we have to go straight to the lake from the airport, but still pretty serious. Dad definitely is experienced out on the water. I've never seen anyone else slalom like he can. I don't think he ever has shown us how well he can ski at full speed either. Maybe one day we'll get him to do so. I'm glad you didn't die of bee-sting! I'm proud of you for inviting your friend to sit by you. Such is what the Lord would do. Most importantly, I know He's proud of you too. Keep an eye out for such opportunities. They're around us more than we think. Love you!
Mom, thanks for the talk from Elder Holland and everything! You're the best. I don't know what I did to be so blessed to have you as my Mom, but it must have been something good. I'm glad you all were able to celebrate the fourth of July and go to Stadium ON Fire (pun intended--and I might be singing in my head). Weird to think I'll probably be home for the next fourth of July. I'm glad you put up with Dad and Emma's escapades. I feel like they get bigger and better every year. Thanks for always taking time to tell me about your lesson. I appreciate your insights and doctrinal thoughts. 
I realized I haven't talked much about President and Sister Edgren. They are from California, President actually mentioned Uncle Rick to me before I could bring it up. President Edgren loves baseball--we talked about that for a minute. It had been a long time since I had a good baseball talk. They feel very overwhelmed, of course, but are going to do great things. I'm excited to serve under them.

The gospel is true! I'm running out of time, but I love you all. Keep up the great work, and remember, We are the Vernon's and we know who we are! Namely, a forever family!
Elder Vernon

No comments:

Post a Comment