Thank you for the email and slightly disturbing picture of the toothpick that was inside Harrison's body!! The weather is great here, a little hot, but there are no SevenElevens in our area so we did not get any slurpees :(
We had a great meeting on Wednesday with the missionaries in the stake and we all talked about charity for part of the meeting. I was impressed with how many other missionaries recognized the many blessings that come from charity. In chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel we learn about Christlike Attributes and as we develop charity the other attributes become part of who we are. It seems to me that as we are diligent and obedient and patient that we are able to work harder and as our efforts increase so does our love for the people we serve.
I really love serving here in this area and I am excited to see what changes next week brings. If you are in the area on Saturday and going to the Newport Beach temple like you did a few months ago, don't come to the 1:30 session, because I will be in that one with a family from the ward whose son is getting his endowments out for his mission to Singapore. President Orgill gave us special permission to go and help him continue to prepare for a mission. He is a special kid.
This week was good, no complaints, and if I did have complaints there is nothing I could do about it anyways!!
This Sunday Bishop Chapman relayed some information to the adults of the Santa Margarita ward (yes, I am still serving here) he did a good job helping inspire the member to have missionary work "on their minds". A great insight from a sister was that member's efforts often become concentrated on bringing new members in through conversion, and then on keeping them (retention). While those are essential components of the conversion process and the work of salvation, these efforts may be at the expense of those members who are currently in the ward and still need friends, responsibility and nourishment. She said that as we expend a portion of our efforts on each other ([Re]activation), in the ward our hearts will be knit together and other people will want to join in this fold.
Her comment is a reference to something a prophet said years ago, but I felt like it was timely. I believe that the members we do have are the key to finding and bringing in the new members. We have been going to members of the ward council, and asking them about those people they think could benefit from a visit. Here is where I feel like we are bringing everything together -- The members of the ward council give us names and we fill our planners with those names around the appointments that we already have. We are not sitting and waiting for a phone call from the EQP telling us he lined up 12 teaching appointments, but we ARE planning in times to visit the 12 names he gave us! This has helped us bring the ward together and minister to those who need help in the ward.
President and sister Orgill will be introducing themselves on Thursday at a mission wide conference up in Irvine. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them!
I don't think that you have ever written me on a Saturday before! The reason that is so cool is because we are emailing today (Monday)! So if you hadn't emailed me on Saturday then I wouldn't have had anything to email back about and it would have thrown off the groove!
Tomorrow we say goodbye to President and Sister Cook. They are spectacular and will be missed.
Thank you for the awesome pictures of Mac! (where is he going?) and for the pictures of Jackson (He is smiling?!) That made my day!
We have been teaching a lot and I am working on memorizing everything I can because I don't have very many things memorized.
Hello to Michael Biancardi! Can't believe he is home already.
I know that the church is true and that missionary work is what I should be engaged in at this time. I hope you all are having a great campout and don't forget to share the gospel!