Sunday, November 27, 2016

October 10, 2016 the Exchange Train.

None of us remember how this picture was taken

From photo of Journal pages
October 3
Last night we were at President’s planning for the upcoming MLC.  Out of nowhere, President started telling us of the last letter he received from Elder Pothier, one of our finest zone leaders.  He was telling of an investigator who has been meeting with them for a while who just couldn’t receive an answer about the Book of Mormon.  He told the missionaries relentlessly that they had been teaching over and over and over again about the “Spirit” and he had simply never felt it and could not believe.  The Elders sat there dumbfounded for a moment, and then began to testify.  They just testified.

October 6
The Exchange Train.

The last few days have been a blast.  Historically, assistant exchanges with zone leaders have all been just 6-9 “primetime” exchanges, and it’s been thought impossible to do anything more.  Well, we’ve revamped our exchanges (and everything we do as assistants, really) and have decided to do two 24 hour exchanges with every zone leader.  For each exchange, two of us stay here and bring in a ZL companionship, while the other one travels to a different ZL comp.

It’s been another lesson to me that necessity, desire, and faith provide a way.  We knew we wouldn’t be able to implement this new planning model without full, proselyting, focused exchanges.
So I was nominated to travel for the first week, and so I bounced around Queens for three days without coming home.  My first stop was Jamaica.

What a blessing to return to old areas!  We visited a family I knew who had progressed so much.  Friends and former investigators stopped us on the street to say hi – one even said he had a dream about me and was trying to find me again.  I presume the Elders will get in touch shortly.  Somehow some members found out I was coming and found us at the church where we were teaching a lesson.  And we even ran into Ana(sp?), a lady that Elder Boden and I found a year ago who is getting baptized in two weeks!  It was so fun.

Elder Garza (sp?) and Elder Corbett (sp?) are our strongest ZL’s.  One of the biggest miracles of the exchange is that, skeptical at first, by the end of the exchange they were bouncing off the walls with excitement for the new planning model and member work.  3 days later, they called back and detailed how they had already communicated with every member in their zone and made plans to revamp everything they do.  They got stoked.

After Jamaica, I went to Elder Moe and Elder Sundet(sp?) in Richmond Hill.  It was very much the same experience in that they got super excited about everything.  It’s very strange to see younger missionaries just loving exchanges so much and learning so much, hanging on every word you say.  It brings me back to when I got to go on exchanges with some of the legendary assistants like Elder Birmingham.

Then I went to Astoria with Elder Watson and Elder Parkinson.  It was such a blessing.  Elder Parkinson came into my Jamaica district as a trainee over a year ago.  I remember our exchanges with his complete lack of Spanish and knowing how to be a missionary.  Now he’s a Zone leader, and he understands what “forever changed” means.  So special.

The planning model went a lot rougher with these two, but we had some wonderful pillow talk where we were all able to open up and Elder Watson felt better about some personal struggles.
What wonderful experiences.  So blessed.

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