Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 5, 2016, 2 John 1:12

Well today we are running around between airports all day starting at 5:30 this morning. Typical Monday. Next one will be pretty similar. Sorry I don't have time to write more, but know that I'm grateful for all of you and that the mission is the best!

Elder Sirrine

From photos of journal pages

November 16, 2016
Yesterday we had a wonderful visit with Eunise’s husband, Alex.  He committed to be baptized Dec 11!  We had  a good district meeting, and it was neat to see the Lord guide us as we role played for Elder Heaton’s investigator and he learned how to overcome his concerns

Later…The sacrament prayer is so powerful.  We so routinely listen to them every week.  Tonight we shared the blessing on the bread with a less active family, and the Spirit was felt so powerfully.  It’s incredible how powerful and sacred that ordinance is.

November 17, 2016
I was feeling a little “off” during zone conferences today, but I do feel like the Spirit was there.

Afterwards we had a bit of time to visit.  We hadn’t planned, so, having no idea what to do, we prayed.  We felt prompted to visit a certain member, Sister Welch.  We drove to her house, and she wasn’t there, but her inactive daughter opened the door.  We talked, got a referral, set up an appointment for Sunday with her and her non-member boyfriend, knocked the next door over, set up an appointment for the same Sunday, knocked the next door over and set up another appointment for Sunday.  Then we drove home.  Couldn’t have been a more productive 30 minutes.  God is good.

November 21, 2016
Today we were planning where to go on our coming exchanges and Elder Parrish and Elder Ko both wanted to go to Zone 3.  After some indecision, we prayed and felt prompted to call President and as his council.  We worked that out, and I felt like we ought to run the rest of the zones past him as well.  President said it was fine, but then mentioned that Elder Parrish maybe ought to serve with zone leaders he’s never served with  before.  Those happen to be the zone 9 leaders, where we had agreed I would go.  That was a dagger.  Looking forward to going back to the Hamptons one last time was something so special.  I was tempted to explain that to President because I know he’d be fine with that, but decided not to.

I’m gland we were prompted to call him and ask.  I feel it’s a neat opportunity to exercise humility, which I’ve been praying for, and submit my will.  I’m never short of eagerness to prove to the Lord that I will do anything for Him and I’ll do it happily.  My exchange with Zone 8 will be all the better.

December 1, 2016
Words can’t describe my feelings.  I never thought this would happen to me.  In two weeks, I’ll be sitting in Utah.  My head knows quite clearly that the close of this mission is the beginning to a new life, a grander road than I’ve ever traveled.  Life is beautiful, and it lies ahead.  But my heart is breaking.  I’m terrified that all this will fade.  What has made it into my journal could not be described by the smallest fraction of my experience as a missionary and my first true experience as a son of God.  The people and the places and the memories will fade, my call to teach repentance as a full time missionary will fade, leaving behind only one thing – me.  Myself.  It is truly the greatest gift God could have given me.  A new self.  A new life, a new path before me.  For the first time, I understand what it means to be reborn.

So I only attribute my sadness to a lack of faith.  I know and feel that I am the most blessed person on the earth.  But it hurts.

I returned yesterday from my last exchange as a missionary.  I was with Elder Pothier and Elder Wixom.  I was so impressed.  Elder Wixom has become an absolutely phenomenal zone leader after being with Elder Pothier.  I had little doubt that Elder Pothier would succeed Elder Ko and myself, and in transfer planning right after, President confirmed that.  I am happy for him.  He is truly humble, and therefore, truly great.

I’m so close to finishing the mission video that has taken so much attention the whole transfer.  It is powerful.  President  ____(says?) reading the vision(?)  is enough to bring tears to the “test subjects”.

November 28, 2016 The zone

Pretty good looking zone, right? It feels weird to not really be a part of it like I always was before. We finally made it to our first full zone training meeting! It was great. We've got some solid zone leaders

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to make an email we are heading on exchanges pretty quick out to the island!

Thanks everyone for your support!

November 21, 2016 no letter this week

Monday, December 5, 2016

November 14, 2016 The planning saga continues

President always takes a traditional pic when his new assistant is called

Never would have thought I'd spend the last four and a half months of the mission planning but that's life! Either we are planning for our investigators, planning with other missionaries for their investigators, teaching planning, or planning with president for the mission! It's crazy.

By the way,  we have no teaching pool which is a unique experience. This transfer we are so busy with prepping for 2017 that it's just no our focus. But despite that, we do have an investigator that wants to get baptized in November. We found her through a Haitian member. Eunise is so awesome!

All is well!

From photos of journal pages (remember this means there could be translating errors)

October 23, 2016
We finally finished a rough draft of transfer planning after three grueling days in the office.  No work in the mission beats me like transfer planning, and this one was bad.  President said it’s been the most difficult transfer planning his whole mission.
After the first day, we came pretty close to completing a draft, but then the next morning President told us to wipe the whole thing and start over.  He asked us, “Did you get any impressions last night?”  Well I personally had been sleeping “last night”, and my companions didn’t have any more enlightenment than I.  President then explained that he had woken up at 4:00 a.m. because the Lord told him that we needed to be less emotional about the planning, and it was all wrong.
In retrospect, I saw slight promptings during planning and feeling it wasn’t quite right, but it was so subtle I ignored it.  It was a valuable lesson learned, and as we let the Lord guide us more, the difference in feeling was marked.

October 20, 2016
We went on exchanges with the Far Rockaway missionaries and had a very tender experience.  We normally only exchange with zone leaders, and that’s enough to keep our hands full; but we felt impressed a couple of weeks ago to exchange in Far Rockaway.  We were especially helping and interested in helping Elder McConkie.  We’d put him in an extremely heavy position – district leading a large and struggling district of young missionaries in a struggling, high stress area with a struggling unit where he is the branch clerk, and this is only his fifth transfer.  But we did it because we knew he was the only missionary that could.  The exchange turned out to be so inspired.

November 10-2016
The missionary department just switched zone conference and interviews to every transfer!  Crazy.  So we just finished with day on of conferences.  It went well.  I really felt the Spirit during the music.  After all our planning, we end up just winging most things, it seems, but the Lord provides!  It’s so true.  How I love this gospel.
Had a rather unorthodox visit with Eunise tonight.  We were technically supposed to be there to help Alex with his resume, but of course we started talking with Eunise and ended up teaching quite a bit while I was typing away.  She is so wonderful!  She is so excited to get baptized this month.  She has a wonderful testimony and such a sweet spirit.  We love her a lot.

November 11, 2016
Zone conferences went very well in Flushing.  It was the first meeting in the new stake center.  The building is gorgeous – and massive!  It’s almost more like the Manhattan temple than a church.  It’s truly remarkable, and a sign of the work rolling forward here.
I really felt the Spirit today as I listened to the music and taught once again.  The last two zone conferences, President has tried just having us three teach most of it in breakout groups instead of meeting together, and the missionaries love it.  I’ve grown to love small “interact to edify” settings as I feel more and more confident the Lord guides my comments and questions.  The Spirit has been teaching more this transfer than before.
Had a wonderful visit with Fernando Corz(sp?) today.  Felt the Spirit so strong.  I become more and more convinced that questions are the way to teach.  We just wanted to get a referral, but because our approach was nothing more than inspired questions, we not only got that referral, but also resolved Fernando’s needs and he brought up by himself that he wanted to talk with Bishop this week.  Huge progress.

November 13, 2016
Church was phenomenal today.  It was the Primary Program, and it was so good!  It had us laughing so hard and then feeling the Spirit incredibly strongly.  Eunise couldn’t come, but her husband Alex did.  I think that family will be baptized by the new year.
I’ve received the official delegation of “2017 mission video making man”  Its pretty prestigious.  So that is taking up a fair bit of time, but it’s coming along nicely.  Who would have thought I’d learn so much about technology on the mission.

We happened to be taking a Macedonia bound Elder to the UN on Election Day right by a nice little trump tower