Week 55 - General Conference and Transfers!

With my "Son" Elder Short - who I trained,
and my "Grandson" - who Elder Short trained!
October 5, 2015
Hello everyone!!

What a great weekend we had!! It was so cool to watch live the experience of sustaining THREE new apostles of the Lord. Certainly not a thing that happens often. That is so cool that dad was Elder Renlund's assistant executive secretary! And Elder Stevenson is WAY young...he still has a son on a mission!! That is very cool.

I thought all of the talks given were fantastic. I really enjoyed Elder Nelson's talk on women, and Elder Lawrence talk on the Holy Ghost. And Elder Durrant's talk on “ponderizing” was awesome as well! I had a hunch that you guys would jump on that and choose a ponderize scripture of the week...and I am going to join you in whatever scripture you choose! So please let me know what the ponderizing scripture of the week so I can be part of it also. I am so grateful that we have a prophet who leads and guides this church and who is so valiant...he was definitely deteriorating as the talk went on, but he still delivered a great message…keep the commandments! I certainly missed going to priesthood meeting with Dad and Nathan.  Priesthood on the west coast is from 5-7 so it feels a lot different; we get out and still have an evening to proselyte. I am looking forward to attending priesthood with Dad and Nathan again…it is always so much fun to be there with all those guys dressed in white shirts and ties. The church is true; there is no doubt about that.

Welcoming the new missionaries at the airport
Transfers went very smoothly this past week, probably the smoothest they have ever gone. We said goodbye to 9 missionaries, and welcomed 20 into the mission. It was a crazy day, as usual, and my back hurt (as usual) from moving all the luggage, but it was a total blast...as usual. Elder Short is training a new missionary, which means I have a Grandson!!! Haha I attached a picture of my posterity...my father is dead, so its only Elder Short, Elder Labrum, and I left in the family tree. But the posterity tie is still in the mission, so no worries.

On Wednesday, we spent most of the day running around the area dropping off miscellaneous supplies and things needed from the missionaries who transferred...like one set of Elders moved into Sisters’ area, and they called and asked us to bring them 2 desks.  We wondered what the last Sisters had studied on, and we found out that they had been studying on the floor for like the past 4 months! 

On Friday, we had our monthly MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) meeting, which was a total blast, as usual.  I find it quite hard to prepare trainings to give at these meetings, because we have a group of the best missionaries in the mission...and we have to somehow make them better! So it definitely provides me with the opportunity to improve myself, as I prepare to train the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders. I often wish they could train me, which they often do, but we ALWAYS train at MLC, and I wish I could just sit back and learn from them. But oh well, they are always so much fun.

The GREENIES!! (New missionaries)
One of the trainings we received at MLC was from President Perry, who is in the mission presidency. He trained on “loyalty,” and it was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. In our white missionary handbook there is a line that says, "your loyalty is first to the Lord, then to the Mission President, then to other missionaries (including your companion). He talked about that, and what loyalty means, but he also talked about how our loyalty ALWAYS needs to first be to the Lord. Before our family, our friends, or anything else. If He comes first and we are loyal to Him before anyone and anything, then we will be okay. If we are loyal to our companion before the Lord, then that certainly provides room for disaster. The same is true within a family...can you imagine if spouses were loyal to their kids before they are loyal to their spouse? Total disaster! There are many examples of that today in the world. I know that as we put the Lord first in everything we do, things will workout. He will guide our paths in such a way that we will never go wrong. There will still be trials and many hard things in life, but we will be able to eventually overcome those...even if it means waiting until the next life.

I know for me I will always have the Lord at the top of my Loyalty Hierarchy. There is no other way to go. There are TONS of examples in the scriptures of people being loyal to the Lord first. Take Captain Moroni for example, when he is battling the Lamanites. The Lord tells him that he will bless Moroni and his armies as long as they are only fighting to defend themselves. If they start to attack and kill more than is necessary, then the Lord will take away his help. Moroni has Zarahemnah and his people at his mercy in Alma 44. He has them surrounded, and could have easily just killed them and ended the conflict. But doing so, he would give up the Lord's blessing, so instead he put them under a covenant of peace. There are boatloads of other examples of people in the scriptures being loyal to the Lord before anything or anyone else. And there are also examples of people not putting the Lord first...take Laman and Lemuel for example. I am very grateful for the training we received at MLC.

On the missionary work side of things, we have some sad news...Teresa is moving! She is moving into Reno, which we are sad about because we have spent so much time with her and working with her to try and help her progress, but we know that is truly an answer to our prayers because she is moving in with a girlfriend, and will be able to live the law of chastity.  And the people she will be living with do not smoke, so she won't have such a strong temptation anymore. She even admitted it herself, that she will be baptized MUCH sooner once she moves. She is supposed to move this week, so we will have one last pass-off lesson with her, and then let the other Elders in Reno take over. 

Lavanda is doing well. She attended at least 3 sessions of general conference, and listened intently to the messages. We moved her baptism day for October 17th, and she is set on making that day. There seems to be nothing that would hold her back at this point. 

We have begun teaching a new investigator, Jackie. Jackie doesn't come across as someone who is interested in the church at first glance...she is covered in tattoos and drives a motorcycle. But she is very sweet lady. She is probably about 50 or 60, and we originally found her because we had a referral for her grandson. She lives with 5 of her grandsons, ages 18 to 7. We have to really meet them, but we first stopped by and she said that she wasn't interested but that we could come and teach her grandsons, because they needed God in their life. Then we left for zone conferences and got super busy and went about a month without seeing them and we finally stopped by and she said, "I was wondering what happened to you guys! Can you come over sometime when the grandsons aren't home so I can focus on your message?" Her heart had TOTALLY changed. We left her with a pamphlet about the restoration of the gospel and came back the next day with President Chesnut and taught her the Restoration. She loved every bit of it and said, "Wow, you Mormons aren't as bad as everyone makes you out to be! I want to go around and tell everyone that the common conception of Mormons is wrong!" She loved President Chesnut, too haha, and at the end of the lesson asked about baptism and said, "I need to be baptized, my Mom always told me that baptism was very important, but I still need to do it." We gave her a church tour a few days ago, and she loved that, too. We are going over to her house in a few hours to teach her more and we are pumped. I will keep you posted on her progress.

That's all for this week. I am excited to have my first full week of proselyting since about 6 weeks ago!! I know that this is the Lord's kingdom, and His work. I know that anyone who tries it out and follows the Savior's example and accepts his invitation to be baptized by proper Priesthood authority will be blessed. I know it.

I love you guys!! Have a wonderful week.

Elder Richman Dawg 

P.S. I have located a ZPizza here in Reno...!!! One of these days I am going to have to try it out and see if it’s as good as I remember. 

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