Monday, May 7, 2012

My Random Thoughts of the Week

This week I seemed to be traveling more than I was working in my own area. We had exchanges with the East Cleveland Elders and the Solon Elders, both of which I went into the other proselyting area. Exchanges are a great way to learn from other missionaries, talk to them about different principles or teaching skills, check to see how they are doing with their planning, etc. Every time I go on an exchange, the Lord seems to provide us with all kinds of miracles - always finding lots of people who are very friendly and/or interested. This week we have another two exchanges where I will be heading out to North Olmsted (my old stomping grounds!) and Euclid. One of the skills you develop on your mission is living out of a suitcase. In Solon we went and did some service at a Retirement Home where we helped serve lunch to some seniors. The older ladies all lovvvvvved my red hair. And then I got on the piano and started playing and they were sad when I had to stop, but we'd go around and visit with them and it meant the world to them. It was nice to brighten up their day and hear their stories. We also had our Zone Conference this week. Elder Ingersoll and I got to pick any topic we felt our Zone needed to be instructed on and were given 15 minutes to do so. We chose to do it on "purpose" or chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel. We read from the first few pages of the chapter and then took hymn #112 - Savior, Redeemer of My Soul and read through the lyrics with everyone. We lead a discussion on the meaning of the song and showed how the Atonement directly parallels with our missionary purpose. We ended our workshop by playing the song (the version from the movie 17 Miracles...I think if you type "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" into youtube or google, the first few video options are the version we used. Our ward mission leader was looking up the lyrics for us and that's what popped up when he googled it) and then finished with our testimonies. We received great feedback - it was exactly what our zone needed to hear. I have to give a shout-out to Sister Steele, one of the senior missionaries here who works at sites, for accompanying one of the most beautiful, spirit-filled musical numbers I've ever heard in my life. Her tremors makes it difficult to play the piano, but she is one of the most angelic, amazing ladies I've ever met in my life. You can't understand until you meet her... One day I'll introduce you all to her :) We are currently also putting together a huge ward luau. We have taken the idea from the Preach My Gospel DVDs - it's going to be awesome. I'll attach the flyer I made last week for it. We are going to have a big dinner and shortly after the dinner starts, the show will begin. Sister Tokunaga explained to us how real luau's work in Hawaii and from that we created a show of two missionaries (Elder Ingersoll and I) arriving in Hawaii from the MTC and being lost in Hawaii. At one point the primary children come and sing/dance the song "Pearly Shells" to us, another point we are attacked by some natives doing the Haka at us (Kau Mate Kau Mate Kaora Kaora!) and by the end we find the audience and invite them to come on a church tour with us. We will then take 4 groups around the building where members will be explaining the different functions of organizations such as the Youth Program, the Relief Society, the Chapel, and the Primary (we were going to do Family History, but our building doesn't have a library). It should be great! Other big news - our stake dissolved a ward this last Sunday! The ward above us that met in the same building as us is no more, so we have absorbed about 120 members, and lost about 30. It has really shook up the members and the stake are relying on us in making sure members don't fall through the cracks. Yikes! It'll be good though - the boundary changes provide more Priesthood leadership in some wards, in our ward a large youth program... Oh, and 3 of the Bishops were released in 3 of the wards including ours! It's been pretty crazy, but it is all very inspired. Bishop Maughan (our new Bishop) arrived in the ward just weeks after I did and everything in their life just lined up perfectly for his to slide into this new calling. He has a lot on his plate and we're going to do the best we can to support him. The luau is also perfect timing - allowing the new ward to merge together at a fun gathering. Aloooooooohaaaa!!! The big family of 8 we found a few weeks ago dropped us :'( The mother was anti-ed by some friends and doesn't want us to come by anymore. The father is still interested and said he will call us, but he hasn't yet and the chances of him going against his wife's wishes are slim to none. :( It was pretty tough when we found this out last Monday, but at least we planted some seeds. I just wish people would stop caring so much about what the world says. Just ask God. It's so simple and real. Angel is doing well. We are pretty sure she is receiving a lot of opposition from her family who try to keep her from meeting with us, coming to church, or to our Book of Mormon class. But yesterday we went over with a calendar and a teaching record (has all the lessons we teach on it) and mapped out what we would be teaching her on what days up to her baptism. She said she wants it, so now we'll just have to help her continue to work towards her vision of who she can become. Yesterday was a CES Fireside hosted in Sacramento! President Sorensen invited all the missionaries to watch it, so we went to the institute building and watched it with our YSA ward:,AAAAmBrDwtE~,_58lK-P1xvJ5WTHbRnmdONkYkAiPKoal. It was a great devotional by Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Quorum of the Seventy. He alluded to the Sacred Grove, where he served as a mission president, and talked about 4 things we can learn from where such a pivotal moment of history occurred. I recommend watching it (even if you're not a young single adult)! Things are going well though, as usual. We keep finding, slowly but surely. Our major push right now is the fireside - getting into EVERY members' home and talking about the luau and some specific families they can invite. Elder Ingersoll is a stud and is a great leader, companion, and friend. We are planning for another meeting this Friday - a zone meeting all about member work (which is perfect seeing as that is our focus right now). We will probably plan it all out tomorrow morning. I sit in too many meetings! I don't think I ever told the story of the hole in my pants.... Maybe I was embarrassed last December about it. Oh well, here it is: December 2011 - Kirtland Temple We were having our Christmas Conference that Elder Parkinson and I (then AP's) were heavily involved in planning. This was our second conference and I was speaking this session, rather than conducting. I was up in the pews (is that the right word?) to the right of the pulpit in the temple, and there are three levels of pews. I was sitting on bottom and behind me were 2 stake presidents and their wives, who were also giving talks in the temple. Well... As a missionary, you really only have one or two suits, and one I prefer over the other because it has a little bit of a charcoal coloring in it, rather than solid black. I was wearing this suit. The meeting was going to start in about 10 minutes and everyone was sitting in the temple reverently, probably reading, praying, maybe sleeping(?) and I was reviewing my notes. I then suddenly remembered that Elder Parkinson and I had forgotten to tell the musical numbers (we had 3 of them) when they would be performing. I stood up and motioned one of the Elders to me, and as he came up to the pew, I bent over the wall (the pews stand a few feet up in the air) to whisper the information to him. Picture it... Tall, lengthy Elder Dransfield, bending over like an "L" with the stake presidents and their wives all directly behind me. We are done talking and I straightened up and I put my hands on my hips or something and feel something funny on my butt. I feel down, and there is a good 2 or 3 inch hole right where my butt bone is when I sit down. And what was piercing through the charcoal pants to the stake presidents and their wives? My nice, white underwear (sorry if that was TMI). I'm sure I turned bright red as I sat down on my hands to cover the hole. The rest of the day I was walking around with my hands on my butt. Shortly after I went to Men's Warehouse and asked them to fix it. At first they said they couldn't, but I was...persistent?...and they said they would try. And so now I have a patch that doesn't really match on my butt, but hey- it's better than my underwear! My conclusion at the end of it all, was I either, A) Sit in wayyyy too many meetings as a missionary or B) Need to put on some weight to overcome my boney butt. I hope it's okay that I'm saying "butt" so much as a missionary... I apologize if that's not very professional! Haha, that was a fun tangent about sitting in meetings. This coming Sunday is one of the missionary holidays when we get to email home - Mother's Day! We will get to skype home again for 30-40 minutes at a members home. So that'll be exciting. I also have to give a talk on Mother's Day at the YSA Branch, although we haven't been told the topic yet... Well, that's all for today I guess. Here's one of my favorite LDS.ORG videos about temples that I'll close with: Have a great week. Love ya! Elder Dransfield

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