Monday, January 6, 2014

Missionary Leadership Council

Sorry: Sorry this is long, everything just kind of came to me
Elliot Miles: My sister Marina had her fourth child, a beautiful little boy and I cannot wait to meet him!
My Dad's Testimony: I loved the point my dad wrote to me in an e-mail about what he bore his testimony on in church yesterday-that we sometimes look at people and don't always know the back story. I was going to paraphrase it, but I'll just quote the best dad in the world because I think it is so true.
"Two days ago, our daughter Marina who lives in Santa Cruz, gave birth to a little boy. He weighed 9 pounds 9 ounces. He is our 15th grandchild. Ten years ago, we had zero grandchildren. So, little bundles of blessing come very quickly. As we were with Marina in the delivery room following the birth, the nurse Marina had saw her drooping lip and asked her about it, worried that it had occurred during the delivery. Marina said, no, she had a serious surfing accident three years ago and that the left side of her face was paralyzed.

I then remembered all that had happened three years ago and the hardships Marina had with an eye that would not close and a face that sagged. It certainly was a long ways from then, when she held this beautiful little baby in her arms. Sometimes in life, we see the beautiful picture of a Mom and her baby and think, what a perfect life. How come I have so many difficulties and other people have such perfect lives. But it is not true. Everyone has a back-story that we are not aware of. Everyone had difficulties and challenges in their lives.

The second experience involved my daughter in Folsom. She was sealed in the temple to her husband last Saturday. Now, if anyone could see the beautiful pictures of her and her husband and three children, they would say how perfect. I would like a life like that. But, they do not know the back-story. 6 years ago, my daughter learned that her husband was living a "double-life". Shortly, thereafter a divorce followed. Melissa was left without a car, a home or any support for herself and her two daughters. She had nothing. So, she and her daughters moved in with us and she went back to school and got her teaching certificate and then met and married a fine young man.

So too, each of us have a back-story that probably few know about. I think if we did, we would probably be a little more patient and kind. I think that is probably one reason our Heavenly Father is so kind, patient and loving with us--because he knows all of our back-stories, not only on this earth, but all in the pre-mortal existence."
Life Hurts and Is Happy: What I have learned in my life and what I am continuing on the mission to learn is that we hurt a lot, but through patience and the Atonement of Jeus Christ everything is made right. Maybe not even in this life, but we always have that promise in the life to come. Life hurts, but there is so much joy. Oppoisition in all things my friends. I have had a really hard week on the mission seeing a lot of people around me struggle in so many different ways. It hurts to see them hurt, but I know I have just got trust in the Lord and keep point them to Him and Jesus Christ. We can be healed.
Wisdom: I love King Benjamin so much and I have been studying his example of service to his people this week. I know we always read Mosiah 2:17 that says when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God, but the line before that says I tell you these things that you may learn wisdom really hit me. From that scripture I realised wisdom and service are one in the same. The wisest of people who we love and revere so much (ie: Jesus, King Benjamin, Ghandi) are the ones who lived a life serving others. I think living a life of service is the most intelligent way to live. It not only brings happiness to the person being served, but it seems it is even more fulfilling for the person that is serving. I am learning that everyday on the mission.
MLC: MLC is missionary leadership council. It is when the mission president, AP's (assistants to the president), zone leaders, and sister training leaders get together and learn about the goals of the mission and how to implement them in our exchanges with other missionaries and in our own areas. They usually have them at president's house, but because the mission is getting so large (304 missionaries and 75 sisters), with more STLs (sister training leaders) and 2 chinese training leaders, we met at the Staines' chapel. So we in the Plymouth zone are in the boonies of the mission and it is like a 4-5 hour drive so our zone leaders picked Sister O'brien and me up the night before, while our comps stayed in Teignmouth. Sister O'brien is the other STL in the zone since our zone is geographically huge. I'll be over the sisters in Exeter and Torquay and she'll be over St. Austell and Redruth. In the morning, we went over to Staines, and sure enough I see good old Sister Cowley. We just laugh everytime we see each other because we somehow always end up doing the same thing at the same time in the mission, working out simialr issues. Always so good to see her. I learned so much at MLC, and it is interesting to see where the information and goals start and then branch out to the whole mission.

Pics: Sister Cowley and I - we have the weirdest sense of humor when we are together that I feel like no one gets around us. Man I love this lady. Here are some sister training leaders - Didn't get all of them and the other is our awesome zone leaders Elder Paulo (South Africa) and Elder Hsovoi (I am completely getting that wrong, but he is from Germany) and there is Sister O'brien with me.

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