Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Zone Conference and other insights

December 15, 2014

Dear Family,

You always begin with questions that I never answer.  Sorry.  I looked back at my camera to some of your recent questions, and I will try to answer them now:

- No, Ipoh doesn't have senior missionaries
- My answer to the sacrament question about the order of the bread and water was pretty much the same as Dad's, but not as punny.
- The FHE's that I remember most were ones when I had something to see or do.  I remember specifically one with an activity about the Word of Wisdom where I fed good things to a paper face, and put bad things in the trash can.  I remember very clearly a lesson that Mom taught me when I was really young, using paper cutouts of the Earth, and the Sun, the moon, and the stars to represent the plan of salvation.  (I've been using my own laminated cutouts with the "spirits" and "bodies" very often as I teach lately.  I think the ideal Family Home Evening is not too long.  I remember sometimes really looking forward to FHE, and other times when I knew that I'd be sitting on the couch for longer than I wanted to.  When we used the scriptures in conjunction with an activity, I learned the most.  I specifically remember Mom sharing with me scriptures such as Doctrine and Covenants 38:30, 1 Nephi 3:7, Mosiah 2:17, and Doctrine and Covenants 89 on different occaisions, which have had a lasting effect on me and the way that I made decisions in my life.  I remember watching the Book of Mormon Storybook videos.  I always looked forward to watching those, and I think that they helped me understand the Book of Mormon before I really began to read it on my own.    Anyway... I think as long as we learn principles from the scriptures and everyone laughs together, Family Home Evening is a success.
- I received the package this week!  Thank you so much for sacrificing your time and energy to find a new Book of Mormon and matching case!  I really appreciate it and I love the Jelly Bellys, too!  (I also received a package from Grandma and Grandpa Baer.  When I opened it, I found several smaller wrapped gifts.  They are under our Christmas tree right now, waiting to be opened on Christmas morning.  Thank you again!!)

Zone Conference was, once again, fantastic!  I loved being back in Singapore and seeing so many good missionaries and friends.  I think I received more specific direction and guidance dealing with Applications that I can make to bring my missionary service into better harmony with the Doctrines I know and the Principles I've been learning recently.  Our focus was on the branch council meetings that should take place regularly.  How do ward council meetings go in the 3rd ward?  Are there action items created and assigned that help individuals to plan specific times and purposes for the work that they will do in the coming week to move forward the work of salvation?  I absolutely love being in Ipoh, where I feel a connection of genuine love between members and missionaries.  I feel that this is the closest I've come in my mission to breaking the barrier between the "missionaries' Church" and the "members' Church" that so often comes between us.  (Maybe every missionary says this, but I am discovering that I was definitely not living up to my potential as a member missionary before I put the nametag on.)

We had a chance to watch the Christmas Devotional at the conference, as well.  I'll admit that as I listened, I was writing Christmas cards at the same time, so I don't think I took in everything, but I liked the talk about Jesus Christ's family.  I know that if we develop the same attributes that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus exemplified, we will find the most important things in life, and we will be happy.  I know that by doing this, we will also come closer to God, and we will receive strength from Him, and feel His assurance that all things will work together for our good.  I really do think that I've been able to feel the fruits of these important qualities in our home as I've grown up.  I want to thank you all for helping me to feel the love of the Savior, and for choosing to live in a way that allows him to bless us.
I also enjoyed watching "He is the Gift."  Have you seen this video on yet?  If not, I highly recommend it.  I also recommend that you think about and write down just one way that you will share the gift at Christmas this year.

I love you all, and I wish I could keep emailing you for hours, but I'd better get started on sending you pictures now!

If you have more questions, email them to me soon, because I still have to write President Mains, and get transfer news.  (I know I say this every transfer, but  AAAUGH!!)

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