Sunday, October 6, 2013

We are in the October Era!

A few months back, a church photographer came into our office to meet with the Assistants in planning where he would go to take pictures for an article to be published in the October Era on the life of a missionary. We are delighted that some of our very missionaries are in some of the photos. Pages 18, 19 are Elder Ballard and Elder Reed; Elder Reed has completed his mission and Elder Ballard is the grandson of Elder M. Russel Ballard. Page 22 in the upper left hand corner is our Sister Tuhirirwe and the other sister I cannot remember as she was one that went to the West Mission when we split. Page 23, the picture with two missionaries shaking hands with a man, is our Assistant Elder Chaffetz and Elder Kyremateng, who went to the West Mission as an Assistant and recently completed his mission. Page 25 shows Elder Ballard and Elder Reed again doing service by carrying water containers for a woman. There was quite a 'buzz' among the  missionaries when it was discovered that some of our missionaries were in the magazine. It was special to meet the man who took these pictures and converse with him about what it takes to travel to other countries and bring news of the Church in those countries.

My companion and I were recently involved with a young man who was in the process of putting in his application for a mission. He is from Ghana and did not allow himself to be discouraged when his Stake President told him that he had to have an X-ray to rule out tuberculosis. He has very little money and did not know where to go for this. His father disowned him when he joined the Church and would not allow his wife to help her son with food or anything else. I won't go into all the details as to how we came to know this young man, but we are grateful we did because we were able to help him get this X-ray. We were able to have the mission doctor read it, and get a letter from him to the young man's bishop stating that he could proceed with his application. The bishop was leaving town in two days and would be gone for over a month, but said he would get the application in the hands of the stake president before he left. This was all done in a matter of about 45 minutes and we were thankful it was so close to our office, as time was of the essence.We felt the gratitude of this young missionary-to-be, and were especially pleased when he recognized the Lord's hand in making this happen.

The Primary program is in the count-down stages. Next week we trade places with the adults so we can practice in the chapel. The following week is District Conference in Kpong, so we will need lots of prayers that not having that Sunday to practice will not hinder us. October 27th, the day of the program, will hopefully prove to the leaders and the children that they can do it again next year. Our microphones are a bit unstable, but we will hope that all will be well. I just hope most of the children will show, as we were missing quite a few today. I asked the children to please tell them when they see them at school that we really need them. I also told them that they might have to do another part that they haven't practiced. I hope they really felt the spirit (I sure did) as I gave the lesson on the Good Samaritan to illustrate that by serving others, we are serving God. I also talked about Heber J. Grant, whose father died when he was an infant, and how his mother provided a living for them by sewing for other people. She made him a warm coat for his birthday, which he gave away to a little boy in need. That was the quietest the children have ever been and I really feel they felt something.
I have about five of the children that will soon need to start going to YW and YM  and Sunday School class, and I will miss them in class so much.

I want to write down these 7 principles of effective teaching that President Judd teaches to the missionaries, so I will remember them and use them. 1. Prepare diligently 2. Ask inspired questions 3. Listen to the Spirit and to the investigator 4. Discern and follow Spiritual direction 5. Teach and testify of the Doctrine 6. Check for understanding 7. Invite commitment.
I have heard some of the missionaries share some wonderful experiences using these principles.

When I prepared the calendar for the month of October, I felt how quickly it would pass. President Judd has personal interviews with all 152 missionaries, which will take four days over a two week period. We also arrange for them to attend the temple during the same day of their interview. Then President Judd and Sister Judd will attend a Mission Presidents Seminar for three days and get back in time to hold a Trainer's Council preparing for the 30 new missionaries that will be coming October 30th. I know the Lord sustains all involved in this great work because it could not be done without it. I don't even come near to describing what all takes place to have a mission function. My eyes have sure been opened to the magnitude of it all.

I have sure missed being able to watch General Conference, and even though I always appreciated the blessing of watching it at home or in Salt Lake, I will be even more grateful when I can do the same again. I can, at least, look forward to reading the talks as we travel to Senchi.
That reminds me. We have been reading, as we travel each Sunday, a book written by President Daniel K Judd (our mission president). It is entitled "The Fortunate Fall" and I recommend it highly.  He gave us a signed copy and we are learning so much. What a gift to have such a knowledge and yet be so humble about it, and to sacrifice so much to serve as a Mission President in Ghana. It has been a privilege to serve with him and Sister Judd.

Well, apartment inspections tomorrow, Yea! After the October transfer of new missionaries, we will be back up to our number of apartments to inspect before the mission split.
All my grandchildren, preparing for missions, need to brush up on their cleaning and cooking skills. It will really make mission life so much easier if they don't have to spend the time thinking about how to do it, I promise them that.

With love,
Sister Avery (mom, grandma)

1 comment:

Chad said...

Wow, what a good blog entry! I felt the Spirit in abundance as I read and pondered the things you shared. It was neat to look up the pictures of some of your missionaries in the New Era. Pictures add so much to any story. I wept as I thought about this young man who wants to serve a mission and of your helping hands and encouragement. Oh, that we could all have that kind of faith and determination. I wish I could be there to hear your Primary program. I'm sure it will be beautiful. I am so proud of you and love you so much. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.