April 24, 2017
Hola! How has it been going? Good to hear! This week has been really really awesome and I am excited to share it with all of you!
Monday night was FHE with the YSA! We had FRED Talks, kind of like TED Talks, but with friends of people in the YSA. There were two, Chris and Amy. Chris was a former Navy Seal who is now at the Yale School of Management and Amy worked in China for a bit helping chinese companies understand American culture and then worked at the White House, setting up programs for introducing high level chinese diplomats to America. It was pretty cool to say the least. Amy had a degree and graduated right when the economic crisis happened and she didn’t have many options to get a job in the US, so she decided to get creative, and went overseas to work in China. Maybe we don’t see opportunities in front of us, but Amy set an example to look outside the box and keep being diligent. It worked out really well for her, and it can for us too!
Today, we played Settlers of Catan with the Woodbridge Sisters, and I was one victory point away from winning, and I couldn’t build any more settlements, and I was basically left to get development cards and hope I got a Victory Point, but I realized I had more road space, and I got a “Build Two Roads Card”, and with the ports I had, if I could get the resources for three roads, I could win the longest road and take the win. If two rolls had been different, I might have been able to take the win, but that idea wasn’t originally in the box. Thinking outside the box gives us more potential and more options to work with. Chris talked a little about the kind of work he did, but obviously not too much. He was in the White House situation room and had the power of an 05 at one point, the watch over 500 men and could call in an air strike to drop buildings. Pretty stressful. He did teach some important principles. He told us to run our schedule and don’t let others run it for you. You know what’s most important, so do it. When something doesn’t work, change and find a plan that does. You need to focus on your team, get to know them, know their strengths and weaknesses and build with them. Leaders always have a plan and are always prepared and know what they want when a meeting comes. They have already put in the work and are ready. You are not what you say you are, you are what you consistently do. There were many many similarities, especially since they were focused 100% on their job, just like us. It was a true learning experience to hear both of these seasoned students and to see what they brought to the table in their schooling.
Tuesday afternoon we finished teaching Edet everything (Yes!) and then we had a great Institute class. Brother LaRose, the Institute Director here in New Haven, taught about the ideal family that we all think of, but explained that the greatest people in the scriptures never really had the perfect family situation. Adam’s son, Cain, killed his brother Able, Moses’ dad tried to kill him, Nephi’s brothers tried to get rid of Nephi and their father, Alma’s son was fighting against the church for years, same with King Mosiah. It’s all over the sciptures. We came to the conclusion that the ideal family uses the Atonment of Jesus Christ to overcome their struggles. It was very eyeopening and encouraging!
Wednesday we had arepas with Sister Taggart, which are always delicious, and then we had a member at a lesson with us, and after teaching about Baptism and how little children don’t need baptism and that once he gains a testimony, he too can be baptized, he took us aside and dropped us….it was tough, but we taught boldly he made his choice. We can only help so much. The word ‘unto’ always sticks out to me in the scriptures. Jesus only brings the power of the Atonement unto us, and then we make the choice. It is difficult, but Elder Greding shared this week that if we don’t invite them, we are making the decision for them. Food for thought.
Thursday was pretty darn full. We met with Bill and helped him feel comfortable coming to church, and then had a long lesson with another new investigator. I learned, because of him, that love for others breaks down any barrier. Once I started feeling love for him, I wasn’t frustrated that he was talking a ton. He also started to trust us more and committed to read the Book of Mormon and to mark principles. It was awesome! He stills talks, but we changed, which changed the whole situation.
Friday was Edet’s interview, and he passed! We had dinner with a member family and I got to play the saxophone for the first time in almost 10 months! My chops were a little sore, but it worked out so I could still play! It was really rejuvinating, and I haven’t touched one in a while.
Saturday was the day! We were running around like crazy, and I ended up playing organ prelude for the wedding and then piano for the baptism! The wedding was simple and filled with the Spirit. Bishop taught a lot of basic principles about the family before they were married, and it stuck with both of them. After the wedding, we headed downstairs for the Baptism. The talks were great, the spirit was there. It was so awesome! Brother Palsson likened going to the temple to driving a semi. It takes more practice and has more responsibility and more reward once you are ready. Elder Greding performed the baptism and Breman and I were witnesses. Edet bore his testimony afterwards and we felt like proud parents. It was filled with doctrine and with his testimony of true principles. He truly will be a strong member and will lift many people.
On Sunday, I was blessed with the opportunity to confirm Edet. As soon as we started, peace came over me and it was still. I am grateful for the spirit, and can’t wait for Edet to go to the temple! Have a great week!!!