Monday, September 12, 2011
Mission Conference! Everyone Wave Hello!
Elder Chadwick is second row second seat in on the right. His companion is sitting by the isle. Click on the photo to enlarge it and you will see him up close.
I have so much to say but so little time.
The week started off great with a district meeting lead by Elder Lara. Tuesday and what seemed like the whole week it rained really hard. It kind of makes it hard to work because no one is out on the streets but that is ok. This week Elder Lara came to our area to see how it was doing.
This is what he suggested that we work on, weekly meetings with President Diaz. We are going to get right on that. I am excited to try out a couple of things. Elder Lara has two more changes and he is out of here. He is extending his mission though so he will get home right before Christmas. He asked a lot of questions of the soul to our investigators and was really good at digging stuff out of them. He taught alot out of the New Testament which I want to do more. I am almost half way done with it.
Elder Lara also helped me teach FHE to the whole branch. We taught about David and Goliath. It was fun. After Divisions we went straight to Zihaut to wait for our grand adventure to Cuernavaca. We left at 11 o'clock at night. (Let me tell you, Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 is so much funnier in Spanish) I sat up in the middle of the night to the bus moving to the other side of the road.....he was dodging two drunk ladies. I got a kick out of that. DON'T DRINK!
Upon arriving at 7:30 in the morning we hopped in a taxi and headed to the church.
(another crazy taxi ride.) When we arrived at the church it was great to see alot of the people at the church I had not seen in four months including Elder Oswald my MTC companion. We were all seated at 8:30 when Pres. Spannaus came in and instructed us. He told us he was going out to get Elder Ballard when two seconds later guess who walks in...Elder Ballard. He brought with him Elder Jensen of the presidency of the seventy and two other members of the seventy. What a pleasure....
Elder Ballard wanted to shake everyones hand so we did the merry go round and yeah shook their hands.
I finally got up to shake his hand, took my retainer out and put on my best smile. "Elder Chadwick, how are ya?" ask Elder Ballard. "Fantastic, thank you" I replied. That is what an apostle of the Lord said to me. Well after the Elders sang a barber shop quartet of "I am trying to be like Jesus" in Spanish and toward the end in English. After the meeting Elder Ballard said "Wait, we are not done. These three singers are the best. Lets put them on the circuit to sing around the world in two years"
So, after the musical number two of the members of the seventy bore their testimonies about missionary work and then Elder Jensen was up to bat. (Personally, I think then church bought Ipads for all the members of the seventy because I have seen three of them use them in the stake and mission conferences.) He started out his talk by talking about hymns and how we should sing more to our investigators to bring them the spirit. He made a great comparison about harmony and the TAB Choir to companionship harmony. Pretty sweet.
He went on after that and said "Ask and he will fill us with the pure love of Christ."
He then talked about the spirit of our investigators along with ours.
How much did our spirits know before we came to the earth? he asked us....???
He then made a list of things to help us get more converts.
1. A Vision
2. Attributes of Christ
c. good health
(He then drew this funnel thing and but three circles in the funnel. 32 New Investigators, 15 in teaching, 7 with a date and finally two converts.)
4. Positive constant contacting
(He then asked what is a positive contact. Well, the first thing that came to my head was smile and so I said it out loud. He happened to hear me and said "Elder, stand up and speak a little louder please" so I stood up "We need to smile, necesitamos tener una sonrisa" pointing to my smile. ((Elder Ballard got a little kick out of that and was laughing a little))
5. Assistance in the Church
6 No eternal investigators
7 Two references daily
8 Work with ward mission leader
9 "Sweet boldness"
He talked about being bold with our investigators and telling the truth straight up.
Then Elder Ballard stepped up to the pulpit and oh what a talk and a half he gave.
He started out telling us about being an apostle, how he is a missionary like us and people ask him alot of questions.
One Catholic Priest asked him "Do you put magic dust in their cereal to make them go on missions when they are so young?" he responded "No, they go on missions because they know the church is true"
He then talked about the joys of sitting in between Elder Oaks and Scott. He said almost half of the twelve are turning 80 this year so sometimes he has to give his companions a little bump to keep them awake. ha ha.
Next, he said "You know what, the Elder that said we need to smile more is absolutely correct." That is when I made a real connection with Elder Ballard. He was looking me straight in the eyes (just as his wife taught him) and thank goodness I was smiling. "I just love to smile and laugh and so that is what I would do." Through the meeting Elder Ballard would crack a joke and I would be the only one laughing. Everyone was so serious around him. He even told everyone to lighten up a bit and he had us do head, shoulders, knees and toes half way through.
Here are some of the quotes from him.
*"conversion begins when the people feel something, not really when they know something is true."
*"If you talk to more people you will baptize more people." he then committed us to talk to ten people a day. (Which I have heard this from him before...but not live)
*"Treasure up the gospel and the scriptures in you heart so you can teach with your own words. I have talked in news conferences, on TV and in front of Universities, and I have no fear, Why? Because I know the gospel..."
After a missionary asked about trying not to make someone feel bad this was Elder Ballard's response. " Don't worry about making them feel bad, just do it with a smile on you face and you will be fine." I really got a good kick out of that one.
It was a great mission conference. I really enjoyed it and will try to apply everything in my mission and the rest of my life.
Towards the end of his talk I had a weird impression. I thought to my self..."I think this man made my mission call..." Not two seconds later he said "Every Friday we make 240 mission calls. I know for sure I made some of yours." WOW that was sweet. I have not had that happen before. Now I am 90 percent sure he made my call just be the interactions I made with him and the way I felt the spirit on Saturday. I am thankful for Elder Ballard. He changed my life.
We are having a Pancake/FHE night with the primary president on Wed. I will ask her if she needs anything.
I don't really need anything right now. Send more stuffing and mash potatoes. and of course spaghetti Os.
have to go.
Letter from President Spannus after the conference. We had to use google Translator to see what he said. It's interesting.
My dear missionaries
What a wonderful conference we had and what a privilege it was to hear, feel and shake hands with a quorum of the twelve apostles of the Lord, Elder Ballard. Never forget this historic day in our mission and our lives.
I'd like you to share with me your thoughts and feelings about it. The next Monday I'll send mine. I send you a hug, work hard, we have to baptized more. September baptisms are very low, I feel that we have blurred(?)a bit. Now with all this spiritual strength that we have received, we will do our work better and more consistently.
A big hug, that the Lord bless you!