Hey friends! This week I prioritized and have more time to write but... I don't have much to say since not a lot happened this week. Go figure right? As far as transfers go, I'm staying here in El Paso and I'm getting a brand new missionary to train. Even though it's only been a few months it feels like I haven't trained in forever! I'll be fun though, I'm excited! I was surprised about not leaving but you know what they say, once you go south, you die south. Unless of course you're Sister Orseth, who came down for one transfer and is now going all the way back up! Ha, maybe I'll be like Elder Olsen. He's finally leaving El Paso County after 15 consecutive months here! Either way, odds are good with the new missionary that I'll be here for at least another 3 months. But, El Paso is a good place to be a missionary so that's fine with me!
Hmm, like I said, not a whole lot of excitement to report on this week. We did meet with Charles a few times this week. We asked him how his prayers were going and he said "my knees have bruises" so that's fantastic! He's still having trouble finding answers to his prayers but he's putting in the effort now, which is a big step for him. He's also really looking forward to the addiction recovery program that's starting later this week so we're hoping that will help a lot too. We also got the chance to see Judy again this week and talk to her about focusing on the simple things, the foundation questions, and worrying about all of the other concerns later. Hopefully she'll do that and start to see the answers to what she is looking for.
Also, I don't remember if I told you but we got drafted into a Christmas Choir, so we have been doing practices for that. It's going to be a "spontaneous singing" aka a flash mob in the mall. They were telling us to make sure that we look inconspicuous before the thing starts. I'm not really sure how inconspicuous a bunch of missionaries in a mall can really look but I guess we can try!
This Sunday we had a regional broadcast for stake conference where we heard from Elder Robins, Elder Corbridge, Elder Oaks, and Sister Reeves. One of the things that the Stake President talked about beforehand though was the blessing that come from doing family history. Apparently one of the promised blessings is more freedom from addictions, so that's interesting! They talked about a lot of really good things at the conference, and it was cool that some of the stuff was what we had actually talked to people about earlier this week. My favorite though was Elder Robins talking about simplifying. He referenced Elder Oaks talk "Good, Better, Best" as well as President Uchtdorft's talk from last conference about simplifying. I think it's an important topic we don't think about often. The scriptures often talk about pruning as a metaphor. The reason why you prune a tree is so that the energy and devotion can go to the things that really matter and can create less quantity but more quality fruit rather than more quantity but less quality fruit. The same is true in our own lives. The sooner we realize that we can't do it all, the better off we'll be. Of course there are still many things we need to do and would even like to do, but some good things need to go so that the best things can have quality fruit. Something that his talk reminded me of was a section in PMG that says:
"You will do many things that are not described in the key indicators since as street contacting or personal and companion study. These important activities contribute to one or more of the key indicators. For example, when you teach those you find through your own efforts, you add new investigators to your teaching pool. Also, the quality of your personal and companion study will improve your ability to teach by the Spirit, which will bless your new and progressing investigators. The power of your finding and teaching will influence every key indicator. Evaluate all you do based on whether it adds to the numbers of people in these categories. If you and your companion cannot see how a proselyting activity might help increase the numbers of people in one or more key indicators, you need to question whether the activity is worth your time."
Missionaries have obvious key indicators, they are given to us, but everyone should have their own key indicators as well, the things that really matter or really matter to you in life. If you feel like you are too busy or too stressed out or don't have time for important things like family or God, evaluate your activities. Are they the best things? Do you need to prune your tree of good but not best branches? Is the activity increasing your key indicators of life?
Anyway, just a though. I hope you all have an amazing week!