Monday's sure do roll around quickly, but I don't mind - that just means email from my favorite missionary. However, all we received was a quick note expressing a concern and then telling us he and his companion were just asked to go over a give a blessing at a member's home. Duty calls! He promised to write Tuesday during their time at open church. He did not disappoint - we had a great letter today. He sounds really upbeat and up to the task of strengthening members and finding people to teach. Keep working hard elders. Each day is a new day and you never know what the Lord has in store. That's what makes it so exciting to get out of bed, especially on those cold, Swedish Winter mornings.
Change is in the air even though it is not quite Spring here in St. George. Our ward boundaries are changing once again. I am scheduled to be released from my young women's calling this week, and brace yourself Dallin, we sold our house last night to the Romney family (Lindsey is a Carter and is Uncle Jack's grandaughter). We will be moving out on February 26th and into the old adobe house for a few months while we figure out our next move. BYU has invited me for an interview for their post-bachelors PhD program in Marriage and Family Therapy on February 2nd and will issue their decision of acceptance by March 1st. If I am accepted we will be moving to Provo. If not, we will be starting a dental practice here in St. George for Blaine. Things will be quite different upon your return Dallin, but one thing will never change and that is our love for you. Wherever we are we want you close to us.
It will be interesting moving from 4100 sq. ft. to 1000 sq. ft., but I am excited for the challenge. It is a darling house that we have remodeled (Dallin worked very hard on this house just before leaving on his mission). Carter and Ty are kicking and screaming a little, but I think the idea is growing on them. We spent a lot of time over there yesterday cleaning up the yard and raking leaves. We will be planting a big garden there starting next month and will have many other projects under way - new cabinets, new closets, new doors, and a concrete patio poured out back. The only problem I foresee is there is only one bathroom. I guess this a rare time when I can be grateful that we don't have girls. It will be an exciting adventure to say the least.
This Week's Letter From Home:
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." (Mark 8:35)
"Conducting missionary work among the prosperous of the earth, however, often requires a different mind-set. This principle is this: On occasion those who are in comfortable circumstances feel the need for a church affiliation. Most of the time, however, we will do better with this group if we can convey how desperately those of us in the church need their help..... We need to give the chance to lose their lives for the sake of the gospel not just to the humble of the earth, but to the prosperous people too. Even though many prosperous, comfortable people don't feel like they need religion, almost all of them have a need to help other people.
Almost every calling that we undertake in the Church can be reframed as a missionary opportunity when we invite people who are not yet members of the church to join with us in serving the Lord. And we can do it with confidence that, just as we feel the Spirit when we serve, our friends can feel the same spirit - and realize that despite their prosperity, there has been something missing from their lives." - Clayton M. Christensen in "The Power of Everyday Missionaries".
I came across a chapter this week in Clayton M. Christensen's book devoted to how to share the gospel with the prosperous and affluent in the world. I reminded me of the situation that you are in and I thought that it was excellent counsel. The key to working with these people is to find opportunities for them to serve in the church and invite them to do so, whether it be hosting a career night for the priests in the ward, tutoring members who are struggling, enlisting them to use their talents to serve those in need, etc..... This provides opportunities for them to feel needed, feel the Spirit, and to create lasting friendships. This may also provide opportunities for you to share the message of the restored gospel with them, but it should surely be on their terms, and your love for and friendship with them should absolutely not be dependent on their interest to hear more about your message. This is an excellent book. If you would like a copy of it I can send it to you. I have it downloaded on my phone, but I am sure I can find a hard copy.
How was the work this week? I know it can be slow and difficult, but I do believe that the Lord will guide as to how best spend your time with the members and in the community. Look for opportunities for yourselves as missionaries as well as the members to serve in your community so you are exposed to more non-members. When meeting different people observe their talents and professions and find ways to invite them to serve in something they love doing. I promise you that doors will open.
I know that this area will be a struggle, but there is always room for improvement and growth - sometimes you just have to think outside the box of tradition and try things that haven't been tried before. Some methods may even prove to be unorthodoxed, but as long as they aren't illegal or against mission rules I say go for it! I think it sounds like a fun and exciting challenge.
I hope you are doing well and that you are using the precious gifts and talents that the Lord has given you to bless those you meet in Kungsbacka. You have been blessed with a keen intellect and a strong and healthy body, so put them both to good use. The words of Christ will tell you all thing that you should do, and the Holy Ghost will show you all things that you should do (2 Nephi 32).
Is it still quite cold? What has the temperature been there lately? When does it usually start thawing out? I pray everyday that you are safe, warm, happy, and that you know how much we and your Heavenly Father love you. You are simply amazing Dallin! Keep up the great work. I am also praying that you can get Elder Olsen his first discussion!!!!
Well, I heard from BYU this week. They have invited me for an interview with them on February 2nd. It will be an all day affair. I am so excited, but quite nervous as well. I have no idea what to expect. I am just grateful that they have at least given me the respect to invite me for an interview. I will let you know how that goes. This weekend dad and I will be visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for our 21st wedding anniversary. We are staying in a hotel that is right on the edge of the canyon and looks out over it. It will be a nice get away Friday through Monday. Upon returning I will be driving to Monticello with Grandma Susan to help aunt Julie with her new baby and family. She has not had him yet, but she will be induced this weekend if she needs to be. I cannot believe that she will have six children. She is amazing!
Ty has been sick for a solid week. He missed five days of school with a bad flu virus. He had a fever, sore throat, diarrhea, a sinus infection, and sever bronchitis. He is finally coming out of it. I felt so bad for him. He didn't get to play basketball at all this week, and it was really hard on him staying down, but he had the X-box One to keep him company, but even that gets tiresome after a few days. He slept a lot and did a little reading. He went to church with us today and seems to be getting back to his old self.
Carter had a good week with basketball. I'm sure he'll tell you all about it. He played most of the Canyon View game and we squeaked out a win in over time. Did you see the pictures on the blog. It was fun to have him and cousin Keaton on the floor at the same time. Dad has had another busy week with work, and he has started helping the PV baseball team after school with open field practices and scrimmages. They are getting really excited for this baseball season.
As for me, I have been working hard all week on the book, and the Lord has blessed me with several break throughs in my writing and the direction we should take. The feeling of receiving pure revelation is amazing, and it lets me know that the Lord is interested in what I am doing and that He has specific things he wants me to say in regards to this issue. I have a feeling that a lot of big changes are just around the corner for our family. We may be living a completely different life when you get home. It will be interesting to see what the Lord has in store for each one of us.
Well Dallin, not much else going on other than I find myself missing you more and more the longer you are out there. Keep your chin up, Keep up the great work, and most importantly, always remember how much we love you! We are so blessed to have you as our son. Take care!
This week's Letter From Aldste Milne: