During an English class we were teaching this past week, we reviewed some airport and airplane vocabulary. Suffice it to say that I miss flying a lot. I haven't been on a plane in almost a year!
We had a nice workout, climbing Mt. Rubidoux again, with some recent converts from Riverside. It's fun to hang out with them. It feels like we've created a social club with our members at UCR because they're all really good friends with each other!
Elder Murray and I were walking in a neighborhood the other day when this car pulls up and this young guy tells us, "I wouldn't go down that street if I were you."
"Why not" we ask.
"Because I live there."
So we're just kind of like what?... and he says Jesus Christ's teachings are bad and he doesn't have time to teach us how to be smart... Really weird. So he drives off and we keep walking and he pulls back around and tells us using a lot of expletives to get out. Kind of weird, but, whatever...
Elder Murray being Elder Murray told him we'd call the cops and he was like "Do it, I don't care, write down my license plate." So I obviously thought, hey good idea, so I wrote it down. I don't know what for, but... it was just a weird interaction with this guy.
At church on Sunday, Elder Murray was translating a talk of a recently returned missionary (from Guatemala). At the end, she said she would bear her testimony in Spanish, so Elder Murray just said, sorry she's about to speak Spanish. Thank you Mr. Capilla from SAS, because I grabbed the headset and translated it. Not saying my translation was perfect, but she was using pretty easy Spanish words and I got most of it. It was cool!
It's always fun talking to our investigators, who, while they're not baptized yet, they talk about the church using "our church." So "our church" does this or that. Even defending it when other people are all like "CULT!!!"
We had a member of the Seventy (church general authority) come and visit. It was amazing because [he] was just full of love and humility – [we felt] that he loved us and wanted to help us succeed. We had a couple of special leadership meetings with him and he talked about how this training we get now will help us become effective ministering leaders in the church in the future. He talked about how when you're on the stand, you should look into the eyes of all your members (missionaries in our case - he had us sit on the stand for a bit) and discern their needs/concerns. He said in D&C 43:8-9 when it says act, it's not how to behave, it's to go out and DO. We are beings that are meant to act not get acted upon. He said to be quick to observe and quick to act. He mentioned how enduring to the end is not simply hanging on - it's acting and continually using the enabling power of the Atonement to become better
One thing that showed his humility was sharing the stories that helped him learn a certain principle in his life. For example, he told us not to wait for someone else to change the mission. "Don't hope that THEY will change it, THEY means US". He learned that through the mistake of not taking action with this certain temple building assignment. He shared his own weaknesses to help us be better.
Something interesting that he mentioned was that oftentimes, missionaries are not assigned to a mission but to a mission president - to help him achieve.
He also mentioned Elder Packer's "doctrine of proximity" – that sometimes you have to go to the place and be with the people to discern their needs. I loved his phrase "in the LDS church, we do hard things".
Chillin' on a rock
With Elder Murray and David
With Li Tuo in front of the huge cross