Monday, April 18, 2016

It's AP Test Time...

Elder Bennett, Elder Martino, and Elder Anderson
It was a crazy week this week, with some cool teaching miracles, and highlighted by a baptism! That's right, Shannon got baptized in Morton this week, and it was amazing: the ward was super supportive, there were two superb talks given, Shannon's whole family was there, and Shannon was so excited and happy! The only downside was that the water in the font turned out to be a yellow-green color, who knows what that was all about...I am super grateful for the opportunity that I've had to teach Shannon, she's amazing, and has such a great spirit with her. She's been talking about serving a mission in the future, and has already been a great missionary in being an example for her family members. I'm glad that I got to attend the baptism, because it was looking for about half the week like it wouldn't happen. But because my new companions are total studs (more on that next paragraph), they made things happen so that we could drive down to Morton on Sunday for the baptism.

Last Sunday (a week ago) was stake conference for us, and President Griffin asked if he could meet with me afterwards. In the meeting with him, he asked me to be his next Assistant. Because transfers wouldn't happen until a week later, I wasn't supposed to make anyone aware of it except Elder Bennett. This is where the crazy kicks in: so we have the meeting with Elder Martino on Thursday (the meeting went really, really well; he taught us a lot about uniting with members in missionary work), and I needed to be all packed and ready to go to stay with the Assistants from Thursday on for the rest of the week. So I get with them after the meeting, and we get started on transfer stuff immediately. President worked on transfers longer than he ever has before, so Saturday night in particular was stressful getting things done, but we made it happen! Also, fun fact about the transfer process: we have a checklist that we do every transfer, and part of that includes the Assistants going to Portillo's to get a Cake Shake on Saturday night. You'll definitely have to get a Cake Shake when we come back here, because they're amazing!

Being President's Assistant is a calling that excites me greatly, yet makes me nervous and anxious at the same time. What's been incredible to me though, is that before I was given this assignment, I loved the missionaries in our zone, but now, I have love for missionaries that I never thought was possible. In a sense, I feel like the Grinch--his heart grew three sizes! Hopefully I'm NOT like the Grinch in my attitude, but that increase of love was a pretty good comparison. One of the things that I've learned throughout my mission is that when you are called to any position in the Church, the Lord already sees you as qualified. A lot of the time, we get so caught up in thinking we aren't good enough to fulfill an assignment, and we forget that the Lord qualifies whom He calls. Not that you should be arrogant or cocky, but He's already qualified you, so you should think about magnifying your calling, rather than trying to qualify yourself. (Ether 12:27--"I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.")

My new companions, Elder Cluff and Elder Adams (who are great men) and I met one of the coolest 9-year-olds ever this week--his nickname is Z, and he's probably the wisest kid I've met in my life. We're teaching the Restoration, and we have just read the First Vision with him, and his dad asked how he felt about it, and he responded, "Well, I think it's good, but I think I need to know what Joseph's question was, and what answer he got." BOOM, like this is a 9-year-old we're talking about! Later in the lesson, we're teaching him about the Book of Mormon, and we gave him a copy of it, because we didn't have a children's Book of Mormon, and he said, "This is the word of God? Then that's all I need!" And then after the lesson was over, we told him how smart he was, and asked how he was doing. He replied that he had a few D's in school, and when we asked how he planned to fix those, he said, "The word of God will help me." LIKE HOLY FREAK KID, YOU'RE 9 AND YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMANDMENTS MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE 25+ YEARS OLD. It was incredible, so much fun teaching Z. We set up another lesson with him this week, so we're looking forward to that!

Transfer stuff was crazy this weekend--we put together car-shares, made travel arrangements, picked up the new missionaries from the airport today (super weird going to the airport after 18 months, just FYI #NotEvenALittleTrunkie), took new missionaries out to lessons with active members tonight, and, my favorite, enjoyed deep-dish pizza (although the pizza we had was Lou Malnati's, which is of the terrestrial glory, below the celestial standard of Giordano's)!

That's been most of my crazy week--I'm probably forgetting some things, but my mind is all over the place, so that's about as good as I can do! I love you all, and hope you have an awesome week! Remember that the Lord doesn't expect you to do it all, He just expects you to do your all.

Elder Dallas Anderson

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