Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 26, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
We are so enjoying the Spirit in its rich abundance just flowing into our lives.  We had a wonderful zone conference last week.  We received ten commandments relating to the commitment process of baptism.  Great ideas to ensure that our investigators have experiences with the Spirit.  Way too much to report here because that was only the first hour.  We had good break out sessions, one of which was how we can help others understand that reading the scriptures can give them answers.  Which then lead to "How to have a successful prayer."  The suggestion was that before we pray we should take a minute to think about all we have been given, then take a minute to ponder.  Br. Christensen (Yes, from "How Will You Measure Your Life?" fame - Harvard) was referencing Moroni 10:3-5 these first two steps will help our prayers be more sincere.  If we remember how merciful the Lord has been we will remember his atonement.  Real intent means you will act upon the answer you receive no matter what.  Understand prayer language and how to pray. {That is because in the world today really very few people  know how to pray.}  Tell God what you will do if he will answer your prayer. Then pray and listen for the spirit. Write down your impressions, ponder then ask is there more?  I share this with you not because I think you are not praying but it has made my personal prayers so sweet and tender.  I thought you might enjoy it.  Sister Packard talked about this great time of hastening the work.  It was preceded by the announcement to raise the bar spiritually, emotionally, physically, but especially in the way we teach.  Preach my gospel came forth, the age requirement changed and here we are all part of this historic sacred moment. Then president gave a talk on keeping pride from our lives, never elevating oneself, their success is mine and certainly God does not compare.  God does not measure how the world does.  There is enough for all.  We can learn from everyone, see their strengths not their weaknesses, we would never want someone else's church calling for there are chances to serve everywhere and God will make you equal to your call.  Everything we have and are is a gift from God.  Then I actually had this rather profound thought given to me by God.  When we, like Christ, give all glory and honor unto God and serve because of love, and realize we never give a good talk or lesson only as it is inspired by God, then we begin to find the source of humility.

We went to a Cape Verde baby shower.  What an experience.  (Dad) We went in the afternoon and took some food over - they already had about 4 of the church tables filled with trays of food and had two huge tupperwares full of chicken to be grilled.  When we returned later at 8:30pm there was even more food and all four grills were bar-b-queing chicken, which was only half gone.  There were about 150 people there, and this was a baby shower!  (If I can figure out how the get the pictures off Mom's I-touch, I'll post them later)

We took a couple nice walks this last week, here are some pictures:

Does this remind anyone of the movie, "The Birds!"?

We finally found Emerson's schoolhouse in Franklin Park, there was also a plaque by the spot where he cabin was that he lived in for two years while he was the schoolmaster here.  Awesome...

This was at the Arnold Arboretum, very pretty.

We had a Surprise Birthday party for Sister Cope with the whole Zone.  It was too fun and dad got little presents for all the zone I will let him tell of the craziness.  OK, it's me now.  I decided that everyone should have a gift so we bought $1 stuff at target and elsewhere and I wrapped them all.  Then we did a gift exchange almost like a white elephant with stealing and all.  It was fun and one of the Spanish sisters said she wanted the tennis balls (I did splurge for a can of tennis balls) from the zone leader, at which point he jumped up and ran out of the room WITH the tennis balls!  Horay for people who never grow up --- not that I would know anything about that.

We took an investigator to a great fireside about " What we know because of the prophet Joseph Smith."  The trip was beautiful and the fireside was great.  But what Mom didn't tell you is that it took us almost three hours to get there and we arrived 20 minutes late because the sisters were late finding an investigator to take, etc.  I was somewhat upset because I knew how much Mom wanted to hear the fireside (me too, but Mom more).  When we walked in, the song was ending and the opening prayer was just starting - we hadn't missed a thing because the meeting had been delayed waiting for the stake president to arrive.  Just so you know, Mom controls more than just the weather! :)

We got up at five again to take people over to the temple for baptisms for the dead.  But none of our recent converts could go so we came back home.  We are trying not to be weary in well doing but we are old and some days are harder than others.  This is transfer week so it will be busy.  Five from our zone are going home so that makes it even more crazy.  We are also looking forward to the seniors trip to see the temple site in Connecticut on Saturday.

A couple more pictures, for fun:

Mom wanted me to show you how creative I've been finding parking places!  It's not easy... :)

This is so typical of our area, three to four-story high rises, all apartments.

The church is true.
Love to all

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