It's kinda funny how often the scriptures show us how things work, how we gain our testimonies, and how often we usually miss it haha. The natural follow-up to feeling the Spirit is trying to share it. That's how God's love works, He doesn't just pour it all into one person, and that's the end haha, it's meant to be passed on. I think that's part of what Moroni is getting at when he says "sincere desire" and "real intent" in chapter 10. The real intent means that you're gonna act on the testimony you receive, meaning keeping the commandments and sharing the gospel. Cool lesson from the missionaries!
So our week was pretty much nuts. I'll start with the big one, the Elder Andersen meeting! Wednesday morning, we talked with security, got the logistics of the meeting set up and then pretty much just waited for him to arrive. Turns out he got caught in traffic and was late by about an hour. Haha, happens to the best of us apparently! The meeting for the missionaries was really cool though. Elder Andersen is a BOSS! He was super real with us, chill, funny, and obviously just a spiritual giant.
There's three parts I'd like to share.
1. I got roasted by an Apostle of the Lord. Let me explain haha. We were talking about changing the way the mission thinks about baptisms, and Elder Andersen was like, "Where are my assistants?" Elder Kriser and I pretty tentatively raised our hands, haha. Then he asked how many baptisms we've had this year. And I had no clue haha! I took a total shot in the dark and went for 16 (and I was right! Holy Ghost!). I guess he could hear the hesitation in my voice, but he took it for embarrassment, and was like, "Elder Haskett, there's nothing to be ashamed of!" Then he turns to the other missionaries and is all like, "Listen to him, '16, sorry'" and we all laughed. Then later, he asked us what kind of goals we'd like to have as a mission for monthly baptisms. I brought up the fact that we'd set the goal of 121 in the year, so about 10 a month would do it, and I gotta say, I did not expect the reply I got haha. He was like, "Alright, let's be real, we're averaging about 3 a month so far. 10 would be nice, but that's not gonna happen for a while. You set goals to grow, not be perfect all at once!" It was pretty cool. He was super spiritual, super faithful, but also super realistic. It was so different from what they tell you in the MTC, or in the worldwide missionary broadcasts. He was real, and made everything he said sound really possible. He finished that segment with a promise, that we might not get 121 baptisms within this year, but guaranteed that there are easily 121 people to find this year that will be baptized someday. It was good to look at it from that perspective.
2. The next thing I wanted to share was just some of the things that were said that hit me pretty hard.
-"Every mission in the world is different, in some places it is definitely harder to grow the Church than in others. But regardless of where you are, it is never going to be easy. It is always hard. We aren't here to talk about what is hard. We talk about what we can do, and what we are going to do, now." Cool little thought. It does nothing for you to dwell on your circumstances or problems, all you can do is work, and try to make it better.
-"Try to answer your own prayers." That was an interesting line to hear from a General Authority. He said it and then moved on. I thought about it a lot. God does everything on His own timetable. We know that we have to do our part, and that He'll do the rest. But how can we be sure how much of it is our part? We'll never know until it happens. Act, act, and act until you get the job done, and then look back to see what God has done to make it all possible.
-"No matter what your goal is for baptisms, or lessons, or whatever, the fact remains that it is going to take an enormous amount of faith to grow the Church in Poland. Even if the goal is one baptism a month mission-wide, it will take miracles for that one baptism to happen. The same thing goes for 10." We believe in miracles, and every little conversion, every step in the right direction is a miracle in it's own right.
3. Lastly has to do with a major change in plans haha. During the meeting we started talking about the meeting for the members later that night. The missionaries were not supposed to be there, and Elder Andersen was like, "You know, I'd really like for them to come. Do what you gotta do to make that happen". Welp. What an Apostle says, goes haha. We cancelled all the missionaries trains, and then I was in charge of making sure that everybody got dinner, a toothbrush, and a place to sleep. You'd better believe that was a hot mess haha. Dinner was at a grocery store, and then we had about 10 missionaries to an apartment for the night before everybody could catch their trains in the morning. The missionaries weren't in their apartments until about 1 in the morning haha.
It was worth it though! The member meeting was awesome. I got a chance to shake Elder Andersen's hand, and then talk a little more about our goals. He told me, "Elder Haskett, I want you to do me a favor and prove me wrong". Haha I wasn't expecting that, but I'm going for it! We already have 8 planned baptisms for the month of June! Right after our little chat, a member who's not exactly all there ran up to him and started talking to him about a bunch of sketchy stuff. We're talking about visions for the Church, fortune-tellers, voodoo doll stuff. Things started getting pretty weird, and before I knew it I was a human shield for an Apostle, while he got away haha. Wild!
That's all for Elder Andersen though! The rest of the week was good. The sister's investigator asked me to baptize her on Saturday! It was really cool. She's solid, and we're actually gonna start meeting with her friend that came to the service. The next day we set a baptismal date of our own for the 17th of June. It's been a really cool transfer. We went through and found that we're meeting with about 16 serious people right now. It's been a serious blessing.
The home plans sound good! We'll make it work! I can't imagine I'm actually gonna want to go to the orientation stuff, but I guess we'll see haha. We'll worry about it later. I do want to make sure to see Val that Tuesday night though before we go up to Provo!
Thanks for taking care of the driver's license! That'll be huge, now we don't have to go spend our one day at the DMV! Thanks!
Love you Mom, have an awesome week!