Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Weeks 9-11 Utah Ogden Mission

When I was serving as a full time missionary in Kirtland Ohio, my companion and I had the opportunity to be riding in a car down the freeway to a conference with our mission president and an apostle. We thought nothing could be cooler.  We were flying high. During the course of our conversation our Mission President paused and asked the apostle, "what one piece of counsel do you have for these good missionaries?" The apostle responded without hesitation. "Follow the Bretheren and don't stop, do it throughout your life." 

Interestingly, Amy's Mission President in Germany used to say the same phrase over and over again when she was serving there. We have been blessed in our lives as we have followed the counsel of living prophets, apostles, seventies and their wives. 

We have had the opportunity to interact with leaders of our church on a weekly basis.  They are men and women of God. They love us and the people they serve. They want nothing more than to help others have greater peace and prosperity in their lives They indeed are striving to have charity, the pure love of Christ. I have learned more fully that they are also grandmas and grandpas who love their families and have problems and weaknesses like any other family. They have learned however how to deal with problems and weaknesses by applying the atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives. They understand the covenants they make with God weekly in sacrament meeting and when they attend the temples. They are consecrated in every way.

 This last weekend as I was speaking with a general authority, he said he was called as a general authority when he was 49 years old. He left his vocation as a lawyer, his home of many years in Seattle and moved with his four children to South America. He has been serving 9 years full time for the church and will serve full time till he is 70 years old, 13 years from now. What tremendous sacrifice and service! The Jaggi family is serving for 3 years.  We are blessed to be here. We love  our service. How small our service is though compared to our wonderful leaders. 

We have had beautiful conversation and interactions with these great men and their wives. I document their names for my posterity's benefit. That they may know that I know they are men and women called of God. That they serve him faithfully for the majority of their "older adult" lives.  Elder Arnold, Elder Clarke (emeritus), Elder Clayton, Elder Ringwood, Elder Stanfill, Elder Rasband, Elder Christofferson, Elder Sitati, Elder Falabella, Elder Grow, Elder Ballard, Elder Nash and this upcoming weekend Elder Cook. 
So how can we "follow the brethren?"
Elder Aldin Porter gave this sage advice years ago about how we can more fully support and follow the great leaders of our church. 
 First, read the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. Speaking of the scriptures, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “He who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the hand wherever he can see it” (History of the Church, 2:14).

Second, let us do as the prophets request. Note the words of the Savior:

“And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:15–17).

Third, pray for them. Call down the blessings of heaven upon the heads of the prophets, seers, and revelators. Know that the Lord responds to the sustaining prayers of the Saints. In addition, as our hearts go out to the brethren in sincere prayer, our hearts will be filled with love for them.

The Jaggi's are adjusting remarkably well to Utah. Today we had abundant rain and I've never seen the kids so giddy to see rain and snow already on the top of the mountains. Eliza and Josh started gymnastics as well as cello and piano lessons last week. They have far less homework here than they did in California which is slightly disconcerting to mom and dad but we are filling their time with other productive activities. ;) 

Mackenzie and Emma are fully engaged in school. Mackenzie took her final ACT last Saturday. We are impressed with her study habits and discipline. She is enjoying choir and nutrition and English. She is headed to an actual school dance. Homecoming at Bonneville High School is Saturday. There are good young men and women here. Emma is running cross country and of course getting great grades. She is starting to play hymns on the Piano. 

We spent an evening at a cabin on the South Fork of the Ogden river. We fished and didn't catch anything. We tubed down the river, had a bonfire and some great food with great people. It was a nice getaway. 

The second group of missionaries left Monday morning. We love them and will miss them. We welcomed 21 new missionaries yesterday. We are receiving more missionaries than are departing. It's fun to see the growth in the church in so many different ways. 

We love the Lord and we love this work! 

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