Saturday, August 11, 2012

Good news from the mission

Being a zone leader is one of the best things that has happened to Christopher.  He told us that in one of his letters that we received several weeks ago.  Christopher said that he loves the extra responsibility and loves having the opportunity to teach and share his testimony with the other missionaries in his zone.  He told us all about his first zone leader's conferences that he and his companion attended.  It was a day where all of the zone leaders got together to discuss what is happening in each part of the mission.  As zone leaders they talk about what is going on and spend time coming up with new ideas on how to be more productive as missionaries.  Zone leader's conference is also a time when the mission president has an opportunity to speak with the zone leaders and teach them gospel principles.  Christopher said that he really enjoyed attending zone leader's conference and really looks forward to putting into practice all of the things that he learned.

Recently both Christopher and his companion spent a very busy Sunday taking care of just about everything.  During the entire three hours, both of them seemed to be very busy in one way or another.  The meetings started out with Christopher and his companion speaking in church.  They were assigned the topic of commandments and Christopher choose "Love" since that is the greatest commandment of them all.  He didn't give us a lot of details about his talk but he said that he felt it went very well.  Then after Sacrament meeting ended, Christopher and his companion were asked to teach the Gospel Principles class.  And finally during the third hour, they both taught the young men's class since one of the leaders couldn't make it that week.  So it was a Sunday of two missionaries doing what they do best.  Teaching the Gospel to others.

Well, after a day filled with missionary work and teaching the Gospel, and I am sure their entire week was no different, one of the things that Christopher and his companion like to do is play a little tennis on P-Day.  The problem is that they are both a little crazy when they play tennis.  In fact, as of a couple of weeks ago, their tennis play had to be put on hold because they ran out of rackets.  Over the last month they had been able to round up 4 different tennis rackets and over that same period, they had succeeded in breaking the strings on all 4 rackets. Now they are stuck with broken rackets and no way to get them fixed.  According to Christopher, the nearest repair shop is in Rochester and that is much too far away.  So until they are able to find another solution, their tennis playing days are on hold.  From the looks of this picture, I'm not sure if their problem is just broken strings or maybe taking out the frustration of losing a game on the racket instead of the ball.

Christopher was really excited for the Hill Cumorah Pageant to begin and the time was finally here.  Christopher told us that he had already been twice and planned on going at least five times more.  In his letter, Christopher said that he feels sorry for other missionaries who do not have a Hill Cumorah Pageant or Sacred Grove in their mission because those places are so amazing.  There are so many people who come to the Pageant every day just to feel the spirit and learn of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. 

Speaking of all of the people who attend the Hill Cumorah Pageant, we had another interesting thing happen in our family related to that.  As a family we were all attending a missionary homecoming of a friend our second son.  After the meeting was over, our daughter received a text message from one of her high school friends.  Attached to the text message was a picture of her, her husband along with Christopher and his companion.  Our daughter as well as her friend had graduated from high school with Christopher's companion so she obviously knew him and knew Christopher sister as well.  Anyway, we were really excited to see the picture of Christopher that was taken just the night before.

Besides attending to all of the extra responsibilities of a zone leader, Christopher and his companion have been doing a lot of tracting and teaching of their own.  Christopher has told us all about some of the people that they are currently teaching and just how well many of the lessons have gone.  Some of the stories that he has told us involve just teaching by the spirit.  There was a recent experience where Christopher felt like they should just listen to the questions that were being asked and answer them by the spirit rather than teach a formal lesson.  Christopher said that this was probably one of the best lessons that they had ever taught even though they weren't actually teaching a formal lesson.  He felt like they were being guided in how to answer the questions and what to say in order for them to be well understood.

In addition to tennis, both Christopher and his companion are very musical.  Music has really played a big part throughout Christopher's mission and recently they both had the opportunity to share their talents with a group of people from the local Methodist church.  Christopher and his companion attended a backyard dinner with this group and decided to entertain them with a John Meyer song.  One of the group members recorded the song and ended up posting it on Youtube.  We were pretty amazed when we saw this video because we had really never heard Christopher sing before.  So if you haven't already seen this video, and I am sure you probably have since his mother practically emailed it to the world, well here is your chance to see it and be amazed as we were.

Things are going really well in Penn Yann according to Christopher.  In his most recent letter he told us about attending his second zone leader's conference and just how great that was.  He also told us just how excited he was because they finally had a baptism in the branch.  He also said that they are currently teaching a lot of really good people and hoping and praying that they will receive and accept the message that they are sharing.  I told you in the last blog entry that there is a couple from our Ward here in Utah that are serving a mission in Rochester as well and that Christopher is their zone leader.  Well we received a phone call last week from this couple just to tell us all about the zone meeting that Christopher and his companion conducted the day before.  They told us all about how well it went and just how impressed they were with Christopher and his abilities.  As parents, it is always great to hear good news from the mission.

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