Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 51 Happy Thanksgiving

Mom is so HAPPY that I finally hit my "One Year Mark"
this past week on Nov 17th!! One more Year to go!

This week was incredibly busy, as usual!! I think that life as a missionary is never NOT busy, it's just something that you have to get used to!

This past Sunday Scott Meushaw, a member from my area here in Maryland
was visiting Utah and stopped by to meet my Family.

This week we were in charge of going to all of the Zone Conferences and instructing. Zone Conferences go from 8 to 5, so with doing that 4 days in a row, we were pretty exhausted! It was incredible though. It gave me a great opportunity to get to know all of the missionaries better! We went over all of the changes that Brother Donaldson and the Mission Office had suggested so that we could double the baptisms. A lot of the changes that are being made is administrative stuff. Less reporting of numbers, less phone calls, things like that so that we can focus on our areas more. The thing was that Zone Leaders and District Leaders just seemed to be so focused on helping everyone else out, their own area wasn't getting worked on very well. So, Brother Donaldson had suggested a few things that would help change that. The Zones so far have taken everything well! The whole mission is on board for the standard that President Christiansen has established: Double the Baptisms! The Mission averages about 200 baptisms a year, and so that number is going to be increased to 400. This past week, we have the most people on date for baptism in over a year! The work is definitely hastening! Tomorrow and Wednesday we will finish up the Zone Conferences and then be able to enjoy Thanksgiving, it will be quite a nice break from having all of those meetings! I have loved them though and the Spirit has definitely been there.

Dinner at the Goncalves
One tradition of Zone Conferences is to share miracles for 30 minutes. I absolutely love hearing about all of the cool miracles from around the mission! One of them that was shared I'd like to share in my email this week. A lady that was investigating the church was sitting in a parking lot at K-Mart waiting for her kids to come out. All of a sudden, a homeless man walked over to her and knocked on her window. She rolled it down just a little bit, expecting this man to ask her for food or money. The man looked at her and said "Mam, do you go to church?" She was obviously pretty surprised by this statement, and said "No, not currently." He looked at her and said "You should go to church" and walked off! Soon, her children were walking up to the car, and this same man stopped one of her sons, asking him the exact same question. He got in the car, told his mom "that man says we should go to church," and they all sat there in silence, pretty surprised at what had happened. The man never asked for food or money, just simply told them to go to church and walked off!

Another experience: Debby, a lady that the Shenandoah Valley Sisters were teaching, isn't able to read. She has never been able to read in her life. BUT, after she was baptized last week, she started being able to read from the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon, because in all of the lessons she is suddenly reading excerpts and joining in on the conversation!

Thanksgiving Package from Home.

I hope that everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving! I'm so grateful for all of the wonderful blessings in my life, including my family and friends. Thank you for the support!

- Elder Leavitt

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