On Tuesday, we had zone conference with the Lynnwood zone and we got to watch Meet the Mormons. If you haven't seen it yet, do everything within your power to go and do. Moreover, do everything within your power to get a nonmember friend to see it with you. It will shatter any false or "weirdy" misconceptions they have about the Church of Jesus Christ and its members. It will also help them feel the Spirit of God testify that what they are watching is true. It's great.
On Wednesday, I went on exchange in the Mill Creek ward with Elder Nelson, who just entered the mission field two months ago. We had a fantastic day and we saw so many miracles tracting and just had so much fun working hard together. On top of that, it was my first time back on a bike in a while, so that felt great. I missed my girl, Gwendolyn (that's what I named my mission bike). Then I crossed a busy street a little too soon/late and came pretty close to a Jeep, so I had to book it across and ended up popping my tire trying to hop a curb. I guess road bikes aren't built for that. Let me tell you, it was a huge blessing to work with a new missionary. I felt rejuvenated! He has so much faith and is so far along already in his growth as a missionary. He recognizes clearly the difference it makes to work hard and be obedient. If you remember my mention of a young married couple, Brady and Haley, Elder Nelson and I went back to teach them again and now they are investigating in the Mill Creek ward!
On Thursday, we attended the most powerful mission leader council of my mission. We discussed how to create a celestial, Zion-like culture in the Washington Everett Mission. There was a lot of great discussion and really open, sincere comments. It seems like sometimes we as missionaries focus on the wrong things, or we do the right things for the wrong reasons. We forget what it is we're really doing out here. This is the work of salvation! This is how Heavenly Father reaches out to his children and invites them to come back to Him through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We must never forget that this is His work. We determined that it has a lot to do with virtue and charity. It has to do with the true desires of your heart; the pure love of Christ and of Heavenly Father for His children -- including us, His servants; and aligning our will and our ways with His. If we can all purify ourselves and become like Christ, we will, by necessity, come together and be "one mind and one heart" -- the definition of Zion. Elder Foster and I had the privilege of giving a short spot of instruction on love during mission leader council (hence how I learned so much about love this week) and it ended up being really powerful for us. I can't believe sometimes how blessed I am and how much God loves me. Really, we are all so incredibly blessed to live at this time in this dispensation, and in fact, God loves all of His children uniquely and personally. It's up to each of His children to determine and seek out that relationship and learn to recognize His affection.
I'm grateful for the support I receive at home and abroad. You're all swell! Thank you for your sacrifice and I encourage you each to keep on truckin'!