Monday, August 8, 2016

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!

August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016

We had a great meeting in Vancouver on Thursday where the new counselors to the Mission President were announced. Their names are President Stone and President Christensen. They are both so awesome and I felt the spirit very strongly as they spoke. Also, the former first counselor is now the executive secretary, and the former second counselor is now the housing coordinator. So needless to say, we have some pretty powerful meetings and awesome mission staff!

If there was one theme I could draw from all the trainings we got it would be "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." President Stone talked about one time when he was able to meet an apostle. He was in a line of over 100 people to talk to him, but the apostle still took time to learn where he was from and remember his name and make a connection. Simple things make a big difference.

Kind of funny story: We carpooled to Vancouver from Longview (About 50 minutes) Wednesday night. And when we were dropped off at our car on Thursday I had accidentally left the Van keys in Vancouver. So we had to drive all the way back down and then all the way back up and then all the way to Astoria. Thank goodness for Jesus the Christ Lecture Series on CD!

By far the biggest highlight of the week was Kevin's baptism. He was sooo ready. I can't remember if I have told this story before, but the missionaries before us found Kevin and his girlfriend Kaara who was less-active. Kevin couldn't get married because of legal complexities and since he has to live the law of chastity to be baptized, he couldn't get baptized. The missionaries before us decided to fast that the paperwork would go through for them, but they didn't see any results. When we got to the area, Elder Winn and I decided to set a goal of August 6th for the baptism, even though the legal process was projected to take much longer. We all decided we would pray every day for August 6th to work. Well after about 4 weeks of this, Kevin and Kaara got a notification that the papers had actually gone through when the previous Elders had fasted for it! So we had the wedding last week and the baptism this week.

It was probably the best baptism I have been to so far on my mission. Elder Winn gave a great talk, and he had to stall for a while because the member who Kevin choose to baptism him was 30 minutes away when the service started. Finally Elder Winn gave up taking time and another missionary got into baptismal cloths to baptize Kevin, but right when Kevin was about to step into the font, the original member came running through the doors and was able to put on baptismal clothing and baptize him. Literally the timing could not have been more perfect. We had a lot of members of the ward show up and Kaara gave a great talk. She has probably changed more than Kevin in these past couple of months and it has been incredible to see.

Love you all,

Elder Thomas

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