We had the privilege of having a mission tour this past Tuesday by a General Authority. His name was Elder Ardern, of the Seventy, and he and his wife, along with President and Sister Tateoka spoke to us at the meeting we had. He spoke to us about many things, such as ways to become better "Preach My Gospel" missionaries, the importance of role-playing during our companionship study, and how diligence makes or breaks a mission. Yet, I think the most valuable thing I learned from him was to "unpack" the scriptures when I read them. He told us that our scripture reading should not be something we leave unpacked, and go as quickly as we can through the scriptures, rather, we should take our time by studying and unpacking each verse written in the scriptures. He demonstrated this to us by having missionaries one by one share a scripture they found helpful in their lives, and we spent about on average, five to seven minutes unpacking what the scripture said. That meant following the footnotes. It meant turning to revelation he received for the specific topic. It meant turning to recent General Conference talks and, maybe most importantly, it meant turning to Preach My Gospel. With all these amazing revelations coming towards us, I took two very significant things away from that meeting. First, I need to be �\ must be a better Book of Mormon missionary. Both in answering questions of investigators and in teaching the lessons. Second, I NEED to unpack and learn Preach My Gospel. Elder and Sister Ardern know Preach My Gospel so well, that when they were unpacking scriptures, they would say something to the effect of: "now, in Preach My Gospel, on page so-and-so, charity is defined as these four qualities." Now, since I "know" Preach My Gospel, I went to that page, and this is why I think I got that prompting to change. It's all in paragraph form, and the four attributes they listed in this example were spread out over an entire page! They knew Preach My Gospel so well they could quote page numbers and pick direct information out of it! That hit me hard, and I realized to be the missionary I am supposed to be, I have to get to that point. Elder Ardern also emphasized the fact that we can do the same unpacking with our Patriarcal Blessings, and challenged us to do so in the coming week, and for the rest of our missions. I thought that was a pretty powerful promise.
Something President Tateoka then echoed was, I'm convinced, revelation for us (Elder Ardern mentioned it to us as well after the fact). He promised us that now things in our Patriarcal Blessings are being fulfilled, because God fulfills ALL scripture. He said that if we look now, things in our blessings are, and will, come to pass. He promised that if we unpack our blessings, mysteries will be unfolded from them we didn't know they contained, and the Lord will help us understand His will for us as His missionaries.
We also got Josher to come to church!! Whoo! We're super excited for him! The young single adults at the ward we went to also invited him to a baptism last night, then to a BBQ afterwards! He's getting fellowshiped so hard right now!
So that was pretty much this week. I mean, lots of tracting and teaching, but the highlight was that meeting with Elder Ardern where we learned a lot. Its made a difference in the way Elder Elias and I go about missionary work, and I've seen more acutely the blessings that come from doing exactly as the Lord directs.