March 14, 2016


El Monte South


Elder Stoker

The Mission Revolution and Rebellion

Let me start at the beginning. During this week we started with an excellent P-day of Zombie survival. Our zone brought nerf guns and we had two people start out as zombies and slowly the surviving forces were quickly extinguished. It was quite fun as we played a couple
rounds of that. We then had family home evening with Bishop Ortega and that was fun. I didn't really remember the lesson as I started distracting the kids so the parents could focus. I had a lot of fun with hem and it was great.

The next day we had to turn in someone's trunky papers in other words they were going home. We took those into the office and had five or six lessons that night and it was epic. I believe it might have been a little bit frightening for some of the investigators in how bold we were being, but it was needed. We were then able to prepare for the Missionary Leadership Council (MLC).

We started into it and we talked about accountability and it was great. We were able to present our concerns as a council and were able to create many solutions to our problems. One of my favorite points of the accountability is we talk and we have become so good that we don't really mean it. It just really manifested itself unto me that we have to be fully engaged in the work. It also helped me remember the message we share cannot be pushed into the hearts of the investigators. It is something I am not very patient with especially since we only have a limit of how much time we serve. It is something that I started to work on this week.

This is where the title and the quotes come in. President said "we need to change something" and something along the lines of "I believe we need to change how we use our P-days." It was a silencer for all the Zone Leaders. You could feel the shock and tension of the Zone Leaders. He then started purposing ideas of how to change it. He addressed how to much flirting, and gossiping was going on, on P-day.
He then purposed that we separate ourselves completely from each other having no contact with missionaries on P-day. He then purposed after that only One Hour of Emailing and One Hour of Recreative activities. I believe most of us were shocked by the idea. Elder Stoker purposed that we have an Hour and a half to email and that was changed. We all ended up voting on it. The next step was presenting it the next day in Zone Meeting.... Not fun.

I woke up the next morning and I was still shocked mentally from the idea of it all. We didn't get the opportunity to plan much as my mind was weighed down with such news. We were able to prepare, we decided to focus on talking about finding, and then came the meeting. We arrived and we didn't get to practice with each other in teaching the
meeting. Also as everyone came in President showed up and now my nerves were really on edge. My first Zone meeting and President walks in. We started and it went pretty smoothly and everyone enjoyed it for our part. We then lead it slowly into obedience where the Sister
Training Leaders (STL) took the reins and hit them right in the gut. What happened after that is best described as all Hell Broke Lose. Many people had questions and neither us nor the STL's had the answers. President slowly took control of the meeting. We let him as we had no idea what to say. He was able to see the mistake that we had made as it might have been a decision that needed to be thought out more. So he asked the Zone Leaders to send in there suggestions.

What happened next defied all logic. Some of the Zone Leaders denied president in a bold letter. All zone leaders got it and I actually got fired up as I was ready to sent a reply letter. Elder Stoker helped me think it through. We then sent a good letter of changes or questions we have for president. He said he would revise it, so we should know
by next P-day. It was an eventful week. We only had a day of rest before we had a mission conference with Elder Hamula of the first quorum of the seventy. It was an experience I will never forget. We had a MLC with him and it was amazing. The Zone Leaders that rebelled against president lost the privilege to be in that meeting,
which was sad. He literally took away many of our fears and problems. I will cherish the everlasting peace he left with us and it was amazing how much we were able to learn. He said he was there for two reasons 1. Learn of the Work 2. Help the Work along. It was a fantastic even as he talked about his sons and how they had a similar experience where they were alone and hated by the world. He told us how Elder David A. Bednar came to New
Zealand and he came to visit those two boys. He completely changed there lives around and now they are serving missions.

We talked about so much in that meeting, but my favorite was when we talked about a scripture in Omni 1:26 which talks about giving your whole soul as an offering unto the lord. We then connected it to Mat 16:24-26 and it just went so deep it was amazing. My favorite thing from him was quote, "When you focus on you, you lose you. If you give
you, if you let go of yourself, you find yourself the best self that God wants you to be." It just really inspired me to be better.

There is so much information that I can't relay over email. Something I loved a lot was a parable about trees. How if we try to force a tree to grow it will be pulled out of the ground. It was really cool and helped me understand that I need to be patient and let things grow. The spirit works slowly and it is great. We had that happen Sunday night as we were able to help someone consider baptism as well. It was just a great spiritual high. I hope you all had a great week!

The flaming dragon,
Elder Richards🐉🇺🇸🇲🇽


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