April 16, 2018


Canton, Connecticut


Elder Shrader

Marathon, Mauls (the splitting kind) and Meekness

WOW Connecticut you really played a joke on us today. About 3 inches of snow to bless our Monday morning. Never mind that it was 70 degrees on Saturday and sunny.

Sunday was an exceptional Sacrament meeting, the farewell of the Dutkiewicz family, who stand as veterans of the past few ward/branch configurations the Canton ward has undergone in the last 20 years. A fantastic example of service, charity and humility. In the short few weeks I have been here, they changed me and the ward has been in the same influence for years. They will be missed. The following meetings basked in the same spirit that reached its high point in the intermediate Hymn as the organist "made sure we were awake" and the congregation sang back in an attitude of gratitude and vigor. Sunday night we stopped by a good number of less active members and found that they are still not interested but, perhaps due to the sunshine, lighter spirited than they often stand.

We received a call Friday night asking us if we wanted to volunteer to man an aid station for a 50k Ultra-Marathon on Saturday. We figured there is no such thing as bad exposure for Missionaries so we did it. For 3 Hours we filled water bottles, directed runners and cheered on weary travelers. The opportunity was really cool and for the first time in my life made me want to get into running. (Don't worry I fought off the ideas and I am back to normal.) The highlight of the day may have been when a woman came up to us and took the pitcher out of my hands and began to pour it in her mouth and on her face. I stood there with a "umm I guess that’s okay” look that made the seasoned runners laugh. I guess it’s fairly normal when you run 31 miles to dump water all over yourself. We finished the day by knocking 150 doors and having a lot of really good contacts. Unfortunately, the J-dubs have been through recently so the area is a little tired of being knocked.

Friday after District meeting we headed off to Bristol to tract and to enjoy the sunshine, but mostly to tract. We had a lesson in the evening and we ran off to a dinner appointment and lesson with some members to prepare their 9-year-old for baptism. Dinner was awesome and despite the conversation about what has been seen in the E.R. I managed to eat half of a 9x13. I would have regretted it, but it was cheese, bacon, potato and chicken. What is there to regret?

Thursday was weekly planning and tracting I think.

Wednesday was a great day to swing a maul so we did. Having recently acquired a few splitting mauls, we set to work on a stack of rounds made up of red oak, birch, and maple. On an unrelated note, I remembered that I am not in shape any more. The work was soothing and primed us to go contact a bunch of less active members and knock some doors (back in white shirts and without axes).

Tuesday, we got an oil change and found a new investigator. We spent most of the day knocking doors because the sun was out.

-Elder Schrader and I found that it is a fun game to see who can get better gas mileage. I won't say whose winning or whether or not I am taking it too seriously but 33.3 Mpg on a drive with no freeway time. (Easy on, Easy off, right Dad?)
-500 doors or more knocked this week
-This last week has been a great opportunity to seek counsel from the Lord on how he would have us tend to our assigned part of his vineyard. As we have done so we have found we are able to make small steps to our goals.
- There are motorcycles riding around and they make me jealous and very happy.
-My study of Meekness, via Elder Bednar's talk, has been showing me my faults... I mean specific ways I can improve so that people will hopefully see the countenance of Christ in me, not just his name on my tag.

I will include 2 Quotes from Elder Bednar here:

"The Christlike quality of meekness often is misunderstood in our contemporary world. Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash. A meek person is not easily provoked, pretentious, or overbearing and readily acknowledges the accomplishments of others."

"Meekness is an attribute developed through desire, the righteous exercise of moral agency, and striving always to retain a remission of our sins. It also is a spiritual gift for which we appropriately can seek. We should remember, however, the purposes for which such a blessing is given, even to benefit and serve the children of God........ Thus, meek is what we become as disciples of the Master and not just something we do."

In this final sentence we see that repentance is abandoning our shortcomings and step towards the Savior, and that repentance through the grace of Christ may be a change to us, rather than a change of behavior.
General Conference is Living Scripture, study it as you do your Book of Mormon and blessings will be more apparent to you.

Sincerely and happily,
Elder Zimmerman


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