Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Presidente H-Arrington


This week we got to meet our new mission president, President Arrington.  He is awesome.  We had a zone conferenceon Wednesday and for the first time in my whole mission we didn´t have to travel to the zone conference.  Now that they have changed the mission boundaries, Chillán is the biggest "out" city in our mission, so instead of sending half the mission to Talca and half to Conce, now the "in" people stay in Conce and the "out" people all come to Chillán.  So we just walked on down the street from our apartment to the capilla.  That was cool.  Another awesome thing is that we got to eat amazing Peruvian food for lunch from a restaurant that is in my sector in Cordillera.  We actually taught that family a couple of times while I was there, too.  I also got to see Pancha Ardiles (her family was one that we were really close to in Cordillera), because she was there helping with the catering.  It was weird but also awesome to get to see old friends from my old sector.

The first thing they did was have us all stand in a big circle in the cultural hall and they walked around and greeted us personally.  President Arrington asked me how I pronounce my name in Spanish.  I told him that I haven´t come up with anything yet that anyone can seem to say, so I just respond to whatever....  He says that they can´t say Arrington, either, and that they always put an "H" in front, so instead of the English "Air-ing-ton", in Spanish it is said "Har (with a rolled "r")-ing-tone".  I think that´s great.

Hermana Arrington spoke first in the conference.  She doesn´t speak or understand Spanish hardly at all, so Elder Rees, one of the assistants, translated for her.  She spoke about the still, small voice of the Spirit and how important it is that we follow it.  She then told us that her entire married life (30+ years) she had had a prompting to learn Spanish, but she thought it was just her "thinking" and she never did it.  Then she said, "And now I am here and I can´t understand you."  I can tell that that is really hard for her, to be the "mom" to a hundred missionaries that she can´t understand.  And it also taught me even more the importance of listening to the Spirit.  Elder Bednar gave a talk (I think in the MTC sometime?) where he says that as long as we are being a "good boy or girl," that all our thoughts and impressions come from the Spirit and we shouldn´t have to question ourselves, but just act on it!  I hope to be able to learn to stop over-thinking and just act on those thoughts that I have which lead me to do things which are good and which will fill my life with more light and joy.  There is a scripture in 1 John 1:6-7 which has been one of my favorites since I have come on the mission.  Perhaps I have already shared it with y´all before, but that´s okay because it´s awesome.  It says:

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

There is light and there is darkness.  There is white and there is black.  There is nothing else.  If we are walking in the light, with Christ, we will be able to know that our thoughts and impressions come from the Spirit.  Isn´t that great?

Anyway, something else Hermana Arrington said was that the day that she and President Arrington opened their mission calls, their hearts came to Chile, and that they are glad to have finally arrived to accompany their hearts.  I loved that.  I know that they have been praying for us and for these people ever since that day and I could feel the power of those prayers and their study and sacrifice and preparation as they addressed us in the conference.  I am excited to have them here!

President Arrington is real great, too.  I wasn´t there for this, but Hermana Lovell told me that in the leadership training meeting last P-Day one of the zone leaders gave a prayer in which he apologized to the Lord that we were not able to meet our goal of 150 baptisms in the month of June (we had 144).  After the prayer, President Arrington said, "Elder!  You don´t need to apologize.  Maybe you didn´t make your goal, but you did have more baptisms in this past month than there have ever been in the history of this mission!  The Lord is pleased with your work!"  I feel really blessed to have a mission president who has that kind of love and perspective.  I don´t remember a lot of the specifics that he shared with us in the conference, but I do remember feeling a confirmation that he has been called by God to be our mission president.  That he and his wife were reserved to be the mission presidents in this mission at this time with these missionaries since before the foundation of the world.  I know it.  I love the Humphreys dearly, and I miss them a little, but I am also excited for the Arringtons.  I know that they have a grand purpose to fulfill in these next three years.

Throughout the conference I just kept thinking of the scripture in Moses 1:39, "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

Sometimes I get real bogged down in how much work it is to be a missionary and how much I still need to improve and I forget that it´s glorious.  That it´s God´s MAIN PRIORITY and that every single small success that we have in bringing others closer to Christ, and every small sacrifice that we make, no matter what the result, brings Him JOY.  I just need to remember that!

Anyway, this week for your commitment I want you all to read 1 Nephi chapters 8 and 11, which talk about the tree of life.  Especially I want you to think about the love of God and how His LOVE is the motivation for giving us the gospel, for sending us prophets and parents to teach us, and for sending the Savior to prepare the way and to atone for us.  One of the first principles we teach to investigators is "God is our loving Heavenly Father."  He loves us SO MUCH!!!  Try to remember that, and I will too.

I love you all and hope you are all happy and well!

Have a fantastic week and I´ll see y´all next P-Day!



P.S.  I did the MOST AWESOME study on how great America is on the 4th of July during part of my personal study.  I´ll try to remember to tell you about it next week and send the pics of our AMERICA party and the awesome patriotic sweater I paid 1 mil ($2) for in a secondhand store.  I totally rocked the 4th of July.

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