For those of you who have served a mission.... be jealous. I say be jealous because I am sad to tell you that your mission does not even come close to qualifying to the amount of awesome that the IPM has.... sorry.
So with that start into let me just tell you what is going to happen this week that is going to be so great! As I told you last week President Colton received a letter from Elder Holland with the new Preach my Gospel DVDs, with that letter and videos we are having a three day conference for all leadership in the mission (i.e. trainers, district leaders, and zone leaders) here in Pocatello at the institute building on ISU. All the leaders from the mission will be rooming with companionships in Pokey, Blackfoot, and American Falls. We will have a trainer from Rexburg staying with us. The conference will be Tues through Thurs from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM then we will work in our areas with the extra missionary from 6:00 - 9:00 applying what we learned from the conference. When we get back to the conference the next day we will evaluate what we learned from the previous night in proselyting. It's gunna be big!
I had my first baptism in Pokey on Saturday for brother Mark Soto. He's in his 30s and is having a baby really soon. When he was dressing he made the comment to Elder Fernberg that he has known the church is true for a long time but its now that he had felt that he was ready to make the covenants. His sister-in-law was there, who is not a member, and was in tears the whole time. She told us that she wants to go to church; we'll be following up on that this week.
I had the opportunity to confirm Brother Soto yesterday in church. I don't know about you but for me a confirmation is much more rewarding than performing a baptism. I'm glad that I've been able to confirm so many converts on my mission.
Yesterday in the Alameda third ward was definitely on my top 3 most spiritual sacrament meetings ever. We had Bro. Soto's confirmation, Elder Fernberg and I did a musical number with a 7 year old boy who sang "I am a child of God" which brought everyone in the congregation to tears, and the Bishop and his counselor were the speakers on Tithing and Obedience. It was so so so great! We had two investigators there and the one who we sat with, Lori Allison, was balling the whole time. She was recently a victim of domestic violence from her boyfriend and when that boy, Beau, sang I am a child of God she couldn't hold anything back, she was balling.
We were able to set a baptism date with an "eternal" investigator yesterday. His name is Brandon Beers. He's 16 and has been meeting with missionaries for 5 years!! Let me just put some things in perspective for you about Brandon. He has read the Book of Mormon 7 times, he's read Preach my Gospel, He's more active than most of the teenagers in his ward, he's been in Seminary for 2 years, and he says "when I go on my mission..., and he gets asked to give talks at the sacrament services at the nursing home down the street. What 16 year old member or non-member do you know that does that? I don't know of a single one. What's been happening now is he is teaching us the missionary lessons because he knows them better than most greenie missionaries that come out. Awesome huh? I think so.
Well yesterday as Brandon was teaching us about Prophets we came to the conclusion that he needs the Holy Ghost now more than ever to prepare him for his mission. When we talked about that for a while I asked Brandon when he knows that he'll be ready to be baptized. He told us that his date is going to be the 24th of July. The ward council, us, and Brandon are fasting today for his dad to say yes. Please keep him in your prayers.
That's about it for the missionary work here in Pokey! We had a very very good week this week and I know that next week will be just as good.
peace and love,