Monday, November 28, 2011

The Most Important Thing I've Learned on My Mission


And the answer is as follows:

Page One of the Handbook is very important. First couple weeks out here, I felt like the entire mission was operating out of sync with the handbook and all of the information that we learned at the MTC. It's taken me until just now to figure it all out.

And the answer is this: (See Missionary Handbook, page 1).

After a great deal of prayer, now I know that we're not doing anything crazy; instead, the mission president is "adjust[ing] some of these standards as local circumstances require." (See Missionary Handbook, Page 1).

Now that it's all behind me, let me go on with the letter:

This missionary is still doing great up here. Alaska is absurdly beautiful. Dad can never come up, because he would never go back down.


[denotes an abrupt, illogical, unexpected or absurd turn of plot or dialogue not normally associated with or appropriate to that preceding it.]

Alaska state facts:
Bird: willow ptarmigan
Mammal: Moose
Fish: King Salmon
Flower: Forget-me-not (check out President Uchdorf's talk in the November Ensign about the flower! it's awesome!
Motto: none official, but most used is "The Last Frontier" I'm telling you Star Trek mission! Where no one has gone before.

And now for something completely different: Answers given to questions asked.

Mom: Do you need any other warm clothing?

I'm doing good so far. I'll try to pick up the boots Dad ordered today while we're in Anchorage

Mom: What are you doing for sacrament bread?

I got GF bread from one of the members just a little while ago, as well as crackers.

Did you get any cd’s or packages from us yet?

I got the one package with the CD and the Reeses, plus DearElders occasionally, mostly from Derick. Thanks Much.

What kind of service or proselyting do you do?

Tracting has gotten harder since the temperature started going into the negatives. we're mostly working with part member families and less-actives. Baptisms are difficult, but they do happen. Our main service is whatever we find to help others. Thursdays we work at the nature center, and Fridays we volunteer at the Senior Center. Last week we helped a member with their Eagle scout project at the Food donation Center, and we frequently shovel walks, mostly our own. All these are designed to help us be a positive presence in the community.

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

We had dinner at the Relief Society's president's house. It was good. other than that it was missionary work as usual.

How are you eating? Paragraphs, not just one word answers.

I'm eating well. You know that there are 5 different types of salmon? All you in the lower 48 only get pink salmon, or the least tasty and least delicious. We up in Alaska get King Salmon or Red Salmon, which is like comparing... something really bad and not tasty to something really amazing and delicious. My mind just went blank. All of you can fill in your own answers.

The Abbots asked about you again. What should I tell them? Send them a postcard. Do you have a ward address list?

Tell them hi? I'm doing great up here and think about everyone at home all the time...ish

Tell us about your companion and your schedule of a typical day.

My companion is cool. He's been out 20 months and has been all over. I've told you all this before. I'm not Sister Darcey with her amazing people reading and describing skills.

I'll just send you one of my planners instead of typing it out. Don't lose it; missionaries keep these planners for the rest of their lives.


The work progresses. I liken it to moving a mountain. Sometimes we just say "move" and we have faith that it will move of it's own accord. More often, we say "move", then start shoveling, having faith that we'll be sustained as we move it ourselves.

That's my thought for this week. So, Everyone, Pray for miracles, then go out and start working. The Lord will bless you as you strive. For those of you already striving, just keep moving. Mosiah 4 says that it doesn't matter how fast you run, so long as you keep running. There's no prize in getting there first, and there's no prize for not finishing. Work as you're able and just keep at it.

Elder Darcey

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