Monday, May 18, 2015

"Its Been a Weird Week"

In the words of Elder Swan, "It's been a weird week."  Lots of things occured this week that made it a special and strange week for sure. 
Upon starting the week off with spraining my ankle really bad in basketball, we then had 3 different exchanges with Storm Lake Monday night, Spencer Tuesday, and with the Assistants on Thursday, with Spanish Conference in there as well, and finished off the week with a special Stake Conference with Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the 70 presiding.    Its been a busy week.   Between Monday and Friday, we had only had 3 hours of real working time in our area and it was great to see the Lord fill those 3 hours with lots of work.  

Spanish Conference from the point of view of the companionship in charge of everything was a completely different experience.  I imagine its a lot like a parent's point of view on a vacation trip.  Its a lot of making sure everything's going to plan while everyone else just has a lot of fun.  Its crazy being in charge and giving trainings at Spanish Conference.  I remember my first Spanish Conference thinking, "wow.  Those guys giving trainings are so experienced and old."  Now I'm the old guy!  That's a weird thought.  Our training was all about the story of Enoch in Moses 6 talking about how we need to have the faith to open our mouths, even in awkward situations.  We actually talked a lot about "Embracing the Awkward" which I think has kind of been the motto for my entire 20 months as a missionary.   It was still a lot of fun though!  I can't wait until the next one!

With all the exchanges I've learned a lot!  I think thats one of the biggest blessings of being a Zone Leader is how much I get to learn about this work from the missionaries I serve with.  Each exchange teaches me about a different Christ-like Attribute.  I think the biggest thing I learned this week is the importance of always being Humble.  We should always be seeking to learn more, to grow, to progress.  We won't be finished growing ever and I love that there's always things to learn.  The missionaries I worked with this week (one of which was the Orr's cousin) taught be a lot about that.  

Yesterday was a really great Stake Conference where we had the opportunity to sit down and listen to one of the leaders of this great Church.  Elder L. Whitney Clayton, who had been in Council Bluffs, IA the day before with Elder Oaks of the 12 for a leadership training meeting, came to Sioux City to give a special stake conference.  He talked a lot about an analogy of a tree.  Are we planted in rich, deep, gospel soil?  What are the fruits coming from our obedience and diligence?  Are we planted on a firm foundation in Christ?  I learned a lot from him yesterday and from his talk last General Conference.  Check it out! 

Sorry this email's all over the place.  This week's also been all over the place.  I love you guys!  I hope you have a great week!
Lots of love,
Elder Paddock

PS the Last 3 months of my mission just some how disappeared  from my camera...

Every thing since February 2nd has been erased on my memory card.  Hopefully I've sent home most of my pictures.  I"m buying a usb today for my camera so I can back everything up to it.  I'm trying to be happy though!  Its a good thing I've sent home a LOT of pictures over the past 3 months, right? :)

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