Monday, May 4, 2015

What a Week!

Elder Peters and I and the Castle (AKA where Elder Swan and I live)
This week was amazing!  There were so many things that happened that made me so very happy to be a Zone Leader in Sioux City that I wish I had time to fully describe them.... but I don't.  So here's a quick recap of our week!

I think this accurately describes the feeling of hanging
out at the church for too long while waitng for interviews.

Us and President Weston at Interviews
 and Sister Weston at MLC.
 I love these two so much.

Wednesday we had interviews with President Weston here in Sioux City Zone.  Due to our assignment as Zone Leaders, Elder Swan and I had the great priviledge of being at the church sitting in the Stake Offices room from 8 AM to 6 PM to make sure everything ran smoothly as all 24 of the Elders and Sisters of our zone got to have one-on-one time with President.  It was great to be able to spend time with the missionaries of our zone though while we all sat together anxiously awaiting our turns.  Elder Swan and I got to go last. 
My interview with President was amazing.  Due to the fact that he finishes his mission in July, this would be last interview with him and I wasn't going to let the opportunity to ask his advice on life pass by.  At the end of our interivew about normal things like Missonary Work and how great the Sioux City Zone is, he asked, "Well, Elder, do you have any questions or anything I can help you with?"
"How much time do we have left?"  I asked.
"Well where do you live?"
"St. George, UT"
"I'm only a couple hours away in Logan, Elder.  Come visit me!  Even if I'm out in the middle of my field, my tractor has a buddy-seat."

I told him I'd take him up on that offer.  I did get to ask him about some advice that he might have for me.  The words "Get Married" showed up quite a bit.  "You only have 1/2 a brain, Elder!" he said, " Get married and let the other half of your brain help you make the rest of the hard decisions!"   It was a really interesting, great talk.  I love President Weston.  Its hard to imagine anyone else as my Mission President.  

The Sioux City ZL's and STL's, Sister Allen and
Sister Eddington (and Elder Larsen). 
Sister Allen is from the Beckstrand's ward!

The new Sioux Falls ZL's whose zone joined our mission last week.

The Sioux City Spanish Elders
Friday we had Mission Leadership Council in Omaha where all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders get together to receive trainings from President and Sister Weston and the Assistants and to talk about how the work is going, how the missionaries in their stewardship are doing, about how we handle certain situations, about rules that could be adjusted, etc.  It was incredibly interesting to be in that meeting and to see and be a part of the inner-workings of the Nebraska Omaha Mission.  The Spirit was so strong and re-affirmed to me how much this is the work of the Lord.  All the decisions made in that meeting were inspired and I'm excited for them to spread throughout the mission.  

The last thing I want to share was such a cool experience.  This last week, the Hermanas called us and said that they had just finished talking with Emma Aguilar and that she said that Jose had heard that I was back in town and he wanted me and Elder Swan to come teach him.  This week was our first visit with him.  It was so cool to be able to start teaching him again.  A month or so ago, the other elders stopped visiting him because he wasn't progressing and it seemed like all he wanted to do was argue.  We went into that lesson prepared to set some expectations and to help him feel the Spirit.  We read 3 Nephi chapter 11 with him and talked about how we know that we're representatives of Jesus Christ and that this is His gospel.  We also talked about baptism and told him that that is where we see our visits going.  We then invited him to be baptized onJune 27th, which he said yes to on condition that he feels ready.  I know he will be.  I know that if he puts in his part that the Spirit will take care of the rest. 

Language Study on Exchanges with Elder Saunders
I love being back.  I love this zone.  I love this work.  I love each of you and I hope you have a great week!
Lots of love,
Elder Zack Paddock



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