On Sunday night Aaron and I were asked by the Richmond Stake to do the kickoff fireside for the 2017 YM/YW theme, “Ask”. The theme comes from James 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God..” Aaron had a moment of inspiration of how we could use Siri to introduce the theme. We asked Siri a few questions like, “What’s the temperature, how far is the earth from the Sun, how big is Texas, and who are Mormons?” Siri can easily respond to these kinds of questions, but we then asked, “Am I a child of God, should I go on a mission, should I read, pray, come to church, etc…” and in each case Siri couldn’t give us an answer. We talked about how there are some things that google can’t answer for us and that the things that are of most importance can only be answered through study and prayer. The kids and leaders really loved it. Many commented that it helped them realize where they should turn to for answers when they have questions in life not just spiritual ones. Just an example of seeing the Lord’s hand in our own lives when we need it most.
The rest of our week was spent in zone conferences and interviews. Our theme for conference comes from Elder Oaks’ talk, “The Challenge to Become”. Aaron shared with the missionaries that what will matter most as they come to the end of their missions is not what they did, but what they’ve become. Christlike attributes will make all the difference for them when they head home because those attributes truly become apart of who they are and will help them endure to the end. Aaron challenged them to focus on one the PMG Christlike attributes each week and work towards becoming the sons and daughters of God that they’re meant to be. I am accepting the challenge as well.
For this zone conference I had three breakout groups… I focused on commitment invitations and reminded the missionaries of how to make sure every interaction we have should include and invitations to act. The assistants focus on working with our members and we showed them three ways they could help the members get more involved with missionary work through the Book of Mormon pictures, social media, and Elder Oaks’ talk from the last General Conference. Aaron focused on companionship study and how to do it. Our conference ended on the idea that today is the day for us to prepare to meet God from Alma 34. Aaron shared with them the TED talk on procrastination and tied it to President Eyring’s talk “Do Not Delay” and if we want to become something we need to have the desire, focus, and actions that lead us towards the outcomes we desire. I know there are areas in my own life where I get in my own way of becoming more of the person God wants me to be. I took this conference to heart for myself.
After each day of conference (3 straight days) Aaron jumped right into interviews. I met with the companionships to have them me how to introduce the Book of Mormon to members (with the purpose of sharing it with others). In the edition of Book of Mormon that the missionaries use there are 8 pictures in the front. Using the pictures we (you and I included) can introduce it to anyone who would like to increase their faith in Christ and how by reading the Book of Mormon they can know Him and God’s will for us better. So I would like to take the opportunity to introduce the Book of Mormon to each of you………The Book of Mormon is all about Christ, those prophesying of His coming and His teachings. Like the cover states, it is another testament of Christ. The reason we have the Book of Mormon is because of Joseph Smith. He was called as a prophet to translate the records of the people that lived in ancient America so we could have Christ’s words for us today. The Book of Mormon starts with a family following God’s will for them needing help. God provided them with guidance through a compass or liahona. Like them I need help with my family teaching them to be more Christlike. None of us are perfect and He provides me with guidance through the Book of Mormon with Christ teachings and how when we follow them we can deal with life’s struggles more joyfully. The Book of Mormon teaches us how we can follow Christ’s example and be baptized like Him with His authority. I can know that my baptism gives me the opportunity to live with God again. In the Book of Mormon we can learn about the prophets that testified of Christ and how when they felt alone or as they were attacked by others God gave them strength and protected them. Reading the Book of Mormon helps me know how to strengthen my family when I feel like the world is attacking my family with its negative influences. One of the greatest blessings of reading the Book of Mormon is knowing Christ loves everyone, that after His resurrection He came to bless and heal all the people. I know that He can heal and bless me through all my pain and give me power to do hard things. I can have that reassure and feel His love for me personally as I read about His life and teachings in the Book of Mormon. The prophets also taught us how to pray in the Book of Mormon and I can know of His will for me through prayer. I have also come to know for myself that the Book of Mormon is true because I have read and prayed about it. I would love for you to read the Book of Mormon and see if your faith in Christ increases, that your relationship with God deepens and you can know how Christ’s teachings can bless you and your family.
Zac finally got the schedule change he was requesting for Spanish on Tuesday. Yeah! He is so much happier in that class even though the curriculum and assignments are exactly the same. As a result his schedule change his English class was changed as well. He really likes the new English teacher too. Insert mom happy dance. Bode’s team won their game! YEAH! On Thursday Zac came home to say his schedule was changed yet again, this time for basketball. All of the JV players have been moved to practice with the varsity team. The numbers of players on the Varsity team has been dropping. Clements High School is so tough that most the bball team doesn’t survive the year as they don’t make grades. Zac is practicing against the varsity guys so they have enough on the court. All of these schedule changes have been a huge blessing because now he has lunch and some classes with friends. Zac and his team won their game on Friday against Dulles. Dulles happens to be another school that just as academic heavy as Clements in our district.
Jessie and I headed to the library on Monday after school to find a book that would fit the book report requirements. We found one on photography and how to make videos. Oh and an extra one on how to send secret messages. She thought she could do a video segment on her Blondie Twins YouTube show, thus the interest in the how to make videos. I am really perplexed by the thinking that one can be a “Youtuber” for a job. I don’t get it. A hobby, yes but career? Her book report was due on Friday. She learned quite a bit beyond just the actual taking of video, which was great. Her poster and 2 minute presentation was well done. She earned a 100. Yeah! Our family may just yet become as smart as all the other Sugarland kids.
Allie’s first week at UVU was not smooth sailing due to the weather and not being able to find parking. Parking will always be a thorn in the college experience. The bright side is she likes her classes thus far and her professors. Although one’s accent is very heavy and she struggles understanding him at times. She finds it distracting. I suggested she focus watching him speak because that helps me hear what they are trying to say. I’m always trying to be a problem solver for her. Such as suggesting ways for her to get more involved at UVU, the Provo scene and college life in general. I may be overboard but there is so much she can do to find new interests and learning opportunities while in college. Any suggestions in helping me managing my need to help and advise are willingly accepted. ;)
All is well in Texas Houston South and Saturday was a well-earned Pday. We’ve been back into the mid 70’s, good to be in Texas in January.