As you can see by the title, things have changed just a wee bit.
On Tuesday we had our zone conference which is basically when all the missionaries within the stake boundaries (in my case Nashville stake) get together to meet and learn from the assistants to the president (AP's) as well as the mission president himself with his wife. It was super informative.
I am the 3rd Elder from the Left in the back row.
President trained on the importance of prayer and receiving personal revelation and used a couple quotes from the quorum of the 12 apostles. Here's two of my favorites:
"When we explain a problem and a proposed solution, sometimes He answers yes, sometimes no. Often He withholds an answer, not for lack of concern, but because he loves us - perfectly. He wants us to apply the truths He has given us. For us to grow we need to trust our ability to make correct decisions. We need to do what we feel is right. In time, he will answer. He will not fail us." – Elder Richard G. Scott
"It is good to learn when you are young that spiritual things cannot be forced. Sometimes you may struggle with a problem and not get an answer. What could be wrong? It may be that you are not doing anything wrong. It may be that you have not done the right things long enough."
- Elder Boyd K. Packer
Outside the Zone Conference
From left to right, starting with Me, Elder Hagan, Elder Tsosie, and Sister Richardson.
With Elder Steiner--the last AP from when I came out to the field!
It was really enlightening. I went on my own spiritual discovery trip later this week which I will get to later. What was really surprising was when President Andersen called Elder Moeller and me and told us "A sister missionary is going home for medical reasons and we need you two in Hendersonville. You'll be leaving on Saturday." Hendersonville?! But it was practically mid-transfer! We had plans, appointments, and untouched areas to tract. But understanding that The Lord calls the shots in the field, we were fine with the adjustment for the most part. The hard part was saying goodbye to all the members. There were so many great people. It truly was one of my favorite wards. I'm going to miss it dearly.
Saying good-bye to the Clark family. They knew me when I was just a baby here in Antioch. Sister Clark was my mom's visiting teacher and even had a baby shower for her when she was pregnant with me. These are really, really, really special people to me.
Wednesday through Friday was kind of disheartening. The area we teach in would be closing down/be divided amongst the two other sets of missionaries. So whoever we found, we had to refer to the other two sets. The majority of the time was spent saying goodbyes to a select few people.
Only some were told about the move. I wonder what sacrament meeting was like yesterday. After all that, we packed up and prepared for our move on Saturday.
With the legendary Timmy Gathof -- he calls a lot of the missionaries every evening to say goodnight.
Bags packed and ready to move to Hendersonville.
Nashville skyline -- on our way to Hendersonville
More of the beautiful Nashville skyline
Saturday and Sunday was kind of like trying to drink out of a fire hose with the amount of information we received. Our new area is small and yet pretty large. Everyone here is very polite and welcoming for the most part. It's insane how nice everyone is. It's a fantastic ward filled with lovable members. I'm really looking forward to serving here. The second we get the area books we will be taking off.
Taking over from the sister missionaries is the best. They left a lot of great notes for us, like this one.
I've been studying the powers of light and truth that we receive from our Heavenly Father. I'll share what I've gathered for you to check out. The relationship I've gathered is that when we have more of Christ's light, we are more susceptible to more truth. In short, when we are obediently keeping his commandments, more and more truth is opened up to us.
The more we follow and commit ourselves to the spiritual promptings we receive, the more likely it is we will receive more promptings and more truth from the Spirit. When we are not focused on The Lord and instead focus on material things or other distractions, we lose that light, and in turn, lose truth. We receive less and less promptings until there's not much left.
The truth we receive comes in the form of answers to prayers, warnings of evil, and as confirmation of good deeds. We cannot expect a spectacular answer if we are not living in the ways God wants us to live. This might seem like "Duh, Elder Peery I know that."
But for someone who spent a good deal of his life without feeling much of the Spirit, this is mind-blowing. There are many great scriptures on truth and light but I think my favorite will probably be D&C 6 when The Lord is speaking to Oliver Cowdery on light and truth.
I may become a Facebook missionary soon. I will let you know when that happens. I am not 100% on the rules of communication, but for now, just stick to email. If that does happen I am allowed to add people on Facebook but mainly to teach--not to be sociable. I plan on doing a lot of what I do here on this blog by sharing spiritual messages and teaching online. More info to come on that.
Other than that everything else is going well. Elder Moeller and I have been exploring a lot of the area and are having a lot of fun. I will be singing in a missionary choir at some fairground in Fairview which should be a lot of fun. I can only guess that some of it might be recorded.
Update on my Old Testament study, I have finished Psalms which was a trip let me tell you. Now on to Proverbs which I've already found fascinating. I am about at the same point Elder Leavitt was when I was reading the Book of Mormon and he was reading the Bible. I expect to finish the whole thing by the end of the year and probably before December if all goes well. Then I’ll start re-reading the New Testament just in time for Christmas.
Thank you for all your prayers. I appreciate all the support you give us. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) to a big group of missionaries a while back and said that the missionaries are most likely the most prayed for group of people he knows. His first guess was the prophet, but every time he hears someone praying for the prophet, in the same prayer the person usually prays for the missionaries. We are working hard to live up to that responsibility.
Hurrah for Israel!