Sounds like it has been an interesting turn around without Brian at the house! I like the Senior wall pictures in the hall at home... It is crazy to see that. I remember when we lived in California and I used to look at Summer's Senior picture on the wall and I wanted to have one so bad. Now I look at it and realize how long ago that was... not THAT long ago, but its been over two years! haha- weird.
I am excited for Caiside!! Holy Cow!! 5 years old! That is madness... she is growing up fast. Give a big hug from me and tell her "HAPPY BIRTHDAY from Uncle Sean!"
This past week we had Zone Conference with all 4 zones in the mission. We had a workshop that we gave on "The Sacredness of our Callings"(/Polishing ourselves as missionaries). It was really fun to give the training for the whole mission. We had a pretty sweet PowerPoint presentation... even if I did make it myself! ha-ha :) We also had a really long, but awesome presentation of how the majority of the sicknesses/illnesses we have on our missions are all because of stress. I learned a lot about how being mentally strong can improve and diminish almost all stress related illnesses that we get. We also watched Sister Cooke's slide-show that she made(she puts one together for each zone conference of all the pictures that the missionaries email to her). Elder Parlogean had been working on the new District 3 video, which is a mock video of the MTC training videos, District 1 & 2. The videos started with the Matsumori's and used to be made by the APs. Now Elder Parlogean is making them and using Elders and Sisters in the mission to act in it. They have improved a TON over the years, and Elder P. did a super money job. That will be on YouTube soon.
This upcoming week we have interviews (meaning interviews by President to each of the missionaries to see how they are in their areas with their companions). Elder Loveless and I will be updating all the software on the missionaries iPads and making sure their AreaBook Planner is all up-to-date. So that will be a ton of work, but we are stoked anyway! Their is a lot of catching up to do with little tasks and follow-up items along with our daily visits with President to see how missionaries are doing in their areas and going on exchanges with them. This transfer we have really made a big push to be out and about with President on the road, going "Air-mobile!" I am loving all the work we are doing and even more than that, I love seeing how well all the missionaries are doing in their areas. This transfer the whole mission has been doing SO great in their proselyting work that everyone just seems to be happy and excited... IT'S THE BEST!
We had a really amazing opportunity this week to go with President to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and give a couple people blessings. The building(s) are HUGE and the entire medical center is on HUGE base. Getting on the base is always fun because President is usually in the back and we pull up and show the guards his military ID and say, "the General is in the back." then they salute him and we are good to go!! It is great. Once we were in we followed President around and made our way to one of the upper floors in the Eagle Zone (part of the medical center). There we searched and found a 23 year old woman who had just had brain surgery. Her father was one of the Chaplin on a different base who asked for us to go over and give her a blessing. I had the chance to anointed her with oil, while President gave her a wonderful blessing. It was really humbling to see her so helpless as she laid their fighting to overcome the battle between life and death. It really opened my eyes to how blessed I am to be healthy and also how blessed we all are to have the Priesthood power of God on the earth today in His church. After the blessing I felt much more peace as we left her to rest and recover. Following her blessing we went to follow-up with a woman that President talked to the week before down at the Subway in the food court(which is also on the Medical Center's base). She told President Cooke that her husband had had his leg crushed by a Humvee. He continued to talk to her about our church and who we were, asking is she would like us to give her husband a blessing. She said yes and we told her that we would be back another day to perform it. When we came in the following week(this last Saturday) she was in the room with her husband and her in-laws. They all looked a little surprised as we explained who we were and what we were there to do. They were all thankful and welcoming to the blessing, so again President gave it. The Spirit was so strong and it was really wonderful to see afterward how the family was much more open with us afterward and grateful for our visit. The man that was blessed was now much more emotional and asked President what denomination we were a part of. President Cooke explained that we were LDS and that our Temple was the big, beautiful white building of the 495/beltway. He agreed to visit upon his recovery when President invited him and we all departed, full of the Holy Spirit.
I love how much this Gospel is full of service to all of God's children. It is designed to be the most unselfish and loving message in the world. We have the Priesthood of God, which enables us to bless and heal just like Christ and his ancient apostles. We have a message of Christ's perfect gospel which is on the earth today, run by imperfect people trying their best to become more like our Savior. We go out and share what we believe so that our other brothers and sisters will have the opportunity to listen and accept it. We need to remove the selfishness that keeps is from talking to everyone and sharing our testimonies and excitement about the Restored gospel to all the world. If we all work together, this whole church, to reach out to our family and close friends... then we will see SO many people come unto the truth and SO many people receive all the blessings that our Father in Heaven has in store for them. After all... what could be better than one of our spiritual siblings receiving the opportunity to repent and be freed from their sins and to feel the power of our Savior's infinite Atonement. I love this Gospel... and I know that it is true!!
Keep up the great work mom! Keep reading PMG and the scriptures with dad and look for opportunities to invite people to hear from the missionaries! They will come, I can promise you that... just have to keep looking :)
Elder Sean Farley