Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Able To Focus On The Work

Sounds like everyone is doing very well which is always good to hear. Glad yall enjoyed your trip to Mexico. It has to be different only having 3 kids at home now. Probably starting to get quite (then again it can't get too quite when you have Morgan always watching her movies and acting along with them).

I did pretty good this Father's Day - I received a candy bar, bag of M&M's, 3 cookies, and another treat. But it was funny because we forgot it was Father's Day over and over again.

But I am sure glad for you Dad - in our Gospel Principles class we were discussing how being a parent has helped you learn more about your heavenly parents - but I took the time to think about how my parents help me to learn about my heavenly parents. So it was a good excercise for me. Thank you for the example you set for me in all ways - Priesthood holder, hard-worker, fun to be around, positive, counseling/advice, etc. There are a lot of missionaries who have a tough time letting go of back-home and others who struggle throughout - but yall have prepared me good enough so that I have been fine out here and can focus on the work because I know everything is good back home.

Transfers is crazy!

13 Jun 2011 - Today we e-mailed early and had to work in the office till about 9:30. Then we took the van and the truck to the car-wash to get them looking nice for the new missionaires coming in tomorrow. Gassed them up and then we came home and assembled there bikes - only had 3 that came in before today. Then we went to the mission home a little after 4 and helped Sister Beck get things set up for the dinner/testimony meeting for the departing missionaries. We had dinner with them and then got to stay for there testimony meeting. Starting to see missionaries I have spent a lot of time with start to go home. We then went to the office and got there around 8 and finalized transfer business till about 10:30. We then had to drive over to the church and dump off all the supplies and finished that at about 11:30pm. Came home and had to assemble one more bike that arrived today and so we were able to get to bed at 1am.

14 Jun 2011 - Up at 6 am and went and helped/had breakfast with the departing missionaries. Then we drove them down to the airport. The airport is a crazy place at transfers. I drove the truck and dropped off some missionaries with Elder Brase at one terminal, and then I loop around the terminal till Elder Brase gets them off and comes back out, pick him up and then go to another terminal and drop him off to go get the new missionaires. I then had to drive and catch up to the van/trailer that has been circling another terminal. Once I caught him, we circled together till the new missionaries have been greeted by President and Sister Beck and are coming outside, we time it just right so that as they are walking out, we are pulling up. We jump out and load them up and then we are off again to the mission home. We got to the mission home and President wanted me to update a powerpoint with data that I had compiled earlier so that the new missionaries could see it. So I jumped on that and then stopped to eat lunch with the new missionaries. Got the computer ready to go just in time for the presentation. I help with the presentation to the new missionaries and then Elder. Brase and I take off back to the church to get everything set up for transfer meeting. Once that is prepped we go back to the mission home and pick up the new missionaries and take them to the church building. The Spanish AP's handle the leadership training meeting going on at 2:30pm and at the same time, we handle the trainer/trainee orientation meeting for the new missionaires with their trainers. It is fun seeing them get put together. I had to talk for 40 minutes on the new training program and the booklet with it (something that I barely had time to look over - one thing I've learned how to do is how to wing talks, because we have no time to prepare and give a lot of them). That was good, we end that meeting at the same time transfer meeting is starting. So President and Sister Beck and I walk into the transfer meeting and all the missionaries are already there and we start immediately after we walk in. That meeting ended at 5:30 and we found out that some new housing we opened up backfired on us and now we have Elders who don't have a place to sleep - so we work with the housing coordinator on where we can keep them for a week. Solve that while getting everyone out of the building and sorted through new car keys, area books, blah blah blah. Done around 7 and then get a little tracting in before our 8:15 coordination meeting. Get home and iron out all the questions missionaries have and in bed at 11pm.

15 June 2011 - Meeting with President and Sister Beck from 10-12. Discussing how transfers went, upcoming zone conference and zone leader council and the transition They only have about 2 weeks left. Then stay in the office till about 2 just getting everything up to date from transfers. Get to go and tract - met a Hindu women who let us in and we went over the family proclamation. She liked it and invited us back - something Hindu's never do. Then back to the office from 7-9 getting things ready for zone conference next week/ calling out assignments, etc.

16 June 2011 - Oil change took ridiculously long even with an appointment. There from 8-10am, then had to drive down with the vehicle coordinator to the Ford dealership. Got to drive the 2 new Ford Fusions we ordered back to the mission home (one will be for Sister Taylor). Got home and did some quick weekly planning and then had a lesson with Jamie Weber (been LA for a long time, but came out this past sunday) - her visiting teacher came and her priest-age son which went really well. Went tracting and then got to teach Nathan again. Went to have a dinner/lesson with a member family and their friends, but the friends baled out like 10 minutes after we had got there. So we had pizza with them and then we drove over to Deer Valley and began an exchange - so I was back at Bro. Eagars with Elder Bird.

17 June 2011 - First time Elder Bird and I have been back together in over 2 months. It's funny cause it went (District Leader/Trainer - Trainee, Zone Leader - District Leader, and now AP - Zone Leader) - he is just a great son to have had in the mission field and he has followed me so far. So it was good to be with him again. Went to the Deer Valley district meeting which I had been going to for like 15 months and it was decent - not too happy with some missionaries there. Then had lunch and we tracted a lot - was able to set up 2 appointments with people that I had taught that they haven't been able to get ahold of yet. Bro. Eagar bought us some milk shakes. Had a good wrap-up and then came back with Elder Brase.

18 June 2011 - Found a former investigator who is interested now and wants us to begin teaching her again. Her name is suzy and she is doing medical school and it got really busy last time so she had to end it with the missionaries, but now she is good to go. Back in the office from 2-5 working on stuff like our calender for the next 6 weeks and putting together zone leader exchanges, sister missionary exchanges, etc. Tracted some more.

19 June 2011 - Father's Day was good. All our lessons canceled cause it was Father's Day - you think we would have remembered, but we get caught up sometimes. Had a really nice roast dinner with President and Sister Beck. Basically the "last supper" - it will be sad to see them go. We decided to get just a tiny bit more tracting in before coming in, just as it was getting dark and ended up finding a man named Daniel. We talked with him for a good hour on his porch and he seems pretty golden - just loved the idea of the Book of Mormon - reveiwed a lot of it with him and it was really neat. We will see how it goes - our return appointment is tomorrow.

A very busy week for us, but that makes it just a lot funner. I love what I do. We have zone conference coming up so we have 3 sessions of that to go to. I got lots of new pictures that I will try to send either tonight when we go into the office of next week.
I wrote a lot this week.

Have a great week,

Elder Perkins

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Life of an AP

6 June 2011 - Had to drive all around the valley to drop off DVD's for Zone Leaders to use in their zone meetings this week. They are of a mock coordination training. Took a nice long nap.

7 June 2011 - In the office till about 1 today. Had a lesson with Nathan - he is doing great - told us he knows it is all true. Then taught the group of teenagers who only want to debate - you can see the contrast in the two. One really wants to know, the others just want to clash. Also had a lesson with a returning member - Jamie Weber which went really well.

8 June 2011 - Met President & Sister Beck at the office at 9am. Went over transfers again and made some changes on the big board. Then we all went down to the temple to do a session and confirm in the celestial room. President missed the turn-off for the temple so we pulled up to the temple at 10:51and the session was at 11 - so we all ran in and it turnes out that my recommend didn't scan right (has some water damage that messed up the barcode) - so I started guessing what the numbers were above it (two were missing) - I somehow got it right and it was like 10:54 - ran in ( Elder Brase had got my clothes ready) - it was the fastest I have ever changed and we walked straight through the chapel into the session - very close call. But it was great - the celestial room was great. They took us out to Cafe Rio after which was really great!

9 June 2011 - Weekly Planned this morning. Had another lesson with Jamie Weber, went finding most of the day. Had to go into the office from like 7-9 this evening and make agenda's and finish final preperations for tomorrow's meetings. Elder Brase and I got Subway for dinner.

10 June 2011 - At 11, we had a meeting for all the new trainees and their trainers (so the missionaries who have been in the field for only 5 weeks. We split them up - so Elder Brase and I took all the trainees and we talked with them about how their training was going, discuss struggles, etc. Was really good. Then at 1, we had a meeting for everyone who could potentially train next transfer to get them introduced to the new training program (an orientation if you will) - I got to conduct that meeting. It went really well too. Sis Beck brought us Subway for lunch after that and then we took off.

11 June 2011 - We were in the office from 12-5 today getting things ready for transfers on Tuesday - there is a lot of work to do. We did tracting most the rest of the day.

12 June 2011 - Church was great - we had 1 investigator come and 4 less-active families attend which was the most I've ever seen. It went really well. Jamie Weber finally came and she even brought her "athiest" husband who has never come into our church before and they stayed for Sunday School and he was ready to stay for Priesthood, but her medical conditions caught up to her. After we taught Nathan again (17 yr old) - it was great. We met with President from 3-4:30 and discussed the status of mission. He has less than 3 weeks left and he is sprinting to the finish. Had a great evening tracting.

Well today and tomorrow will be CRAZY - we will be everywhere. But I am excited - transfers are the best times. Hope all is well.

Elder Perkins

Biggest Lesson I Have Learned

I am e-mailing in the public library now. We usually just e-mail in the mission office, but we need to keep an eye on some elders so we will probably be e-mailing here now.

So my life has been really fun and just crazy busy lately. It's been a long time since I'm this tired at night and I love it (probably not since I was in Anthem and had to train and go biking in the hot summer). This past week I got to drive from Prescott to South Phoenix (across the whole mission - little over 2 hours) by myself - which is different since you are always with your companion. We have to move cars around all the time, or take them to get fixed, so I get to drive at least once a week by myself. It's fun. We run around a lot and I've loved the change of pace.

So I went out with 2 zone leaders this past week on exchanges - some good times. One is really struggling with his companion - so we discussed that a lot. The other goes home in like 8 days or so - he that was cool to talk with him. I was up in Prescott which is up north and the weather now is really nice. It hit 102 yesterday - still isn't that bad. It's not until like 105 and up that it is just warm.

Last night, we started planning for transfers, so we met President and Sister Beck in the office and worked on that for a couple hours (who will be the next leaders, who is training and where, which areas to split, etc.) I like it a lot. Sister Beck made us some dinner there at the office and then we followed them back to there house to pick up some training cd's and they had us come in and made us some Root Beer Freezes. So we talked with them there for another 40 min and then came home. It's been really cool to work so closely with them. Like they had spent this past weekend with Elder Christofferson and so they had lots of good things to tell us (they are with an apostle like once every 3 months).

Now after we plan at like 10 or so I just lay in bed still dressed and fall asleep, then wake up at like 10:20, change, brush teeth, pray and sleep. I'm just tired. But it's nice.

So being in my new assignment has given me a lot of new experiences. We don't really deal with any of the little challenges or when Elders do small things (we have their district or zone leaders take care of it), but we have to deal with some really big problems. Before I thought it would be cool to be a Mission President and you look at all the fun things they do and it seems great, but then there is always the side that no one wished they had to deal with (same with Bishops, etc. I'm sure). It has really made me appreciate the testimony I have and the blessings I have received.

This past month or so, I have pondered on what is the one biggest lesson I have learned on my mission thus far. And I think it is this:
There is true safety and real happiness that comes from honoring your covenants and following your priesthood leaders.

On Tuesday - 31 May - I got to conduct zone leader council which was fun - Elder Brase and I also had to demonstrate how to teach using real inspired questions and it went really well. We have been sitting down and meeting with new trainers and trainees and discussion how they feel about the new training program we have implemented with this transfer. It hasn't been implemented worldwide yet, they have 3 test missions using it (and then President decided to add ourselves to the test group and said, "Well they never told us we couldn't do it now). He's just funny. So we have been looking for feedback on it and how we can improve it. We go to a lot of the district meetings to look for potential leaders and what training we need to provide at our next mission leadership trainings. Betweeb E. Brase and I, we hit 5 this week.

This past Saturday - 4 June - was the ground breaking ceremony of the Phoenix Temple. They announced it about 3 years ago and it has had a lot of problems going up - the community was not happy and they have done everything they could to stop it basically. But they finally did it. So we got to go to our stake center and watch a broadcast of it. Elder Rasband of the Seventy presided and gave a dedicatory prayer on the ground. They say it will take around 2-3 years to construct which is really exciting.

We both plan on having a long nap this afternoon (like 1-4) - so we are looking forward to that because next week we don't get a p-day since it's the day before transfers and there is a ton to do.

Hope all is well, take care.

Elder Perkins