20 March 2016

March 7, 2016 zone meeting, 18th click day, temple

We got to attend the Temple again! The departing missionaries usually
go on the last day in the mission. But the Temple is going to be
closed due to maintenance when I depart. So we went a bit early. It
was nice! They flew in ALL the departing. So I got to see Sister
Schoppmann again :)

In the Mt. Baldy ward some members have been working with their
friend, Vonne. She comes to church each week and is reading the Book
of Mormon. But hasn't wanted to meet with us. But this week she agreed
too. So we all gathered to do some service for the Young Women's
President, Sister Moncur. And answered her questions. So that was
nice. She only had 2 questions. I'm not exactly sure why she has
waited so long... She is going on vacation for spring break and has
decided that while she's "hanging out in the dessert" she'll make her
decision. Since it would be a life changer for her. (She smokes and
drinks Coffee....)

We also had Zone Meeting. Since they have recently abolished Transfer
meeting :( they now have the departing bear the testimony they would
have said at Transfer meeting on their last Zone Meeting or Zone
Conference. Which ever is closer to the departure date. I basically
just bore testimony about how the gospel does more than make Bad men
Good and Good men Better. But that it gives us an eternal perspective.
I also shared this story. "A Blessing in the Mud
By C. William Langdorf
I was working at my desk at the Can Tho Airfield in South Vietnam when
the phone rang. “Are you a Mormon elder?” the voice on the other end
asked.
“Yes. Why?” I said.
“A Dust Off (the call sign for a medical helicopter) is making an
urgent request for assistance. A navy riverboat sustained several
casualties during a ferocious firefight. One of the most seriously
injured men is asking for a Mormon elder. If you can come, the Dust
Off will take you.”
“I’m ready.”
“Be at the landing area in five minutes.”
I grabbed my helmet, flak vest, and side arm, then ran to the landing
pad just a few hundred yards from my office.

The Dust Off landed, I climbed aboard, and we flew for approximately
ten minutes to reach the location of the firefight. As we approached
the banks of the Mekong River, we could see the tracers of machine-gun
fire coming from both the navy riverboat and the Viet Cong on the
opposite shore. On the southern bank of the river, we could see
sailors carrying wounded and dead comrades from the flaming navy
riverboat.

We landed, and I approached a navy chief who was sitting in the mud,
holding a young sailor in his arms. The young man’s right arm was
gone, and the bandages that covered much of his upper body were
blood-soaked. A medic leaned over the boy, shook his head, and moved
on to the other wounded.
“Do you know who asked for a Mormon elder?” I asked the navy chief.
“This sailor right here,” he answered.
I knelt in the mud and looked into the young sailor’s face, twisted
with pain and suffering. As I knelt there, his eyes opened. I leaned
over so he could hear me over the noise of the firefight and said, “I
am an elder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

In a voice so low I could barely hear it, he said, “Will you please
administer to me?”
I nodded affirmatively and asked him for his full name.
Although I could see him struggle to answer me, he was unable to do
so. I looked up and asked the navy chief for the boy’s full name.
“I don’t know his full name--only his last name. We just always call him Saint.”
I anointed the young man with consecrated oil and, leaning over to
speak into his ear, pronounced the appropriate ordinance. I again laid
my hands on his head to seal the anointing. As I invoked the authority
of the Melchizedek Priesthood, sealing the anointing, and as I further
sought the inspiration of the Lord so that I could pronounce a
blessing on the young man, I literally felt the sailor’s spirit leave
his body. I silently uttered a prayer, asking our Heavenly Father to
bless the family of this young man. I looked again at the sailor’s
face. The grimaces of pain had disappeared, and he appeared serene,
almost angelic.
“He was such a good kid,” said the navy chief, with tears running down
his cheeks. “He was such a good kid.”
At that moment I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was one of the Dust
Off crew members. “We have to get out of here. We’re taking fire.” The
entire experience had lasted only forty-five minutes.
A couple of the crew members placed the young man’s body in a body
bag. Then, quickly but gently, they loaded it onto the helicopter, and
we took off.

Through the years I have relived that experience over and over. I have
thought of that young man’s faith, of his request--surely a prayer to
Heavenly Father that the priesthood would reach him--and of the
remarkable timing of his spirit’s release during the administration.
And above all, I have thought much about a young man who had lived his
life in such a way that his fellow sailors called him Saint." I
absolutely love that story. (It's in either July or June 1991 ensign
under Mormon Journal. "  The question I have always asked myself after
I've read this story is: I am living in harmony with being "nicknamed"
a Saint?

We attended Eagle River Valley's Relief Society (women's group)
Birthday Party. I guess the Organization of the Relief Society has hit
another year. It was a lot of fun! Sherri, a former investigator,
came!

The Youngs attended Church this week! They have been crazy busy with
fixing their boat down in Seward. So it's been hard to meet with them.
But we set up an appt. for Wednesday. They only have 3 or 4 lessons
left! We're planning on talking about baptism with them again. Since
it's been ages!

I hit 18 months!

Love you all!

I arrive home on the 24 of March at 10 am.
My Homecoming is on April 17th.

PICTURES:
Sister Schoppmann and I. We're the only sisters departing!
18th click day!!
Eagle River Valley Relief Society dinner :)