March 21, 2016 — Dull Week…? but then, Companionship Inventory!

Week 64

Enrique Garcia has been Baptized, March 19th, and Confirmed, March
20th, as a member of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints.

This was a strange week. Much of how the week came about didn’t
really make very much sense in my mind. The baptism and the following
day at church were amazing, but many points throughout the rest of the
week were dull in a weird way. There were a few days where I just
basically felt “out of it” or something along those lines. On Friday
especially throughout my companionship’s weekly planning session, the
3 of us were just crazy out of our minds. We went to 3 different
locations throughout the day for our weekly planning since we had 3
different lessons (all of which fell through) scheduled. The abrupt
transitioning on top of just dealing with some of the minor
frustrations of missionary work just completely threw our
companionship out of the zone and we had quite a difficult time
focusing that day during all of the hours that we spent planning.
Having such a packed Areabook can be such a bittersweet thing
sometimes. On one end it is quite a miracle to have so many people to
work with and yet 400-500 more to be able to potentially work with,
while on the flip side it can be extremely exhausting to maintain,
even with 3 people in a companionship. But something I have really
enjoyed about weekly planning sessions in the companionship has been
the companionship inventories. The inventory that we had on Friday
was fantastic. The way that we do our inventories is very different
from what the 3 of us have experienced throughout each of our
individual missions up to this point. They are definitely one of the
most spiritual points of the week for the 3 of us out of everything
that we do together. Elder Ramirez, Elder Flynn, and I put what
seems like an unbelievable amount of focus into figuring out what we
can all improve on as individuals, Disciples of Jesus Christ, and
Missionaries, and at the end as a companionship. During our
inventories we usually end up having about 5-10 minutes of spiritual
serenity where each of us meditates, prays, and ponders in silence so
that we can each come to a conclusion of what each of us feels that we
need to work on followed by what we each think the companionship needs
to work on for both our sakes and the work’s sake. As we go around
sharing our insights and the inspiration that we received during the
silence, we build on one another’s thoughts and bring principles of
the Gospel into the discussion that allow the Spirit to guide where
the conversation goes and which always ultimately leads to an outcome
that each of the 3 of us is in complete agreement on and in which each
of us has full confidence and faith that those things are what we need
to work on. The spirituality of the inventories always gives us the
drive to actually bring about what we’ve discussed and felt which is
one of the best part of these inventories. We actually do something
about what we’ve talked about and we actually recognize improvements
in the areas that we’ve felt we should work on. For this past
Companionship Inventory, I felt from the Spirit that I specifically
needed to work on:
1. Focusing more on the simple basic Doctrines and Principles of the
Gospel instead of diving into depths of the Gospel where many who I
teach would drown from lack of basic Gospel knowledge.
2. Learning how to more effectively conceptualize (that is the word
that came to mind when I prayed) everything that I’ve learned so that
it will be easier to understand when I teach it and so that the people
I teach will be able to apply what I am teaching them more personally
to their lives instead of just being given what sounds like a
dictionary’s definition of all things Gospel related.
3. Being more optimistic and positive about things. I can be very
judgmental about the things that I see and quick to make and sometimes
express the negative thoughts that come to my mind about what I
observe. These thoughts aren’t out of contempt, but just out of
principles of intent that I see based on the actions of others that I
observe, or experience.
4. Being more service oriented by nature. It is in my nature now to
almost never turn down any opportunity to serve others when it comes
up whether by physical and temporal means or by intellectual and
spiritual means, but the problem with me is that I generally only do
so when a situation is placed in front of me to do so. I need to go
looking for these opportunities more, especially since it is almost
effortless to find them.
It was a good Companionship Inventory.

So at Enrique’s baptism, almost everything went great. We even had
the Mission’s 1st Counselor and his wife preset along with Sister
Taylor (President Taylor’s wife) at the baptism. It is often a rare
occurrence for members of the mission presidency to attend baptisms
since they are always so busy. But when the ordinance began to be
orchestrated, the person who was performing it had some difficulties
in the font and Enrique had not been properly shown how the ordinance
worked which lead to a little frustration in the font between the 2
which became an extremely awkward situation to handle. I was one of
the witnesses and it was very obvious that both of them in the font
were getting very impatient with the situation and each other which
was not the type of mood that should have been experienced during
a baptismal service. President Anderson, the 1st counselor, came up
and solved the problem though and was able to pacify the situation.
He is an extremely intelligent man and had he not recognized the
potential worsening of this situation things could have been much
worse just because of a minor miscommunication between us being under
the impression that they knew how to perform the ordinance. Elder
Ramirez and I, who were the witnesses for the ordinance, became very
stressed from the situation even after it passed which heavily
effected us while we gave the message of the Restoration while Enrique
was changing back into his clothes. We gave the Restoration, but
while we did so it was hard for Elder Ramirez and I to feel the
Spirit. Even when I shared the 1st Vision of Joseph Smith we could
hardly feel it because of this stress that we were feeling at the
moment. But when we finished the Restoration and after the baptism
was over, many of the members that had attended the service told the 3
of us that they had felt the Spirit most powerfully from throughout
the entire baptismal service from this recitation of the message of
the Restoration. The members of the mission presidency told us the
same thing as well. Hermana Alvarez described it as though they had
all been hit by a “spirit bomb” during the 1st vision that just shook
everyone to the core. This was comforting to hear since it reassured
Elder Ramirez and I that it was only us who were having a hard time
feelings the Spirit. Even Elder Flynn told us that he felt it fine
while the. 3 of us gave the Restoration. It is. so strange to me how
much our emotions can offset out ability to sense and feel the Spirit.
Especially when we are the ones conveying it to those that are feeling
it. But otherwise the baptism was great. President and Sister
Anderson even got the 3 of us some very nice blue ties of the Puccini
brand.

The following day, Sunday, was a very good day. Enrique was confirmed
and the 3 of us along with a good handful of the Priesthood holders of
the Spanish congregation, and President Anderson as well all had the
privilege of participating in the confirmation of Enrique. Enrique
was ecstatic throughout all 3 hours of church to be confirmed a
member. And in the Spanish Branch here, we hold Sacrament meeting for
the 3rd hour instead of at the start. But there was also another
chain of events that happened that were all cool in their own rites.

So after the baptism, Sister Anderson left her purse in the church.
Later in the evening she called us and asked us if we had see it,
which we hadn’t. So we offered to go straight to the church on Sunday
right when we woke up to go and grab it before anyone could have the
chance of moving it making it even harder to find. So we went and
grabbed it and all was fine. So no we are at church in the 2nd hour
class, Elder’s Quorum and we have an investigator there named Isaias
(Isaiah in Spanish). Towards the end of the class, Sister Anderson
walks in and waves her hand implying that she wants us to come over
and return the purse to her. I was the one holding it so I went down
off of the stand and left the room to give it to her. Went I went out
into the hallway to hand her purse over, she gave me a “thank you” for
my companionship and she also gave me another note care that had some
information on it concerning some Hebraic words. I have been studying
the Hebraic meanings of words throughout my mission and President and
Sister Anderson are both extremely educated in Hebrew and are aware of
my interest in that. After she handed me the card with the
information on it to go look up later on in my free time, she and
President Anderson both just began making conversation with me about
things pertaining to the Gospel. It is one of President Anderson’s
mottos to never meet with a missionary without teaching them
something. They just made conversation with me and just expounded
upon different principles of the Gospel that came to their minds while
we talked. They showed me a very interesting diagram relating to some
complex teachings pertaining to the attributes an characteristics of
God which was extremely cool to me. They told me that they would get
me a copy of it at some time in the future so that I could study it on
my own. Sister Anderson taught me about some of the hebraic terms in
the book called Strong’s Concordance Exhaustive. This is a book that
I bought a copy of last P-Day that is probably the most comprehensive
encyclopedic book on the King James Version of the Bible with all of
the Hebraic and Greek references to every single word in the entire
Bible. Sister Anderson told me about the book 2 weeks ago at
Enrique’s baptismal interview which President Anderson did, and
President Anderson approved me to study out of the big if I was able
to obtain a copy. So I bought it 3 days later at Barnes & Nobles.
The Anderson also told me that the 3 ties that they bought for my
companionship were replica ties of which 3 of the Apostles have. I
don’t know who’s mine or Elder Flynn’s is from but Elder Ramirez’s is
a tie that Elder Eyering has and wears. It was just a cool fun fact
that he had for us to know about the ties.

So now I’ve had this great conversation/lesson with and from the
Andersons and I walk back into the chapel where Elder’s Quorum took
place to find that it’s over of course and Elder Flynn has this huge
smile on his face. I ask him what happened and what I missed and he
told me that while I was out i the hallway, Isaias stood up at the end
of the lesson before the closing prayer was said and told all of the
members of the Elder’s Quorum that he wanted to get baptized and that
he wanted everyone there to help him pick a date for when to do so.
Now that was a miracle. And wasn’t even present to hear it take
place, but that is a miracle. Investigators, at least base on what
I’ve seen and heard, do not do that ever. Especially so boldly in
front of so many people. Isaias is fully ready to be baptized as
well, aside from the baptismal interview. He has already had all of
the lessons in the past, multiple times as well. We had a lesson with
him immediately after church in the building and decided to just to a
test run through all of the questions and he pasted perfectly have a
sound understanding of exactly what he would be becoming a member of
if he were to be baptized and showing us that he did have already a
strong testimony of the Gospel.

There were some other minor highlights to the day in comparison to
those, but it was overall a great Sunday. Great things happened an
the work in the Spanish Branch here in Vancouver is being immensely
blessed right now.

I hope everyone back home is experiences miracles and being able to
recognize them. Have a good week.

Sincerely,
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville

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