May 23, 2016 –Final Interview with Pres. Taylor: How to Approach an Interview

Week 73

I had my final interview with President Taylor this past week, on
Tuesday. It went well I’d say. At the beginning of my mission, my
trainer Elder Carpenter explained to me how interviews work with
Mission Presidents, and more specifically with President Taylor. He
explained that if I don’t enter the interview with some sort of
objective, then I would end up leaving it with as much as I came into
it with. Nothing. Basically if one enters into their interview with
President Taylor with nothing planned to discussed, it will be over
within about 1-2 minutes. He will have you open with a prayer, ask
you how you are, how your area is, and sometimes how your companion
is. Then he will ask if there is anything he can do for you after
someone who doesn’t really know what to say will have given quick and
short responses to those prior questions. And often time the response
to that question will be “nope, I’m good” or “no, nothing.” This is
how Elder Carpenter described these things to me. So in all of my
interviews I’ve always prepared very specific things to discuss that I
have tried to prayerfully think out beforehand.

In the interview, one of the questions that I had for President Taylor
was about how he feels that I have grown throughout my mission. He
told me some very cool things that were nice for me to hear. I really
appreciated a lot of the things that he has observed over the course
of my mission. My favorite thing that he told me is that he has come
to see — based on my actions and comments in meetings, my emails I’ve
sent him throughout my mission, the emails that other missionaries
have sent him that have made mention of me, and the comments that
others have made to him about me — that I do not fear anything when
preaching the Gospel. That I do not fear preaching the Gospel to
anyone, whether it be people on the streets, investigators, members,
and even fellow missionaries. I really appreciated that compliment.
There were other things that were discussed in that interview as well
that made it probably the most unique interview that I’ve had with
President Taylor on my mission.

In the Portland Alameda Spanish area in which I am serving right now,
we have 4 investigators on date for baptism. And all 4 of them are
actually extremely solid investigators. The first of all of them will
be baptized next week on Sunday, June 5th. His name is Gerardo. His
way of investigating the church has been pretty cool. He has attended
church more consistently than most of the members here in the group
for the past 4 months and he takes written notes during all 3 hours of
church that he revises periodically. He even takes notes during our
visits to his home when we teach him. I am very excited for his
baptism. He is going to be a very strong member because he has really
investigated the church and learned so much and has really gained a
strong testimony. We will be putting another investigator on date for
baptism this week, hopefully tomorrow. This man’s name is Juan and he
has already openly expressed that he will be baptized into the church.
He fully understands what that means as well with the covenant and the
authority and everything. My companionship and I are very excited to
be working with him and to give him a date tomorrow. He is very
simple about how he has been going about the lessons with us. He has
been reading, praying in private since he is still a little shy to
pray in front of us, and he being very well fellowshipped right now by
one of our members. We are very asked for him and his progression in
that he will have in the church.

On Saturday, I went on an exchange with my Zone Leaders. I went to
the YSA area here with Elder Last, an Elder that I exchanged with back
in Longview over a year ago, who was also my Zone Leader there, and my
companions stayed in the Spanish area with Elder Stevens, my other
current Zone Leader who was my companion here in Alameda last year
when he was still serving as a Spanish missionary. The exchange was
fantastic for both areas. A lot of work was accomplished. In my
area, my companions, Elder Ramirez and Elder Bleazard, and Elder
Stevens taught someone that I taught alongside the Hermanas, Alvarez
and Smith, and Elder Grasinger, back when I was serving in Gresham 6
months ago. The man’s name is Damian and he was put on date by the 3
of them on Saturday night. He was in an extremely humbled state from
how his life has been going and Elder Stevens asked him if he believed
in God, followed by if he believed that God could do all things.
Damian was in tears during the entire lesson because of what was going
on in his life and basically shouted at them that he believed and knew
that God could do all things. He then preceded to be on his knees
saying that he wanted to be baptized and that he would except the
baptismal date that they gave him. The way that they all described
this experience was pretty entertaining but also very cool. They all
said it was one of the coolest experiences of their missions. And
Elder Stevens is going home in 7 weeks which means he has had nearly
his full 2 years worth of experiences for his mission.

On my exchange I taught 2 Atheists on separate occasions, and was just
brought to pity them so greatly after both of the lessons. In one of
the lessons, I just came to understand how truly sad it is when
someone has No desire to even develop a desire for something that we,
and especially God, who they don’t believe in, know will bless them.
I had many atheist friends in highschool and am used to speaking and
discussing things with them. So when speaking with the atheists that
Elder Last and I found, I took the lead since atheists are quite
difficult for most religious people to speak with and especially
teach. After I questioned one of them for about 20 minutes in many
different things, Elder Last and I arrived at the conclusion that it
would literally be impossible to make this man feel the Spirit and
develop a desire to even desire to believe in the things that we were
bringing to him. It was quite sad when we left. He even told us that
he thinks the Mormon religion is by far the best and most plausible in
the world, but that he could still never believe in the existence of a
God. Unless He himself was to reveal Himself to him. It was sad.

My week went great and the work is going fantastic here. I hope
everyone has a good week.

Elder Adam R. F. Scoville


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