Temple Jubilee

Salutations!

Lots of exciting things have happened this week.  Elder Silva was transferred down into central Colorado Springs and now I am training a brand new missionary named Elder James Erickson!  Elder Erickson came out on his mission from Saint George Utah, but prefers to tell people he is from Mesa Arizona since he spent the first 18 years of his life there.  He is humble and eager to learn and happy to be on the Lord’s errand for the next two years.  This week we dove right into the new PMG training curriculum role playing different teaching skills as ourselves and as our investigators and studying and teaching the doctrines of the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ for three hours every morning!  It has been awesome!  We are learning so much together!

This week I also had my Temple Jubilee with my MTC district.  (In case I’ve never explained this before, in the CCSM traditionally at a missionary’s 1 year mark, the Mission President takes that missionary, along with all the other missionaries that entered the MTC at the same time out to the Temple in Denver and then afterwards has them over to the mission home for dinner and a spiritual discussion to get them pumped up for their second year. This ritual is referred to as the “Temple Jubilee”.)  It was nice to see all my old MTC district-fellows, as well as other missionaries I have served with in previous areas.  We have all grown and changed so much!  It was also good to be able to go to the Temple and be reminded of all the covenants I have made there and the blessings I have been promised.  I am making it a goal to remember the Temple covenants more and apply them more in my day to day life.

There was a major shift in our statistical reports in the CCSM.  From now on we will no longer report on hours tracted, or number street contacts (ITLS), instead we will be accountable for how many new investigators we have found, how many of them have dates for baptism and how many lessons we have taught to them and others.  As President Anderson explained, instead of focusing on “activities”, the new stats focus on “achievement”, which leaves us missionaries more freedom to pursue our purpose to baptize more freely as directed by the spirit!  I like it!

We are in a small dry spell right now.  Since we baptized Pat (who is doing very well) we have had no new investigators with baptismal dates.  We have many potentials, including a PM family that just moved into the ward that we have an appointment to teach tonight, but we are still far from the goals we have been setting for ourselves.  With the new stats, we have been trying to rely on the spirit to come up with creative ways to find.  Needless to say we have still had to fall back on tracting a few times.  It can be really frustrating to talk to people around here.  So many have such silly contracted notions about our church they can be nearly impossible to get through to!  I think I am starting to understand more why Paul gave up on teaching Jews.  I’ve been making a concerted effort to be a more Christ-like teacher and not bother arguing about the scriptures and just focus on inviting.  I still slip up sometimes but most of the time I am doing it.  We really need to figure out where the elect are around here.

Love,

Elder Emmett Florence

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