Monday, November 3, 2014


November 3, 2014

"Why do we need to call Noah?"-Elder Kerr to Elder Tait at our Zone Meeting
"Because there is a flood coming!!" replied Elder Tait
"That's RIGHT!" said Elder Kerr as he chucked the piece of chalk in his hand across the room.
TOO funny! I'll explain this more later in here :)
The Massachusetts Boston Mission is sprinting head on. There are some neat changes and additions that are taking place. A few to list off:

-The Digital Mission here is on fire. There are 64 different people in more than 30 different countries that were taught Skype lessons in the last month. We were also recently told that there was a Sister (Sister Layton who I shared I went on exchanges with a while back) who is an online extender who found someone in Uganda online and passed him to Elders Tait and Graff, who taught him online, committed him to baptism and helped him find the Church meetinghouse. He went to Church, found the missionaries in serving in his home ward in Uganda and got baptized yesterday. Two other digital investigators went to Church yesterday and should have baptismal dates soon.  There is also another individual who was originally referred from Real Life Answers, has been taught by the Chinese Sisters and by Elder and Sister Foote, who have all done a wonderful job. She will be baptized later this month.

-During our mission-wide WebEx on Tuesday, President Packard shared that we will now be studying the Book of Mormon "knot" chapters on the Atonement together. (He explains that learning and understanding the Atonement is like climbing a rope, and there are certain chapters in the Book of Mormon that give us a place to hold onto while climbing this rope.)

-Also, the amount of baptisms in the mission has soared beyond from where it used to be when the Packard's arrived here.

As an update on Tina...Sister Jones and I planned a great lesson for her earlier this week. We were scheduled to have a lesson at the Nordquist's after all enjoying dinner together. (They even had us over the previous night on Monday as it was the original plan but Tina had to reschedule.) However, when we arrived at the Nordquist's, Tina wasn't there. We called, texted, called again...her phone was off. We were all very disappointed, but luckily the Nordquist's both served missions so they fully understood. They were very supportive and we greatly look up to them. They have actually known each other growing up and went to Jordan High School back in Sandy, remaining as friends, and then helped and encouraged each other through their missions. They are one of the outstanding couples here in the ward as they sure help out a lot!

The highlight of this week was our Mission Meeting on Thursday. We had the sweet privilege to be taught by Elder Larry R. Lawrence and his sweet, very intelligent wife. They traveled from Salt Lake City to be with us. Since Elder Lawrence is in the Seventy, they travel once a year to a mission. We as a mission prepared for that day, making sure we showed appropriate etiquette and respect, were exactly obedience and spiritually ready. We stood when Elder and Sister Lawrence entered the chapel, followed by the Packard's. They asked us to tell them our name and where we are from, looking us each in the eyes as Elder Hallstrom and Elder Holland did. I'll tell ya, Elder Lawrence sure carried a sharp gaze as he was interviewing us. 
When we all sat down, Sister Lawrence gave a long (2 1/2 hour) very insightful lesson on why Jesus Christ is called the Holy one of Israel and how the need for a gathering of Israel came to be. Much was shared including the history beginning with how we were called and elected in the pre-mortal life, how we are "under the covenant as we promised to gather Israel before we were born." She spoke on how the Savior is gathering His descendants, what Abraham promised God and what God promised in return, leading to why the Abrahamic Covenant is important. We were flooded with knowledge! Overall, we learned why the gathering of Israel is vital in preparation for the Savior's return.

After the presentation, Elder Lawrence held a "Therefore, what?" discussion on what we could take away from it all. Following his remarks, President and Sister Packard spoke together on how the mission is doing and what it can become. The key point was "The Lord has all in store for us, much more than we can imagine. All we need is the faith." President and Sister Packard recently returned from a 4-day trip to Palmyra, where they were taught by Elder Holland in the Sacred Grove. (Nbd...) When they were there, the Packard's, in their hearts, pondered and prayed about what the mission needed. As President Packard often envisions what miracles can happen and then goes to work, the Lord opened his eyes to what is in store for us, as "The Lord is waiting on us; we're not waiting on Him." They emphasized how "November is our time." During this time of pondering in the Sacred Grove, he knew we could reach our goal of baptisms we had never quite yet reached.
At this moment in the Mission Meeting, as President Packard explained all of this, he had all the missionaries who attended the Missionary Leadership Council meeting stand up and go behind the podium where the Packard's remained. It was quite the sight. They shared their experience in MLC as they all were revealed the Lord's will for the mission--to have at least 70 of the baptism dates which were set (there are as of now 110 baptism dates for November.) The Packard's shared the 10 action items that needed to be accomplished for this to happen, requiring full consecration of each missionary, a personal sacrifice, prayers for it from every angle at every opportunity, a mission prayer roll for these names every week, and more. Right then we were all in. We are committed. The spirit of hope, unity, and power felt was indescribable.
Elder Lawrence concluded, sharing how he has been blown away by the Massachusetts Boston Mission. After his remarks on exercising faith and providing the steps on how we can do so, he gave us the chance to stand if we chose to share our thoughts on all that was taking place. The spirit felt was miraculous, and once again breath taking.

We held a follow-up Zone meeting to talk about our goals set with Elder Lawrence. We set the goal as a Zone to sacrifice poor/slang language as missionaries (i.e. instead of calling a missionary just by their last name, include "Elder" or "Sister"). Our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders came up with the title for our Zone's efforts to give our all this month. The title...the CALL NOAH campaign. As Elders Kerr and Tait solidified at that meeting...there's about to be a flood!!

Following the meeting, since it was Halloween, we all had fun as a Zone. Fact: when you ask the Lord to provide hilarious moments and to recognize them when you are in need of a good laugh or haven't truly laughed in a while...He will answer your request. So, on a less serious note, I don't even know how I could describe just how funny Friday (Halloween) was. Sister Moore planned a party where she coordinated who brought which "creepy" treats for a lunch, followed by "Minute to Win It" Games. After that, Elder Espinola, as we were cleaning up, took the plastic table cloth and wrapped it around his head, still wearing his party favor fake moustache. As a few of us still had ours as well, we took turns as others placed nearby objects in our arms to be part of the picture. We were dying of laughter! (I even woke up the next day SORE from laughing so hard.) Later that night, right as Sister Jones and I arrived home early for curfew, the Trick-Or-Treaters came. That's why we decided to share the gospel with "every dispensation" as we handed out snacks and candy we've been desperate to get rid of along with pass along cards. For the reminder of the night, we wore our costumes. The end. That was our Halloween for you.
The week concluded with an incredible Stake Conference with Elder and Sister Lawrence. Saturday's Adult session was focused on Hastening the Work of Salvation. On Sunday, there were talks given on faith, having the spirit with us as families, and building faith. Sister Packard spoke on finding opportunities to share the gospel, and President Packard laid down the law on the importance of members coming with us--every member in the ward coming with us at least once a month to do the Lord's work. Sister Lawrence's turn came, during which she spoke on 10 ways to model and direct our families to the temple. 
Elder Lawrence's talk was phenomenal. He started with the quote from the Sound of Music "When the Lord closes a door, somewhere, He opens a window." Elder Lawrence focused on how the principle of compensation is a basic gospel truth. The Lord always remembers the sacrifices we put in, as he pours blessings from heaven in His timing. A few quotes I jotted down were "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven; God remembers our sacrifices. As we approach challenges with faith we can overcome them. Setbacks in the kingdom are always compensated. Our trials will make life better, and not bitter."
There's a lot of sacrifice being put forth by every missionary here in the MBM. We are giving up what may be holding us down on the altar of God. There are challenges that come and the work is not easy, but no matter what we face, this principle of compensation is applicable no matter the circumstance. As we give our all in the best ways we can with all our heart, the Lord sees and remembers our efforts. The blessings come forth and great light is revealed in His timing. There is a great spirit of devotion and unity...a spirit of ZION that is happening here. I am grateful to be a part of it.
I know the Lord will continue to compensate for all of the challenges and struggles you face or have faced. Family, I can already see it unraveling for each of us in His ways. It still requires a lot of faith on our part as we continue on, but beauty in the Lord's timing and ways lie ahead.
I love you all. I wish you the best. :)
-Sister Roy


P.S. a great tender mercy happened this morning I knew I needed to share. As I was packing up the extra medications to send home soon, I opened the paper bag of 7-8 bottles or so of my Zenpep digestive Enzymes. Usually these pills are stored in heavy glass bottles, which is why this was one of the medications I was most nervous to send home because the cost would add up!! When I opened the paper bag this morning I picked up from Walgreens a couple days ago and took out the boxes of enzyme bottles, I realized it looked a little different and felt lighter. For the first time...all of the bottles were no longer stored in heavy glass bottles...but all in much lighter plastic bottles produced right by the manufacturer. It may not seem that big of a deal, but this was such a huge, sweet tender mercy from the Lord. He was aware of my concern, as He showed He cares and is there. :)

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