Sunday, December 20, 2009

Update on December 20, 2009

On Saturday December 12 we had a farewell party for Gloria Wheeler who left Mongolia for the second time on the morning of December 16. We enjoyed having her back here in Mongolia for a couple of months.

At church on Sunday December 13 Wes was sustained as a member of the UB East District Council. He'd been called to this position about a week and a half before this date. When you are a missionary and are given a calling, you are sustained, but you are not set apart. Your missionary setting apart covers everything.

In the evening, 14 missionaries spoke at a departing missionary fireside. Firesides are held for new missionaries and for departing missionaries. There is a wonderful spirit at these firesides. 2 of the missionaries had left in November and 12 of them were leaving this week. This kept me busy with completing the farewell books for these missionaries.

As soon as the farewell books were completed, it was time to send the missionary allotments to Salt Lake. Before I can do this, I need to update the missionary transfers. Saturday Dec. 19 was scheduled to be a Big Transfer; almost every missionary was transferred. Thursday Dec. 17 we didn't get home until 9 pm and on Friday Dec. 18 we didn't get home until 10:30 pm because we were so busy.

When new missionaries arrive, President and Sister Andersen take the missionaries to Zaisan where Elder Maxwell dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel. Wes drove some of the missionaries to Zaisan early Friday morning. It was an extremely cold day. Wes is on the right holding a flashlight.

That evening there was another fireside for the new missionaries.

We concluded the week with a UB East District Conference on December 19 and 20. The Saturday evening session was held at the Bayanzurkh building. Sunday's session was at a conference center in UB. The Saturday evening session was on unity. Elder Lasson spoke on being of one heart and one mind and loving and serving one another. Unity is a commandment. We must have unity in branches and districts, among leaders and members, between husband and wife, and with family members.

"And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Moses 7:18)

Sister Andersen quoted Elder Eyring, "The children of God have more in common than they have differences. And even the differences can be seen as an opportunity. . . . The Lord can help you see and value what another person brings which you lack." We need to reach out to each other - those not members, the person sitting by you - and make them feel welcome.

President Andersen quoted DC 38:27, "If ye are not one ye are not mine." Don't worry about opposition against the Church; it can't stop the work of the Lord. My only fear is lack of unity among the Saints. With a lack of unity, Satan is with us, not God. We need to look at ourselves and do what it takes to be more united with our brothers and sisters. We need to point in the same direction and use our energy to pull together.

"And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another." (Mosiah 18:21)

The theme for Sunday's session was living the principles of the gospel. On Sunday the district choir sang for the conference. Their singing was excellent; we enjoyed hearing them.

On Sunday Elders Caldwell, Eliason, and Powell were also sustained to the UB East District Council. They want the American elders to help with leadership in the district. However this will require language translation. Elder Lasson has been 1st counselor in the mission presidency. This involves all of the five senior elders living in UB.

I also learned that the LDS Church's threefold mission has been expanded to fourfold purposes, but I cannot find any official statement on this. I do see news articles dated Dec. 10, 2009. The following are quotes from the internet.

The LDS Church's threefold mission has been as follows.
1) Proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.
2) Perfect the saints by preparing them to receive the ordinances of the gospel and by instruction and discipline to gain exaltation.
3) Redeem the dead by performing vicarious ordinances of the gospel for those who have lived on the Earth.
Source: Spencer W. Kimball, "Remember the Mission of the Church," Ensign, May 1982.

The new group of phrases will be described as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' "purposes," rather than missions, and will be spelled out in the next edition of the LDS Church Handbook of Instructions, due out next year, church spokesman Scott Trotter confirmed this week. "Caring for the poor and needy," Trotter said, "has always been a basic tenet of the [LDS] Church." Elevating it to one of the faith's major purposes brings added emphasis.

Caring for the poor and the needy has long been preached in the LDS Church. In the April 1981 General Conference, President Kimball said, "We all have opportunities to render service to others. That is our calling and our privilege. In serving the needs of others, we are mindful of the words of the Savior: 'Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'"