Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017: Emails to Dad & Mom

I've included Jason's email to Parker to provide context for his response:

Email from Dad

Elder Rice,

Are your suits going to be in decent enough condition to wear after your mission? What about your shoes—the good ones? I thought we bought you a pair of ECCO brand. I don't remember Johnston & Murphy brand. But if they last, then they're worth looking into again. Rather than bring the mission-brand shoes home, maybe drop them at Goodwill.

It's never an accident or coincidence that there is contention against Mormons. We had an area of my mission where leaders of other congregations were holding anti-Mormon rallies and showing movies full of lies about the Church. I think of it as a momentum thing similar to a sporting event. In a football game, the crowd cheers loudly and shares their energy with their team. Did you know that when they set betting odds for a football game, the odds-makers automatically spot the home team three points? This year, they have BYU favored over Utah by three points in this fall's game at BYU stadium. Basically, they are indicating that the two teams are evenly matched. The reason for the three points comes from the extra energy the crowd brings and shares with the home team. If a team experiences a slump in part of a game, cheerleaders work to stir up the crowd in order to re-energize the team. Then, little by little, the team builds momentum back.

The Church has had good success in your area. Satan has seen that and is trying to change the momentum by spreading lies to counter your momentum. He wants to slow you, to discourage you, and to get you to quit. In order to counter that, you have to bring equal or greater energy than he is. You have to involve your crowd—the Church members. Imagine what would happen if the members and missionaries all got together for coordinated push to counter the lies. This could be done through missionary work and service to the community (Matthew 5:16: "... that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.") The extra energy created in that cooperative effort could mean all of the difference. It will take an effort from you to get the members energized (like the cheerleaders), but the results can be miraculous.

Love,
Dad


Email to Dad

Dad,

There's one suit that'll be just fine. The other (the dark blue one) will need a little bit of fixing before it sees any long period of use. I don't think I have an ECCO brand, unless the mission shoe teamed up with them. I could probably wear the Johnston & Murphys afterward, but they're not in the kind of shape that you'd want to send Nathan off with. You can definitely see wear where the sole attaches to the shoe. I have heard that people really like the ECCO brand shoes and they don't look too bad either.

Thanks for the advice on countering the anti. We were sitting in zone conference and they had some messages that definitely pointed that direction, too. We're definitely going to cater dinner messages and do some little two to five-minute drop by visits. (They're calling it “lightning visits.”) In the meantime, we've been having some little success in that. We've answered all our investigators questions and they're getting the idea that there's a lot of rumors. One of them heard we couldn't wear black socks and that tipped things in our favor.

An update on D. and K.: Turns out we held out for good reason, because they had their friends L. and S. over and we taught them the restoration. They loved it! They started off a slight bit skeptical, but D. talked about Moroni's challenge with them and that changed their whole attitude. It’s always the best when someone you teach testifies of something you taught them to their friends. I bet that happened a ton in Brazil.

The Olympics last P-day were pretty funny, actually. We had an obstacle course where we went through a “missionary day.” We woke up off an air mattress and crammed all the pamphlets and copies of the Book of Mormon into a backpack. We then ran to a door to tract and the person behind the door blasted us with a huge water gun marked “anti” as we tried to write our number down on a card and hand it to them. We then did a three-legged race in a zig zag to all of the lesson pamphlets (teaching the lessons), then carried a hard-boiled egg marked “investigator” on a spoon in our mouths, trying not to drop them, and put them in a font/watercooler.

Love you,
Elder Rice


Email to Mom

We've definitely seen an upturn in miracles lately! We found three new investigators in three days and a bunch of potentials. We also randomly found the ID of one of our more promising potentials on the side of the road. I bet he'll enjoy getting that back.

We also have been having more big changes in the way the mission is run. We're doing district councils instead of district meetings. The main difference is that we don't put our numbers for the week on the board. Instead, they're just having us bring council items, like investigators we're trying to focus on and things we want to change in the area. It’s just being experimented with at this point to see what'll happen. Numbers are still reported in call-ins. Weekly planning has also been replaced with a 30-minute preparation for district council the day before.

I don't remember if you mentioned, but where are the new missionaries from the ward headed out to?

Love you, Mom!

Me and D. and K.

B. from Broken Arrow

Elder D.