Tag Archives: church leadership

Stake Conference

I got started this morning getting new lappy (darkpeanut) setup for next week. I ended up going with Vista Ultimate as it seemed like the easiest path to take. I had to spend some time re-downloading and installing drivers, and I think I still need to fix some minor issues. I’m a bit worried that the DC-One software won’t work, so i don’t know if that means I have other problems or their software just isn’t happy. I was going to try and install XP on a partition, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve heard mixed reports on if it will work or not.

I had to run by the church to turn in some home teaching things, then it was off to the bank to get things going for next week and home to keep working on lappy, get ready for the trip and stake conference this evening.

We had a discussion for most of priesthood which I always like better than the lecture format. Four wards ended up with 100% home teaching which I thought was pretty impressive and all wards improved. We were at 63% which isn’t great, but I think is an improvement from normal. A method of checking on the districts week by week was suggested. At weekly PEC meetings, one should be getting (or giving) a report on about 1/4 of the membership based on their perfect home teaching district. So week 1 would be districts/groups 1 & 3. Week 2 would be 2 & 5, then 4 & 7 followed by 6 & 8. This doesn’t mean members wouldn’t be taught until those weeks, but it would be expected that it would be done by then.

I had been thinking about a similar plan and am ready to get something like that implemented. The problem I see is letting people know what district those people they home teach are in. I don’t think most members know about the ranking system and it may take work to educate them in something they don’t really need to worry about. I’m thinking maybe we could just reach out and ask each home teaching companionship to make sure certain people are reached by each week. I think there are still some more changes we need to make to the perfect districts and also to our districts in EQ. I want to get more of a hierarchy going so each supervisor is only responsible for 4 companionships or so and we have more of a tree than we have now. I’ll probably have some time to work on that next week while I’m traveling and I think I will be able to make some calls to checkup on how things are going this month. I certainly don’t want to let things falter with the few off weeks we’ve had to start off this month.

We also learned that the percentage of endowed members in the stake has gone up to I think it was 80% from 60-something 6 or 12 months ago. The focus now is to get members going to our assigned week in the temple (which of course this month is the week that I will be out of town). I think they are going to change the focus during the offering in righteousness from as many sessions as possible to as many members as possible serving at least once during the week in the temple. I think both are good.

All I remember from the adult session tonight was President Smith talking about his future son-in-law calling him on the phone to ask for his daughters hand in marriage. I thought that was funny. He said that he then flew up to BYUI and the guy asked if they could go to the temple. I guess this one President Smith’s favor and he suggested always interviewing future in-laws in the celestial room.

I was thinking about trying to watch Made of Honor tonight, but I forgot about the tradition of going to Claim Jumper. Krystal came over briefly and I showed her the setup so she could come watch The Price is Right on Thursday. I’m so bummed that I am going to miss it. I hope I’ll get to watch it when I get back next weekend. We then went to join the group at Claim Jumper, but they made us sit at our own table. It actually worked out for the best probably as we got our dessert first and were able to checkout before everyone else and get home at a reasonable time. Oh wait, it’s still going to be 1 in the morning before I get to sleep. Bad plan.

Early Priesthood Meeting

Early Priesthood Meeting

Getting up for the 6 am priesthood meeting this morning was no fun. I totally almost didn’t make it and certainly didn’t have the time I was hoping for. I did manage to get somewhat cleaned up for the morning, get dressed, grab some cookies and make it there on time. I guess since there weren’t any women there to impress I didn’t have to worry about looking good. 🙂

The meeting went well. There was more prop 8 stuff and a call to action to really get our forces moving. We were asked to have 100% home teaching as a stake next month, so that is going to be a major challenge. I have a feeling I’m going to be home teaching like crazy starting tomorrow, so I’d better get a copy of the message quickly. President Smith also talked about our lights being off and turned off one set of chandeliers to make his point. The two sets were identical in every way, except one. They were both made the same. They were both capable of producing light. One set just wasn’t lit.

After the meeting, I came home and made pancakes. Brother Kowallis, David Mayfield and Tyler came to join me. It was nice and kind of makes me want to do a monthly breakfast or something. I just wonder how many people would show up for breakfast before church and then with my meetings, I don’t know how well it would work or if I would have to skip them that week.

We had interesting meetings with President Clegg today. I enjoyed his thoughts and his humility in the new calling. I think things are going to work out just fine here, although I did miss President Mattson’s warm smile and handshake this morning along with the comfy chairs and Rexburg Temple portrait on the wall. We have a social on Wednesday night to get to know him and his family better.

I went to the Dowden’s tonight after getting some emails done at home and getting pictures off the camera. It was pretty quiet there, even with Krystal’s presence. I got to talk with Brother Clark for a while and then met someone new, Carla, at branch prayer. I felt like I was on a roll. Speaking of rolls, I think Krystal won the award for most pictures tonight which I think is a first. I tagged Melissa in only 8 of the ones I uploaded and Krystal in 25! Maybe she is getting more used to the camera and opening up. Shelby and Lauren were both at prayer, it was nice to see them.

I’m not sure what is going on tomorrow. Maybe I’ll work some more with Sister Dowden, maybe I’ll hang around the house and be lazy. I’m thinking about going to the zoo in the evening to see the show before it closes. Other than that, I’m looking forward to a fairly boring, relaxing day!

President Mattson Released

President Mattson was released today. It was a very emotional Sunday. When I first got to church I found his office open and empty. He had taken down all the art and the oversized comfy chairs were gone. The place was just dreary and it matched how I was feeling. I felt like a chunk of me was being taken away. President Mattson really feels like my bishop to me. He is definitely the one I have been with the longest and the only one I have gotten close with.

I was thinking back to the first time I really met him, when I interviewed him for my leadership class. I think it was then that I really determined to come back to church. I had been coming for a few weeks, but interviewing him is what got me hooked. I haven’t missed a week since. I think that is pretty remarkable coming from someone who hadn’t been in essentially a few years. I think I need to pull out a copy of that paper and give one to him. That was actually an interesting semester all around. I went through so much and learned so much. It was the only time I found LDS friends at Fullerton, both of them in the same class.

I remember taking the calling as Sunday School President and being worried about the time and having to go to meetings and so forth. I quickly learned that I never want a calling where I’m not in branch council. Even though I may not participate much, I love the insight from President Mattson and the others and the opportunity to serve with them. President Smith said today that this branch has never been about marriage; it has been about service.

President Mattson asked me what has been the most fun thing we’ve done in the branch. I wasn’t thinking spiritually and answered eventually that I’m just too busy taking pictures to really have fun. But taking the pictures is fun to me. The spiritual journey has been thrilling and really just taking it day to day has been fun. Are there things we could improve on, sure. Is this the best branch I know of, yes!

I’m happy that President Mattson and Brother Rigby are both being returned to their families. They are destined for greatness and while it will be hard for all of us to adjust, the Lords work is progressing under His direction. While I feel like I am loosing friends, I hope this just means our friendship can grow.

I’m looking forward to getting to know President Clegg and his counselors and families. This will in and of itself be an interesting and new challenge for me. Zach is leaving soon and I’ve been asked to carry forward with the elders quorum until they learn of a replacement. I guess it really is true: I was just getting comfortable, maybe too comfortable for comfort!

I went to the Dowden’s briefly this evening to make an appearance. I haven’t seen most of the Dowen clan for at least two weeks, so I felt we needed some time. Sister Dowden and I are going to work this week on getting some social networking going for CBC and I’m going to help her get a store running online for her pole vaulting tips. I came home and wrote cards to Stephanie and Tara. I really felt like writing more, but I don’t want to be a distraction. I figure smaller items more frequently are better. I do really miss Stephanie. Seeing pictures last night – and this morning in the clerks office – as well as having Chris back around have made me realize this. I hope she is doing well. Brother D and I need to make good on our threat (?) to go and see her soon.


So I didn’t write yesterday because I didn’t get home until almost 2 this morning. I figured that was a good enough excuse to put it off until this evening. I went to Costco on the way to work and picked up a new Nikon Coolpix S700 digital camera. We had decided earlier in the week that the Sanyo digital cameras we got require a lot of work to get a good picture. I thought it could be worth a small investment in a little camera to hopefully get better pictures in those situations now. I haven’t really had much of an opportunity to try it out yet, but we did take a few pictures at Wicked.

WickedMaegan and I went to Wicked at the Pantages in Hollywood. The seats were amazing, Row L dead center. Traffic was horrendous, but the GPS nav was able to divert us around some of it. It also directed us to surface streets through downtown to Hollywood which I’m not exactly sure I agreed with because they were quite slow, but we got there and we made it on-time, so that is all that really matters. The show was great, even the third time seeing it. I wouldn’t mind going back and seeing it again! Maegan seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show although she seemed a little disappointed with how dirty LA is. I guess we now know why she has never been there before. All the characters were good. Megan Hilty was great as Glinda as always. Caissie Levy did good as Elphaba, but I think I liked the previous actresses I saw do the part better. Kristoffer Cusick did a good job at Fiyero as well, but the guy I saw from the tour wins hands down as he just fit the part so well.

We drove by the LA Temple on the way home and I finally got home just before 2. It was definitely a long day, but it was so much fun. We’re planning a trip to the Los Angeles Temple on March 1st if anyone is interested in joining us.

It was really hard to get myself out of bed this morning for the World Wide Leadership Training, but I did it nonetheless. I made it to the stake center with a few minutes to spare and discovered that they were having all sorts of technical difficulties. Sister Dowden tried to get me to go help, but I just didn’t want to get involved. They finally got the satellite feed going, but they were having problems playing back the recorded feed as they were trying to delay the broadcast an hour. We ended up just watching the second half and we will catch up on the first part later. It was all good, but it seems like the same old stuff. I guess that means we have more work to be done and need to continue to raise the bar to make better homes and wards.

After the broadcast I went out to breakfast with the Dowden’s and then went to work for a few hours. I got things together for the board meeting, took care of some emails and then came home. I was debating about going for a bikeride or taking a nap. I was planning on getting through the mail and receipts. I accomplished none of the above and I’m not really sure why. I did get pictures posted and started catching up on some of the news.

I found out that my Sunday School teachers are leaving me left and right tonight. Not only am I loosing Stephanie in two months, but Marissa and Kyle are leaving. Stephanie, the amazing Stephanie, is stepping in for Marissa tomorrow, so I’m going to owe her something big that is yet to be determined. Here is one more thing I was going to do today that we can mark off as not getting done. That would be getting to bed early, so I’m going to work on finishing this up and trying to get to sleep before 11.