Tag Archives: Leadership

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.

Getting Comfortable, Things to Look for in Marriage

We had a pretty good fast & testimony meeting today. Impressively, we even ended on time! There was a lot of pretty powerful messages shared and inspiration throughout the day of continuing to do better. Zach told a story of a student who was struggling in school. When his teacher read the comments of teachers previously, she learned that he used to be at the top of his class, but the death of his mother made him fall behind. She was able to really begin teaching the student and turn things around for him. We talked in branch council about not being comfortable with where we are, what we are doing and the church in general. Brother Kowallis said that when he was growing up he was not allowed to use the word can’t. He says that the word his kids won’t be able to say is comfortable. I realized during branch council that I have gotten too comfortable in the church, in the branch, in my callings. I haven’t been looking for ways to improve and have just been coasting along. I need to change that as I know in some ways I have not been pushing forward, but have instead by slipping backward at times and in some places. I haven’t been attending as many of the activities lately, and probably haven’t been giving my support to those in the branch as much as I could. I know that I haven’t been very good at meeting new people and lifting them. I hope that I can work on this and that once I get a place in Murrieta some of these things (attending activities) can become easier.

We also talked about adding some more courses this summer. I think we’re going to add a Teaching the Gospel Course and make the Marriage and Family relations course a weekly option. We talked about changing the name of the marriage class to just Family Relations or Communication something or other as it seems the word marriage scares people away. I’ve learned a lot in that class in the past and think it is hugely important for us all to learn as much as we can about communication because almost all of us are failing in one way or another. I’m looking forward to both classes and just need to work on finding some teachers.

We seem to have been talking a lot lately about marriage. Tara (Tata) was trying to convince me the other day that if I don’t have a date on Friday night, I should be at the singles dance as I need to get married. Batch was like wo, let’s work on courtship and dating first! So true! In any event, Sister Dowden had a blog on it the other day and it has just generally been on my mind a lot lately. I’m clearly still working on being the right person and figuring out exactly who that is going to be.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my list – that Sister Rodriguez got me started on. I really haven’t been able to come up with much and yet I remember talking with Tara about this on the way back from the DR in November. These are the things that I’ve come up with over the weeks:

  • Musically inclined, a.k.a. can play the piano. I think one of us needs to be able to inspire and teach our children to love, understand and ideally be able to play music.
  • Faithful. Of course she needs to be faithful.
  • Follow leadership. This is a big one that is hard to put into words. No one should be overly submissive, yet we all need to obey the words of wisdom and commandments that are given to us. It was said recently that the number one reason we should have food storage is obedience to our prophet. That is a great example. Another common one is that of the limit of one pair of earrings. It was said, we should obey.
  • Communication. Since communication is the number one problem I believe everywhere, she/we need to be good in this area. Most of our time will be spent in communication of some sort, so we will need to be able to carry on a good conversation as well as be ready to work out our problems or concerns as they arise instead of bottling them up.
  • Outgoing. Someone with whom we could make a great team and accomplish goals. I don’t mean that she has to be a cheerleader, just that she won’t be so much of an introvert that we sit at home talking about all the great things we could be doing instead of getting out there and doing them.
  • Smart. Of course blondes are fun, but we need to be reasonable and make sure the job gets done. (I’m not trying to say anything bad against blondes or state any preference here, just going for some light humor.) On that subject, she should be:
  • Frugal. It’s great to go out and have fun, spend money where it is needed, but we also need to agree on when it is time to stop. We need to live within a budget and agree on expenditures. We can’t go buy diamond rings and a great home theater system in the same week. A lot of this comes back to communication too, yet this one is more focused on if she is constantly needing the latest expensive item. At the same point, she should be OK with nice things and not be a total cheapskate.

I discovered one more today. We should have a similar view of the Sabbath, church attendance and what is appropriate to be done, i.e. how we should spend our time. In my mind, the whole day belongs to the Lord (actually, all of our time does). On Sunday, we should not complain about church meetings and extra things when we really have nothing better to be doing. I’m not pushing to be in church from 9 a.m. to midnight, but if the Church is going to go to the effort of producing a fireside and bringing it to us, we should make the time to watch it instead of playing games. This is a matter of good, better and best and I think we should be doing the best possible at all times. I have nothing against those that are doing good, I’m just stating my opinion and desire for that daughter that I would want to marry.

I’m sure there are more things that I am missing. Any ideas?

Well, it’s late, so I should stop here.

Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting

We had a great stake priesthood leadership meeting tonight. They started out showing the assembly line for an aaronic priesthood holder as this deacon progresses through life to an Elder at goes to the temple and serves a mission. They did an amazing job showing the people involved in the process and what a role each one of them really plays as these children grown up to be the future leaders of our world. It was really touching when they turned their signs (each person wore a sign representing their duties) around to show the impact of one person not fulfilling their calling. One of the recently returned missionaries talked about how he wished he had that kind of support as he was preparing to go.

We talked about home teaching, and I got a much better understanding of the districts and some better ways we can make sure home teaching is being done. It’s not a question of if it was done in a certain month, but rather how it is going. It isn’t something that can be done, it is something that has to continue to be done. I learned a lot about how some of these things function outside of a singles branch which was interesting. I learned that I need to care more for those I am home teaching and those that home teach me. I have a long way to go.

Of course, we also talked about missionary work. Over 50% of the wards in the church (not sure if this is US/Canada or worldwide) have 2 or less baptisms per year! There are wards in our stake with zero. The amazing part is that with 12 baptisms per year, we would be in the top 6% of wards in terms of baptisms. The baptism rate in the US is declining about 1% (not sure of the time period). It is growing in the rest of the world at about 5%, making a net of about 4%. We really need to focus on building the church here as the US has/is/will play a big role in the worldwide church.

I must admit that I was lazy last night and didn’t get anything else done. This morning I got through most of the stuff on my desk here at home, but didn’t get much done in the way of work work. It was nice to have a morning to spent at home since my Saturday will be cut short this weekend with a wedding. I’ve got a lot to get done tomorrow morning, so I need to get to sleep so I can get an early (on time) start. Good night!

Shift Happens – Did You Know 2.0

Another link I found from Joel Dehlin that turned out to be quite interesting:

YouTube – Did You Know 2.0

This reminded me of a video we watched in my Leadership Class at CSU Fullerton. It is mind boggling how some things change the world. We really do need to prepare for the future and we have to solve the problems we created years before with new thinking.

The world is changing rapidly and not just with technology. The United States is not going to be #1 forever and we’re probably going to have some interesting changes ahead of us.

Let’s try and leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren. Please.