Tag Archives: priesthood

Crazy Sundays

Today was pretty crazy, even for me. I’m glad we didn’t end up having an emergency drill like was planned. I never heard what happened, but we never got the order to do search and rescue, so I didn’t worry too much about it. I cancelled our EQP meeting this morning as David is out of town and I didn’t think there was much Chad and I needed to discuss. We just need to be making sure that home teaching is being done and that we are doing better and better with the program.

Branch council was almost empty this morning. It was very awkward, but yet we still managed to go to the wire talking about things. Fast and testimony meeting was kind of strange today. There were some long pauses which gave much time for reflection. Oddly I didn’t feel the desire to get up and bear my testimony even though I had been thinking about it earlier in the day. Even though announcements went forever, we still had plenty of time in our priesthood breakout meetings. I never can tell how successful the committees are, but I feel that we are on the right track. It feels as if we are discussing the same things every month, but I guess sometimes that is what needs to be done. We came up with a few ideas in our Proclaim the Gospel committee which I will talk with AJ and hopefully put into action. We all agreed to the goal of inviting one person to church on the 15th. Any volunteers?

Sister Dowden and I were able to get a lot of information online for my family history. It looks like I’ll have some new names to get started with when we go to do baptisms at the LA Temple on the 14th. I managed to miss missionary correlation, but that allowed me to get to my offering in righteousness correlation meeting on time. While I was there I ended up picking up another baptistry assignment for the branch. It’s two days after we go to the LA Temple, but hopefully we can still get a good group together. I’m really looking forward to going to LA as I’ve never been inside that temple. I plan on going up early to do an endowment session as well, even though that hasn’t been planned yet.

After my final meeting I came home to get on the ham radio net. We had so many checkins I couldn’t even check myself in for about ten minutes! What a great problem to have! From there I grabbed some dinner (leftover spaghetti from break the fast) and started to watch the Fireside. Zeb, Dan, Jessica and Lauren ended up coming over. The Alta Murrieta missionaries showed up just as we were starting too, so I spent some time talking with them and showing them around the house. I’ll have to watch the fireside again as I came into it about half way through. I didn’t make it to prayer tonight, which honestly was kind of in the plans when I saw how much work needed to be done tonight. I just finished doing branch things with the calendar and creating events on Facebook and so forth.

Now I think it’s time to get to bed while the night is still young. Hopefully I can get a good night’s sleep and get rested for the crazy week I have is in store at the office. Our elders are coming over for dinner tomorrow. Would you like to join us?

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!

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!

Stephanie’s Farwell

It was a long day today, but it was good. I was at church at 9:30 this morning for an elders quorum presidency meeting. We got done fairly quickly, so I sat around the building reading and working on the website. I spent the time and clicked through all the Sunday School lessons for the year, so they are all posted now. I ended up going to PEC and then we had the block as usual.

Alyssa, Jim and Stephanie spoke. It was all quite good. i wish I could (and maybe I can) record the talks and play them back later to truly get into them and be able to ponder more on what is said. After linger longer I headed over to Stephanie’s farewell at her house. I thought about when I went to Tara’s farewell and how crazy it was. This didn’t seem quite as crazy and was different. I guess my relationship with each of them is so different that saying farewell is that much different. I’m going to miss Stephanie, possibly more than I miss Tara because Stephanie was right here in front of me. I’ve really enjoyed serving with her and learning from her. I wish that I had been able to get to know her better. I’m appreciative of being able to be a part of her life and am anxious to hear of the good things that she will be doing in Independence.

As I was leaving her house, President Smith drove up and asked if I was coming for her setting apart. I responded that I was leaving, but that I could go back. He asked me to come back and help. It was great being able to be a part of the service and to be in the circle with my hands on her head as she was set apart as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That made twice today that I was able to be part of a setting apart. I can’t really describe what I felt/knew while Stephanie was being set apart. I knew that the words being spoken by President Smith were true and that she had been called of God to this specific area to do this work. One may not be able to see the difference, but one minute she was just like one of us and the next she was set apart as a full time missionary of the Church. I’m anxious for the day when I too can have that opportunity to serve.

It was hot at the Dowden’s since their air conditioning was not working well, but that didn’t stop everyone from turning out. It was after seven when I got there and of course there was still food left for me! We had branch prayer there, I spent some time talking with Christina and Brooke and then came home. Now it’s 10:30 and I’m working on getting to bed. I think I’m going to end this, write Tara and call it a night.

Melissa’s Birthday, Bon Jovi & Walking

It’s way past my bedtime, but I figure since I didn’t write last night for a similar reason, I’d better get on it for tonight. I was only in the office for a few hours Friday after rolling in late and then taking off early for Melissa’s birthday bash. It was great hanging out there and the day couldn’t have worked out better for her birthday pool party. It had been cool and rainy all week and then was about 80 on Friday. It cooled down again today to about 60, so someone must really like Melissa, not that I could blame them. In any event, the party went well.

I was kind of slacking on the whole coming up with a plan for Bon jovi that night. I ended up starting to send text messages to people who i thought might be interested and Megan D. jumped on the Bon Jovi fan bandwagon. Did I mention this was at the time that we needed to be on the road? I picked her up and we hightailed it to In-N-Out and then the Honda Center. We ended up missing Daughtry by the time we got parked and into the center, but I was ok with that. Bon Jovi was great, especially since I’m not a huge fan or anything. They were good entertainers and put on a good show. They had a cool set with these awesome LED screens that kept moving around. They started as four independent screens and then merged together two form two widescreens. At one point they all came together to form an ultimate widescreen and then started separating horizontally which was really trippy.

After the concert we tried to visit Teal, but she wasn’t serving tables any longer so we tried not to torture another waitress at Cheesecake Factory Anaheim. I really love their strawberry lemonade. I think I’m over the cheesecake and it is all about the strawberry lemonade now. Megan had a blast. We finally made it home, with me getting home around 2:30.

Nine o’clock rolled around way too fast this morning and it seemed like a long way to go to my TV to watch general conference. I had a hard time finding it at first, but finally was able to figure it out along with how to schedule a manual recording. Between sessions i took a shower and ate a snack. After the second session I went to Target to get some stuff for the trip and went to the office to copy my Parallels Image to my external drive. I ended up leaving the drive there copying as I ran out to get to the priesthood session of conference, so I’ll have to swing back by tomorrow before we leave or I will have no Windows access at all on my laptop!

I don’t really have much to report from conference. I think I was still sleeping during the first session and was busy packing/playing with luggage during the second session. It didn’t seem there was anything really new or life shattering in priesthood, but I got that we are doing fairly well with responding to emergencies and needs, that we need to make sure we don’t let our compass slip a few degrees or we will crash and burn and that we shouldn’t be doing anything we don’t want our kids to be doing. I guess that phrase “don’t do this at home” doesn’t really work?

After conference i went to Oceanside. We walked the pier and along the coast and talked. We stopped at Chili’s for a daiquiri and I enjoyed some skillet queso for dinner. It was great fun, but I was probably out too late since I figure I need to be up at 6 to get ready and packed for my flight. If I had it to do over again though, I’d do the same thing, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining, especially since it isn’t going to do me any good, right? I’m pretty sure that was the most walking I’ve done since I was in Salt Lake around New Year’s. So I guess we need to get out and do it more often or something.