My new companion, Elder Chapman, is super awesome. He is from Boise, Idaho and he was a Zone Leader in Hemet for 3 transfers before coming to the Mt. Rubidoux Zone. He also previously served in the Orangecrest and Foothill Wards so he knows some of the parts of Riverside that we cover for YSA. Since I know the family ward part of our area really well, we make a good team. He is super fun and upbeat, he likes to work, but he also likes to work smart. He's been out for 20 months so he's got a lot of this missionary work stuff figured out already, which is nice.
Speaking of which, we had MLC again this week. It was weird to see Elder Young up there giving the training and doing accountability. At first I thought it would be really weird and hard to have someone I knew be an AP, instead of some unknown missionary that must be really good or they wouldn't be the AP. As well it was really fun to see all the missionaries from my incoming group at MLC. The training was on things that I think really apply to the mission, as well as our companionship. One of them was companion study, which is something that I've never really figured out. It's often just become a time to do all of our To-Do's for the day and talk about whatever random doctrinal question popped into our heads during personal study, so now it will be more productive hopefully. We also had a training on a new way to set up our whiteboards to be slightly more clear, and while that wasn't an area we were lacking in, Elder Chapman and I both agree they are really good improvements that they have recommended. And of course President Mullen gave some training on the doctrine of Christ as well as training on commitments and follow-up.
So here's a cool doctrinal thing we picked up at MLC:
"That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;"
The things that stuck out to me is where it says that we were born into the world by water, blood and the spirit, and then must be born again by all three. This is super cool, because I remember talking with Elder Camper about some of the things born-again's say when they try to tell us why our doctrine is false. And They love John 3:5 "...must be born of water and of the Spirit..." which we take to mean baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, while they take the birth of water as physical birth, and being born of the Spirit being the sinner's prayer/accepting Jesus Christ in their life. And so this scripture shows that they are right, physical birth is one way that we are born of water, but the scripture from Moses shows that it is necessary that we are born again by water, as well as the Spirit and blood. Being born again of the Spirit is obviously the gift of the Holy Ghost, and being born again of blood is the Atonement. So that blew my mind when I read it! That's why I love being part of the MLC.
We have a baptism scheduled for Anthony this Sunday, and then Andrew's baptism for the next Sunday. So things are going really well here, they've both been interviewed and found worthy so that's awesome. As for Vanessa, we had a really great lesson with her last night about our purpose as missionaries, and figuring out what her desire was and what she feels like she's learned so far in the teaching process. She is starting to understand why this is important, and she's also getting a little more willing to stand up to her parents or at least to work to help them understand why this is something that she is considering. Her date has been moved back to the 4th of September just because we haven't taught her everything, She still loves meeting with us and going to church though and the fellowship is super good for her.
Other big news with YSA people, there was a regional conference last week in Redlands. We weren't able to go, but we had 3 investigators there, as well as Nick. And guess what? Nick went up there and bore his testimony in front of 700 people! He called us that night and was so excited! He's doing super good. He actually is the one that drove us to the temple today because no one in the family ward was able to.
Most of the people that we have new in our teaching pool are too early on in the process to really say if they'll be going places. But we have met a lot of really nice people, and the Zone has been passing along some solid YSA referrals.
See you soon,