Elder Zachary Brandon Brown
England Leeds Mission
Lister House, Lister Hill
England LS18 5AZ

Monday, December 8, 2014

So Much To Do

Hi mom and dad :) .  Updates first: I'm not sure when my next driving test will be; I meant to book it today, but I couldn't remember this morning in the 5 minutes before we left where I'd put my debit card, so I have to look for that later.  I got your packet and package, so no worries there.  In spite of intensive pressure from my flatmates to open the package now, I am indeed waiting until Christmas.  Endure to the end, baby!  Just so you know, Christmas calls will be much shorter this year: only 30-40 minutes.  So basically, have everything ready that you want to talk about so we don't waste any time :) .

With this zone leader calling I have so much more to do, it's insane.  Writing in my journal has turned into a morning-only thing with the 10-15 minutes I usually have before studies start after I've gotten ready for the day, this being because of follow-up calls in the evenings with the district leaders.  There are over 40 missionaries in our zone, so it makes for a lot to handle.  We have the responsibility for attending planning sessions, studies, doing exchanges with companionships that need some help, etc., and it's a big time commitment.  These last few days have been some of the most stressful and exhausting of my mission, which is saying something.  Still, I'm alive and loving the chance that I have to serve in greater capacity than ever.  I especially loved the Mission Leadership Council meeting I attended on Friday--it's with President and Sister Pilkington, the assistants, and all the zone leaders and sister training leaders from around the mission, and it made for an inspiring meeting.  We basically discuss various aspects of the mission that could use improvement or adjustment, and come up with plans and ideas to keep things headed in the right direction.  I've never been a part of such an important church meeting where I was able to give my own input, and watching the way the Spirit directed things was amazing.  I've never seen anything like it.  There were probably 20 of us in the room, with differing thoughts and opinions on how things could be done, and yet everything eventually came together on every point to create an inspired solution.  It was truly amazing, and I know with far greater understanding than ever before that the leadership of this church is led and directed by God.  This doesn't just happen in our mission, I'm certain, and takes place in profoundly greater and greater measure amongst the leadership of the church as a person considers further and further along the chain until the prophet and his personal communication with God Himself.

Though this week was packed with running to and fro to various meetings and so forth, we still had room for miracles.  For example, M and A made it to church from Doncaster yesterday, so they'll be having their baptism this Saturday!  That was awesome, and thank you so much for your prayers.  They were heard.  Plus, while we were helping out some members who live in city center, a couple guys walked in and we started talking to them.  It turns out they live in Doncaster and are really interested in our church; not only that, but they have a car, so it's possible for them to come to church.  That was good, and also we were able to schedule the grandson of our Elder's quorum president, who recently turned 8 and told us he wanted to be baptized.  He's been attending church for years already with his grandpa, so we asked his non-member parents for permission to teach him.  They said it would be ok, so V Jr. is now scheduled to be baptized just after Christmas!  We've had some good lessons there already with him (in a mix of three languages: Roma, Slovak, and English) that have kept him entertained at the same time as teaching him the basics, so he's doing really well.  Also, Elders Williams and Pohorelicky had a fantastic baptism this weekend, and it was a beautiful experience for everyone there.  His confirmation at church also touched many people (including him), and made sacrament meeting that much better.

I'm excited for the coming week, and I'm grateful for your constant support through prayer, letters, and love.  You are the best parents ever, and I can't tell you that enough.  Love you lots!

Elder Brown

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