Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Phone Call Summary

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to say Merry Christmas from all of us.  I hope you have had a wonderful day celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Other than a stomach flu bug that we have had at our house the past 2 days, we had a great day.  Brock is in heaven with new Iron Man toys and Lego's, and a new bike. 

We were able to spend a lot of time on the phone with Jordan today.  I thought I'd just share some of his conversation with you.  He is so sweet, and spiritual.  He has really matured, and sounds so fluent and strong in the gospel. 

He said he has several investigator's  that are all lined up for baptism.  He said two of them should be baptized within the next 2 weeks, and then a few others after that.  One great story he told me was about a woman who is a member who asked them to come teach her non-member husband and 8 year old son.  They are the two who will be baptized in 2 weeks.  The father apparently had an accident at work that has left him with a slight learning disability, and has had a difficult time grasping all of the gospel concepts.  Jordan said he got the idea to have the father actually study and teach the 8 year old son the lessons.  The father got very excited, and because he has to study and learn the lessons to teach, it has really increased his retention and sped up his learning process.  He said it was pure inspiration to have him teach the son.  The father is so happy he and his son get to be baptized together.

As part of Jordan's Christmas package, I made a pan of chicken enchilada's and a pan of beef enchilada's.  I froze them and sent them overnight to Jordan.  He told me today that he was so happy to get them and they tasted so good.  He said that the investigators who are getting baptized are fairly low income.  He decided to take 1/2 of each pan of the enchilada's over to the investigator's home tonight for dinner.  I thought that was so great that Jordan was so thoughtful and willing to share his gift from home.  It also made me feel amazingly good to be feeding one of Jordan's investigators on Christmas night!! 
He said he is amazed at what is required of missionaries.  He has been put in many situations already where he has had to act as a counselor.  He is currently helping a couple that is living together but not married to get married so they can join the church.  They are really excited to be baptized, but can't until they get married.  He said they don't have much money, so Jordan and his companion are doing a lot to help them arrange the wedding.  He has had two investigator's give up smoking already, and one that had to give up drinking.  All of these are close to being baptized.   He said miracles are happening, and he is so happy to be a part of them.

He said the weather isn't bothering him too much.  He was standing outside in 18 degree weather for quite awhile during our conversation.  I asked him to explain the Kirtland Temple Zone Conference they had recently.  He got emotional and told me a wonderful story of the day.  He said first of all that the relationship between the owners of the Temple, and our church is friendly and workable because of years of befriending by President Gordon B. Hinkley.  Our church does still have to rent the building, but the church that owns it now is very friendly with the Mormon's and has allowed them to use the building on a few very special occasions such as Mission President conferences, and First Presidency Meetings etc.  He said President Monson is there frequently, and in fact had been there two weeks prior to their zone conference. 

This zone conference was unique in that it was the first of it's kind for the missionaries.  They were able to get very special permission from President Monson, as well as the owners of the Temple, to actually have the Sacrament administered during the meeting.  Jordan said that he got to the Temple in one of the first groups and sat near the front.  He was relishing in the Temple and feeling the thinness of the veil for quite some time.  He said he then turned around to see the whole room filled with suits and name badges of about 120 missionaries.  He said he was so moved to be in this special group.  They had several special speakers and the final one was his mission President.  Jordan said they came fasting and he personally had many questions that were very clearly and vividly answered there that day about his area, and the other Elder's he is working with. 
He told me another story about Kirtland that I thought I'd share also.  When he first arrived to Cleveland, the Mission President took the new missionaries on a tour of Kirtland.  They were fortunate enough to get the tour of Kirtland from the Kirtland Stake Patriarch --Carl Anderson.  He apparently is quite a historian about Kirtland.  Jordan said Carl Anderson is known to have every detail about everything that ever happened in church history in Kirtland memorized.  While they were in the Kirtland Temple, Carl Anderson asked the missionaries who in the room had ancestors with a history in Kirtland.  Jordan and a few others raised their hands.  Carl asked each of them to tell him who their ancestor was.  Thanks to Susan's inspiration and help prior to Jordan leaving on his mission, when Carl asked Jordan about his ancestor, he was able to tell him David Evans.  Carl Anderson knew David Evans' story very well, and went on to tell Jordan what a great man he was, and gave many details of his life.  Jordan felt so connected and happy to have the knowledge of his Great Grandfather's work in Kirtland.   

On this same tour while they were in the Revelation Room in the Newell K. Whitney store, Carl Anderson suddenly stopped his story and looked over to Jordan and asked what he was seeing and feeling at that very moment.  Jordan described how he was seeing Joseph Smith walking around the room touching each of the missionaries on the shoulder giving them a special blessing of comfort.  Patriarch Anderson said that he was seeing that exact same thing. 

Jordan is having some phenomenal miracles.  He is a leader already in his companionship.  They call him a "greenie breaker".  He's not a trainer, but the one right after the trainer that the new missionary goes to.  He said he is to break them of bad habits, or finish training in anything that hasn't been taught.  He said after Elder Saunders got injured and had to go home, they sent Elder Green in with Jordan.  He said they were both called "greenie breakers", and were to break each other.   He is now with a companion that is being "greenie broken".  He is still not getting along with the District Leader he is under, but has learned how to cope with him, and said "I salute him for his title and calling, but I don't like his behavior".  (Dad, he heard your advice and is applying it!)

He told me more about the day Elder Saunder's was injured.  He said he had been warning Elder Saunder's over and over that he as going to get hurt.  Apparently Elder Saunders refused to buckle the clip of his helmet.  Jordan said when Elder Saunder's crashed, he saw his helmet roll off and down the hill, and heard such thud of his head hitting the pavement that he was sure Elder Saunder's was dead.  He said he had been taught in the Mission Home by Sister Sorenson (the Mission President's wife - who is a nurse) what to do in the case of an accident.  He said he just knew what to do because she had told him when he first got to Cleveland.  I guess President Sorenson was kind of givingJordan a hard time for not forcing his companion to buckle his helmet (Remember that Elder Saunder's was Jordan's trainer).   Jordan explained to the President that he had warned Elder Saunder's to the point that it was becoming a conflict and interfering with their relationship and work. 
Jordan is learning a great deal about leadership, and about walking the fine line of getting along, while trying to follow all of the rules.  He sounds so humble and patient. 
Well, anyway...I could go on all night.  We actually talked 3 times today for a total of about 3 hours.  He is so sweet and loving.  I couldn't be more proud of him and the obedience he is showing.  We talked a lot about his joy and attitude for his missionary work.  He said he truly does love the work.  He takes every situation and finds joy in it.  He wasn't even homesick or sad that he is away for Christmas.  He sends his love to you all, and misses everyone.  He also said he appreciates and feels the love and support from every family member.  He was so grateful for all the packages and letters that family members sent.  He said to let you all know how grateful he is for you.
I would like to add to that by expressing my love and gratitude for all of your support and love for my family, and especially for your prayers and concern for our missionary.  I am missing you all greatly this Christmas Day!

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to are to share all these terrific details. I feel up lifted through the retelling of them. Jordon's hard work & determination were evedent before he was called to Ohio, but they seem so pivital as he serves & reaps the blessings. Bravo!