Sunday, February 22, 2015

Big News . . . TRANSFERS . . .

February 22, 2015

Dear Family,

Congratulations on all that you were able to accomplish this week!!  Seems like lots is going on for you.  It was cool to hear about the things for school!!  Hard to believe that I have been gone almost two full school years.  It hadn't really hit me until Dylan started talking about all of his classes, and saying that he was finishing up some end of year testing!  Time sure does fly by.

So this week was just packed full of Zone Conferences, and let me tell you, it was sooo busy!!  We had a meeting every day, Monday through Friday, from 9 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon.  That doesn't even count the preparation for it all!!  We were there on average at 7:30, so on the day we left for Azua we had to be out the door at 6:15, so I woke up at 4 in order to be able to work out and get everything prepared that we needed to do.  It took a real toll because I was the one who had to do all of the driving, which, I am not sure why, really takes a lot out of a person.  I was exhausted by the end of the week!

The topic of the Zone Conference was all about baptism.  We talked a lot about how to help someone commit to be baptized, as well as about covenants and the importance of keeping covenants. It was awesome to be able to learn about all of those, and to be able to teach.  It is always interesting to see how people respond to being taught.  I was able to see lots of different styles of how people accepted being taught in the conferences.  There were some people who were very engaged, taking notes and participating.  There were others who were listening, but passively.  Then there were others who were just not listening at all.  For me it had a big impact to see these different styles of accepting the teaching that was being given.  The ones who WANTED to get something out of the conference were the ones who learned.  It is not like we were teaching anything radical that no one knew...  In fact, I assume that the majority of the people knew exactly what we were talking about and understood it fairly well before hand.  It all just has to do with the willingness to learn and to seek out new things that we can apply to the mission and life.  Over all though, it was a really good conference. My main participation in the conferences were a little teaching practice and the acrostic that I made up about "Ser GENIOS".  My companion and I taught the doctrine in D&C 20, especially verse 37 when it talks about the requisites to be baptized.  We were able to teach that each and every part of that is important, and that we cannot overlook any part.  The people who get baptized are the people who are committed to living the principles that are found there.  My other teaching moment went really well, and I was very happy with how it went.  I know have taught it five different times in five different meetings, so I guess that I am pretty used to teaching that!  Any way, everything went well.

I guess that my big news is that I am getting released from being the Assistant to the President at the end of this transfer.  The president told me on Friday night, and I will begin the process of training my replacement, Elder Merrell, on Tuesday of this week.  That will be really good.  The president talked to me a lot about the leadership role that I have had in the mission, thanked me, and told me what he appreciated about me, which made me feel really good, and was something that I really needed.  He talked about putting me as a Zone Leader, to try to do the same things that we are doing as the assistants while also infecting a zone with my work ethic.  I guess we will see how it all goes. I have very mixed feelings, but I think that it is time to get back out there.

The most important things that I have learned here in the office are patience, organization, and time management.  They were things that I already knew fairly well before, but it was amazing how much more was required at this level.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been the assistant to the president these last 5 months, and I am very excited to find out where I will be going next.  At the same time, it is a little sad because I know that I will be heading to my final area in the mission, and there is still so much to do!!

I hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Garrett McEwan

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