Well I'm glad you have all been enjoying conference so much, and spending time with Grandma and Grandpa. It's also nice to hear that you've been able to have a nice little break this past weekend, and another one coming up here soon as well. I hope Grandma and Grandpa Stevens are doing alright in the Hurricane, and that everything works out okay for them. Also glad to hear all the kids are doing great in school, and I guess it sounds like I might be entering a nerf warzone when I get home! I'll have to prepare myself a little, or I might have everyone blowing me away with Nerf Bullets!
With Halloween coming up on us, I've found myself amazed again at just how fast time is going, It seems like I just barely had my birthday last week, and now all of a sudden it's Halloween! I have been noticing some halloween decorations showing up in some stores around here, but the other funny thing that I've come to love about the Philippines is that the Christmas seasons starts when we get into the "Ber" months. So beginning in September I occasionally here Christmas music playing, and as the weeks go on, it becomes more and more prominent. Also in a couple of our areas we've seen Christmas lights being set up, and sometimes even the little Christmas greetings signs hanging on doors and houses. So I've been even more confused, as in the stores they are just putting out the Halloween decorations, but the people are already moving on to Christmas! Just kind of cool to see people showing their appreciation for Christ, even though Christmas is a few months down the road still. Just another reason why the church is growing so much here.
To answer your question from last week, yea I thought it was pretty funny to that I was placed as the district leader for a bunch of sisters, although there are a decent amount of sisters in our mission (I think around 60). Although they have been awesome to work with so far as the one set of sisters are what are called "Sister Training Leaders" which help out with the rest of the sisters by going on exchanges and helping to better fulfill their callings better. So they are great, and the other set of sisters are fairly new in the mission, but they are pretty diligent and hard working as well. In our last district meeting I gave a workshop on how to have more effective studies, as I really enjoyed what President Ardern had to say when he was here about striving to be a well rounded gospel teacher. As it helps a ton in teaching people and resolving concerns and questions, if you can flip to something right in the scriptures. Also if someone is having a certain trial or struggle, there are a lot of times where stories from the scriptures can often relate quite well to people in certain situations. So I've really found a love for the scriptures since I've been out. So I just shared some of my experiences, one of which my companion and I in my previous area found an investigator and had a return appointment, but when we came back the second time, he had a Protestant Minister sitting in with him who also happened to have brought a decent amount of anti-mormon literature. So together they really put my scripture knowledge to the test, and sadly my companion couldn't help much as the minister was speaking english, and my companion at the time didn't understand a whole lot. So they allowed us to teach, and pretty much every doctrinal point the minister would butt in and challenge it. Luckily and definitely with some divine help I was able to answer most all of his questions or arguments, some he even eventually agreed on, but the thing he refused to believe no matter how many scriptures I had to back it up was about our eternal destiny and the opportunity that have have to become and eternal family, and really inherit all the God has. So in the end of the lesson, I felt grateful and confident that I had answered everything that he had to throw at us, but I still pondered in my mind about some of the questions that I may have answered better, or had a better scripture to reference. Granted in the end not every teaching appointment is there a minister from another religion sitting in on the lesson, but I've been really grateful for the knowledge that I do have of the scriptures and how there really is a lot more that we can learn and apply as we really study the scriptures.
Other than that, my companion and I are still doing great this week, I've been getting more and more adjusted my new callings, although the office still calls on me quite a bit for things, but they'll get it eventually.
Well I hope you all have a great week, and have taken some good messages from conference. I'm really looking forward to watching that this coming Saturday and Sunday, although our mission president did leak the surprise of who the new apostles are. My last companion who just went home just emailed me and said that he was able to go down and actually attend conference, and we were both talking about how awesome it is to still have continued revelation in our day, and to be able to see and hear it during conference. as well as our own personal revelation.
Love you lots,
Elder Chayce Campbell