Monday, April 13, 2015
I don't know where to begin. This week was incredible. We had a Zone conference with president on São Miguel, then the Azores district conference with all of the members on the islands broadcasted from São Miguel to our island, and then the baptism of Marco and José. And a million other things on top of that. There is nothing like the mission.
Okay, Zone conference first. We, the missionaries of Terceira Island flew over Thursday night to São Miguel Island to wake up Friday morning for our zone conference. My last zone conference of the mission. It was a great conference, President Fluckiger was there. I bore my "last testimony" (in a conference) of the mission, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Bearing testimony, of course, was easy, but knowing it was my last was horrible.
District Conference. It is like stake conference, but the Azores are a district of the mission, not a stake. Okay, we have been getting technologically ready for this for a long time. They would have the real meeting in São Miguel, but they would send the signal to us through the church's streaming system meaning it would go all the way to Salt Lake and then all the way back to us here on Terceira. If you get tech difficulties in the states with things like this every once in a while, just imagine doing it on islands in the middle of the ocean... yeah... not easy. Well, we had run lots of tests last week to check the system, and it was all working well. However, after the baptisms on Saturday we had a training session Saturday afternoon, and NOTHING was working... The internet was going berserk, the transmitting device was not functioning, everything was pretty bad... we ended up using a bad skype connection for the trainings. Well, after the training we had about 3 hours to try to fix everything up for the adult session that would start at six. It was nuts. We went crazy for 3 hours. It was nuts. Members from all over the the island were beginning to show up, and it was looking like it was going to work. Then something happened, and we couldn't get anything steady from São Miguel. Five minutes after the meeting was actually supposed to start President Fluckiger called and told us, "You are going to have to do your own meeting." When Elder Lesueur (A senior missionary who is a counselor in the district presidency) heard that, his jaw dropped and he looked for a moment as if he had no idea what to do. I said, "Elder, let’s have a five minute meeting." I grabbed the branch president, the other councilor (I’m the 2nd councilor in the branch presidency and 1st in the elders quorum, I think I forgot to tell you that) and the Young Men's president and we all went into the bishops office to have a speed meeting. We all of the sudden had a 2 hour meeting to plan. We started with a prayer. It was decided that Tiago would speak on the youth, President Cabral would speak on branch council meeting, President Alves would speak on the temple, and then Elder Lesueur looked at me and said, Elder Lee, "why don't you speak on missionary work?" That I can do.
He told me that I would speak first, and while I was speaking he would prepare the rest of the agenda. After five minutes we ran back into the sacrament room and started up the meeting. I stood up to speak, and the spirit just took me away. I think it was the best talk I've ever given. Furthermore, I think the meeting was the most spiritual meeting I'd ever been in. Halfway through the meeting Elder Lesueur leaned over to me and asked if I thought Marco, our recent convert of 5 hours that hadn't even been confirmed yet would be willing to bear a testimony. I went down and put my arm around Marco who was seated in the back and asked if he'd be willing. He accepted. His testimony was powerful. I was amazed. It was marvelous.
Fortunately Sunday we were able to get a picture and sound from São Miguel, so we got to relax and enjoy the meeting. We had 4 investigators there, one of which, Sandra, has awesome potential. So much is happening here!
Okay, I need to go. I love you all. I hope these next two weeks are the slowest two weeks of my life.
Love, Elder Lee