These pictures were from a couple of weeks ago...
Hey family! So for this week we had zone conference! As well as district conference in the same weekend so it was pretty chaotic as well as a lot of biking to get from place to place. It was amazing though. We had a member of the Seventy attend our zone conference. His name is Hugo E. Martinez. He gave a talk in the October conference in Spanish. Don't worry...he spoke English to us during the zone conference. Funny moment of the weekend is the zone leaders needed to come by to drop off some supplies we needed and they told us that they were having a difficult time getting Martinez a room in the Marriot so they were debating whether or not to have him stay in our apartment. Needless to say, we spent a little bit of time cleaning up that night. The next day the zone leaders told us they were just joking about Elder Martinez needing to sleep at our apartment. We all had a good laugh.
The Bakers also gave a class on bikes. Something our area is surely in need of.
I really enjoyed zone conference. We talked about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Which was also the topic of conversation for my interview with President Egbert. We talked about what it means in the Bible when it says we become new creatures, and what it takes to do that. I always enjoy my interview with the mission president. Both President Egbert and President Mehr were really in tune with the Spirit. It was always awesome.
Elder and Sister Martinez talked about becoming full-purpose missionaries. It basically helped us all to understand how important eternal families are, which is what really influenced Sister Martinez to join the church. It was really cool when I talked with the both of them one on one for just a couple of minutes. They both are in the medical field and so I asked them about how that was. Elder Martinez explained that the years go by fast and how medicine was an amazing way to serve. He encouraged me to go for it, and to follow the Spirit and search for the will of the Lord. Pretty cool!
I think the thought that I'll share in detail from this past weekend is something that Elder Martinez explained in the priesthood session of district conference. We talked about the worth of souls as well as the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. He shared with us what the three different parables represented.
1. The lost sheep: The lost sheep is the one that wanders off on their own, they fall away from activity in the gospel and in the church. So, we go looking for them, and when we have found them, we invite them back, and we help them in that process.
2. The lost coin: The lost coin is the one we offend and so they fall into inactivity. Elder Martinez shared a story about how he had offended a member serving as a stake president and when he went back to see him, he just simply said sorry. He didn't give excuses, or say he didn't mean it, he just said he was sorry. Then the member came back and was active again.
3. The prodigal son: The prodigal son is the member that starts coming back all on their own. When they come back we embrace them and welcome them back. We don't ask what happened while they were gone, because that is the job of the bishop. We just do our best to help them feel welcome and loved.
I had never heard that explanation before and it stuck out to me quite a bit this past weekend. I really liked that explanation.
There were so many cool things said this past weekend. I barely had time to write them all down while I was there, let alone to write them to you guys this week. But I really felt the Spirit. It was an awesome weekend, even though we barely knew how our schedule was going to work out.
It was awesome to hear from you guys! Hope you have an amazing week!
Elder Cole Cooper
P.S I loved the package you guys sent me. Thank you so much for the shirts, as well as the so called camel piñata. Haha. I thought it was pretty funny. Please tell Grammy, Pop Pops, Celeste and Maddy thank you!!! I love and miss them. I was wondering if in the next package you could send those v5 roller ball pens that you sent last time? I think Grammy was the one that sent it last time. They were black, red, green, and blue. Thank you so much! Love you guys!