Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 34: One week at a time

There have been a lot of changes announced. The missionary age was lowered. More missions are being made. It's a great time to be out doing the work! There are a few more specific changes that will affect me and the rest of the IBM.
One of the smaller and more immediate changes is the splitting of the area that I'm in. I'm still here in Wendell(3134 S 1900 E Wendell, ID 83355). We've covered the entire stake for the past who knows how long. It can be hard at times because you can only spend 2 days in each town each week. At the end of March, we're getting 29 new missionaries, so the area is likely going to be split with me going to one side and my companion going to the other. Right now we're working on making sure there is lots of work to do when the area is split by finding a bunch of people.
A much bigger change coming up is the split of the mission into 3 separate missions(with 3 new mission presidents)! The Idaho Boise Mission will be split into the Idaho Nampa Mission(on the west with President Stuart and Sister Elaine Cannon), the Idaho Boise Mission(in the middle with President John and Sister Arliss Winder), and the Idaho Twin Falls Mission(on the east with President Glen and Sister Nancy Curtis). This will go down on July 1st. Nobody knows where they will end up. We've been told that the speculation is that we will stay in whichever mission would include the area we are serving in at the time. I'm kind of glad I came out when I did. I'll be hitting my half way point just around that time, so I get to spend half of my mission life one way with President Cannon and the other half some other way. Hopefully these two semibig changes make the title clear. We've got to take each week as it comes and not focus on 16 weeks from now like a lot of us want to. We're all anxious to find out our fate. It's very similar to waiting for the original mission call.
This weekend we had another baptism. This was for Shyanne Bruhn. She's a 10 year old that has family members that are part of the church. Their example helped her reach the decision that she wanted to be baptized. People keep saying it because it's true: The Lord is hastening His work!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Week 33: The most intimidati​ng sacrament meeting I've been to

Church yesterday was pretty cool. I'm going to need you to use your imagination here for a minute. Picture 14 men in suits all sitting up on the stand. No, none were apostles, but still! We had the bishopric(3), the stake presidency(3), a high councilman(1), us missionaries(4), President McCurdy of our mission presidency(1), plus Elder Allen, the area 70, and an associate(2). All four of us missionaries got to stand up and bear our testimonies before Elder Allen spoke to the congregation. I used Moses 7:18 for my 2 minute thought. We need to unite-have one heart and one mind for good. As we do this, our focus will change to match the focus of the Savior.
We also had a baptism this weekend! We met Sam Funkhouser when I first came to Wendell. With the holidays and basketball, we weren't able to meet up with him again until a few weeks ago. He had a desire the whole time. He'd come to church, but he also had school, family, and sports. When you've got a town of less than 1000, you need every athlete you can get, and he is one of the better ones.
Today is transfer day. Elder Bingham is headed to Kimberly while I stay in Wendell and get Elder Shumway from AZ(?) as my new companion. That is fine by me because we've got a baptism this weekend, an eternal investigator who actually committed to baptism yesterday after a visit with President McCurdy, a lot of part member families to visit, as well as referrals galore. This is going to be a busy week.
You be sure to have a good day!
Elder Mann

Once a week, we get together with the other missionaries in the area for a district meeting. We help each other learn and grow by sharing some of our experience from what we have learned thus far. To keep it from being boring, we always play a game near the beginning to check our skills/knowledge. This time, Elder McDonald was in charge. He pulled out one of the 100 scripture mastery cards. He would say the key words or scripture reference and you had to give the other. Each correct answer was worth 2 points. By the end of the game, the score was Me: 40 to Everyone Else: 20.(We didn't go through all of the scriptures because of the unfairness of the game.) Needless to say, I had good seminary teachers

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 31:A few extremes makes for a great week

When I say extreme, it's really only extreme in my mind. I got to go to a really cool place, plus I got to listen to a really cool person.
Dinner on Wednesday was down inside a canyon. The guy works for 'parks and rec' and lives in a home that was made for those who work at the park(Malad Gorge). There are about 170 acres of beautiful outdoors that we are free to roam on(on P-Day). Eventually(when I don't have dry cleaning that needs picking up or hair that needs to be cut), we'll go out there, and I'll take some awesome pictures in the peaceful wilderness nestled in the canyon.
Saturday we got to go to Twin Falls and listen to Elder Jeffrey R Holland and President Tad R Callister of the presidency of the 70. Their main subject was being converted and committed. I have a full page of notes that would take too long to copy. If you would like to get a copy of them and an explanation of what the notes mean, you can email me( or write me at the Wendell address:
Elder Soren Mann
3134 S 1900 E B
Wendell, ID 83355
or the mission office
Elder Soren Mann
Idaho Boise Mission
1111 S Cole Road
Boise, ID 83709
What I will comment on is the "unspectacularnous" of their speaking(how natural they were). They weren't all high and mighty or even super solemn and ...something that goes along with that. President Callister used a whiteboard! He drew pictures and used bullets and things that regular people do! Elder Holland walked through the audience with his hands in his pockets, occasionally pausing to put his hand on a shoulder or run his fingers through someone's hair. He was close and a part of us. He wasn't some super special guy. Just like the scriptures say(paraphrasing) "let him that his greatest among you be your servant."