September 29, 2019 - We were well fed at our Zone Conference this last week. We have the privilege to gather every six weeks with our Mission President and be lovingly trained and invited to continue to change our lives for the better. President Vest always takes time to do what he calls "Doctrinal Training". This Zone Conference was about being devout disciples.

Look who we found at Zone Conference! Sister Black who served with us in Massena with Sisters White & Weaver. (And that's Sister Chanipo sneaking in the picture in the background. She was in our Potsdam District serving in Canton.)
Zone Conference: Sister Eloff (2nd from the left - served in Canton in our District), Sister Black in the middle, Sister Fairbanks (2nd from the right - served in Canton in our District) who is going home at the end of this transfer.

President Vest taught us the Key Qualities of a true disciple of Christ:
1. True disciples repent.
We make mistakes, the key is to repent speedily.
D&C 109:21 Dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple
Repent speedily - as fast as you can.  In your marriage, be the first to say I'm sorry.
Alma 30:57, 58 After Korihor came.
People needed to speedily repent - In verse 58 we see the people were all converted again. We can be converted again. Life is about being converted over and over and over again. We should eat the fruit every single day, not just at the end of our lives.
Alma 5:56 Alma teaching the people.
...except they speedily repent. When we do, the atonement of Jesus Christ immediately comes into effect. We need to be pros at repenting.
Repenting isn't just changing something--it's changing your heart.
2. True disciples strive to obey with exactness.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
True devoted discipleship is all about willing obedience.
3. True disciples are urgent.
Acts 8:26 Arose and went. Ran thither.
Helaman 10:11-12 Did stop and did not go to his house, but went to the multitudes.
Look for ways to be urgent. On his mission, President Vest packed a lunch and ate in the park - they didn't go back to their apartment which can be very distracting at times. They were out where they could be seen and find the elect.
Alma 8:18 Alma just left Ammonihah and the angel said, go back. He went speedily.
Our prophet President Russell M Nelson has said, time is running out.
Simon, James, Andrew and John left their nets straightway.
President Vest concluded by quoting President Nelson from his recent devotional:
You already know this. You have sung about it ever since you were toddlers. But let me clarify a distinguishing characteristic about your identity. You are the children who God chose to be part of His battalion during this great climax in the longstanding battle between good and evil—between truth and error.
I would not be surprised if, when the veil is lifted in the next life, we learn that you actually pled with our Heavenly Father to be reserved for now. I would not be surprised to learn that pre-mortally, you loved the Lord so much that you promised to defend His name and gospel during this world’s tumultuous winding up scenes. One thing is certain: You are of the House of Israel and you have been sent here to help gather God’s elect.

We're lining up for our Hurrah for Israel shout at the end of Zone Conference. Sister Vest is taking pictures to put on Instagram for all of the missionaries parents.
President Vest - Let's get the Hurrah for Israel Shout going - we've got to be on our way - five minutes from Amen - we are URGENT missionaries!!!!
New Tires for the Toyota Highlander - we have a saying, If we give them a ride, they will come! The members of the Branch are good, faithful, humble people, but many of them don't have cars, so we do give a lot of rides.
We bought our Toyota Highlander on December 6, 2018 and it had 30,276 miles. We replaced the tires on September 23, 2019 and it had 64, 476 miles. In 9 1/2 months we have traveled 34,200 miles - that averages out to be 3,600 miles a month!!! Ask us if we feel needed!
Chris and Everette have started a little painting company. We helped them make a sign to put in front of the house to help spread the word. They are just starting to paint this home.
I helped them make a simple Business Card. If you need a home painted in Spokane that's 2,454 miles away, so they probably can't help you!
The Canadian Geese rule the air AND the streets. Notice the next group of Geese gathering to cross the street. They waited until we drove by to cross.
Karen spent hours and hours and hours helping a few of the Branch youth to sign up for Seminary. It was beyond complicated and it miracle that any of them actually got enrolled. Can you say NOT user friendly?
We were on our way to drop off birthday cupcakes to Janet - one of our faithful Branch members - and we saw a ship sailing by in their neighborhood. They live right on the water a few blocks from here.
Young Women, starting on the left: Brandi, Karen, Carlena, Carrie, Sisters Penrod & Wiese and Alexia. The Sisters come when they can and give a short inspirational message to the Young Women and then off they go to their other appointments. The Sisters are such a good influence on these special young women.
Karen was helping the Young Women do Family History Research. Then two of the young women stayed for the weekly virtual seminary lesson taught by Brother Tenace from Potsdam.
Bible Study every Friday at 4pm at the Church: Prophets of the Old Testament
We studied about Noah this week. From the right: John, Sisters Jones & Penrod, Michael, Marilyn, Karen C, Tim's hands, & Karen.
Sisters Penrod and Jones. Sister Jones was on Exchanges here in Massena. Sister Wiese was in Lake Placid working.
Karen got to drive the Sisters to Lake Placid to make the Exchange. The trees are turning and are so beautiful. It's almost a 2 hour drive one way. (Remember all those miles we put on our Toyota Highlander?)
More beautiful trees - it's definitely fall.
Lake Placid - notice all the smashed bugs on the windshield - there is NOT a shortage of bugs. As you can see Karen found a bunch of them on her drive over to Lake Placid. Oh yeah, then Karen and I drove back the next day to Lake Saranac to switch everyone back. (Remember the miles on our...)
Branch Service Project finishing up the roof on Karen C's home. Michael (our Elder's Quorum President) and Karen helping out on the ground along with the supervisor who took this picture (that would be me).
Dick (member of our Branch Presidency and Branch Missionary) getting things organized on ground with Michael.
President Chapman - a good old farmer who knows how to fix everything leading the way on the roof.
Dale (a great friend of the Branch who is currently meeting with the Sisters), President Chapman and Dick. We got all finished up and ready for the winter. Karen C fed everyone lunch and expressed her profound gratitude to all. What a great project.
Nature Center - the Nature Nuts studied apples this week. They cut the apples and put them on plates with different colored poster paint. The kids were able to stamp the apples and make fun designs on paper.
Carlena showed up to church with no shoes! She doesn't like shoes - she didn't forget them!!!
Sister Wiese and Carlena practicing their song, Gethsemane, that they later sang in Sacrament Meeting. It was beautiful - they did a great job. The Cheez-It crackers box is in the picture on purpose. Quite often, branch member John brings Cheez-It's to church and gives away a box to someone.
Betsy was the accompanist for the song and did a great job - lots of talent here. And she claimed the box of Cheez-Its!

The Book of Mormon: The great tool of conversion. The Sisters showed this video at Shake Night: The Book of Mormon A Divine Gift.

Draw your own conclusion! I might add, if "they" read it AND "they" pray about it, we probably WILL get them - because we believe every person can find out for themselves about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. See Moroni 10:3-5

Another busy week in Paradise: Non-pictured service: Went to the rescue - Cecil and Barbara had a flat tire. Fed the Sisters. District Council in Potsdam. Downloaded Children and Youth Video to show during second hour of church on Sunday. Tested equipment at church, LCD projector was older and needed cables I didn't have - decided to show on the big TV at the church. Week 2 Gathering for BYU PathwayConnect - another great Gathering. Made a Hospice Volunteer visit to the nursing home on Saturday...sad to report that the patient passed away on Sunday. Piano Lessons. Missionary Coordination Meeting - we have 3 Branch Missionaries, a young set of sisters and an old Senior Couple (that would be us). And lots of visits.