We are constantly being asked to do things without warning—but not really without preparation. We have continual recourse to the preparation that our 50 and 60 years of experience in the Church have given us. And Ellen’s broken foot has kept us a little closer to home the past few weeks, so we’ve had extra time for study and preparation. Here’s how it works:
Ellen: This week I read all of Matthew and Mark and got a good start on the other gospels in Spanish. It was both good practice with Spanish comprehension and a feast on the wonderful basic stories of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Saturday afternoon we went to a baptismal service, and, just before the program, the mission leader found that one of the speakers was not there. I was asked to give a talk on the subject of baptism. I had just read and underlined John the Baptist’s invitation for men to be baptized for forgiveness of their sins, Jesus’s example of being baptized, and Jesus’s explanation to Nicodemus that a man must be born of water and of the spirit to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. I felt completely prepared to stand and give a talk about these basic principles.
Frank: I have noticed that when people give assignments, they don’t really explain why and how the work is to be done. I prepared some training on the way to issue callings, and how to involve new members effectively in church activity. In the branch council meetings I offered to give some suggestions. After a quick consultation, and checking of busy schedules, they all said, “can you give us the training now?” This has happened twice already! On Sunday I figured out how to describe the process of transitioning from the full-time (young) missionaries (characterized by frequent visits and lots of attention) to being a member of the church (fewer visits by the missionaries and lots of expectations for church activity). Yesterday afternoon they asked me to present training on Tuesday! As Ellen says, 50 and 60 years of experience help a lot. I’ve also mentioned the saying among consultants that “anybody more than 50 miles from home is an expert,” so that makes me a “super expert”, right?