Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 32 "Oranges"

  Our week started off with zone confernce, which included a train ride to Paris and trainings by some of the mission leaders. After hearing trainings for three hours I was about to fall asleep in my chair.  I hadn't eaten much food in the last 12 hours, we didn't have time for breakfast and I started to have one of those lack of food mini-comas, ha. but the last training given by the president of our mission woke me back up and made a lasting impression. President Babin shared a talk by Randall L. Ridd, in which Ridd shared a story called the Parable of the Oranges.
Me and Elder Smith!
   He recounts the story of a man who worked hard to win an entry-level position in a good company.  When an opening came up for a better position, the man worked harder, putting in extra hours so his boss could see he wanted the posision.  To his dissapointment he didn't get the position; it was given to another employee who had worked for the company a mere 1/10th of the time the first employee had.  In rage, he went to his supervisor and asked for an explanation.  
   The supervisor agreed to answer the man, but asked him to do a favor first. The man hastily agreed, and his supervisor asked if he could run by the store to get some oranges for his wife.  He agreed and quickly returned with some oranges.  The supervisor asked him what kind of oranges he got and how much they cost, but the man didn't remember, since the supervisor just asked him to get some oranges.  
Foggy this Morning!
   Then the supevisor told the man to take a seat as he called in the employee who had won the position, and asked him to do the same task. He agreed and upon his return the boss asked him the same questions.  The second employee responded, "Well, I didn't know which ones to get, there were so many kinds, but then I remembered your wife needed them, so I called her.  She said she was making orange juice, so I asked the grocer what kind of oranges would be best, he said the Valencia oranges had the best juice, so I got those.  For how much they cost, I didn't know how many to get, so I called your wife again, and she said she was making the orange juice for twenty people, so I asked the grocer how many oranges I would need for that.  He said it would be a lot, but he gave me a good discount. I then dropped the oranges by your house and your wife was very happy.  Here is your money and your receipt."
   The first employee walked dejectedly out of the room and said to his supervisor, "I see what you mean".
Sacre Coeur
   So this story is really making me think about the 'why' of my actions a lot more.  Our mission President used the story to illustrate a push to act with 'real intent'.  We should do our best to go about the day having a real and purposeful intent behind every action. Otherwise we'll end up with a bunch of useless oranges like the first employee.  We should act as the second employer who bought oranges with the intent to serve his employer his very best. The better employee's effort involved a little more brain power and effort than the first, but his 'real intent' made his actions worthwhile.  As a missionary I've got to do the same thing, giving effort with real intent to serve God and help others improve their lives through the teachings of the Gospel.  I feel like as I do this and as we all apply this principle of real intent, we will have actions more filled with purpose, and be able to see real results, good ones too.  
My missionary planner
    Well as you all know this week we had Valentine's Day, and I had fun eating lunch at Pascal's house, and eating a hot mini donut with powdered sugar and nutella from the town carnival.  We found a new lady to teach this week and I hope we will see her soon.  We had a ward get together after church, and I am looking forward to getting to know the members better.  We had a cool experience yesterday after church.  An senior lady in the ward invited us over to teach an adolescent girl she was taking care of.  The girl said the had always felt the presence of someone with her her whole life, and Elder Smith and I felt good about telling her the feeling was God watching over her.  I feel happy when I get the opportunity to reach out to others as a missionary.  Things are well here.  There was the most beautiful sunset the night of Valentine's day, so cliche for France.  Stay positive, love you all!
  Elder Jamison Jones

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