Lance is going to be a trainer this time around...and he is very excited about that! He says he hopes he can train the new elder well. He does feel confident that he is ready for the responsibility. He feels like he has learned a lot about the power of positivity and hopes he can impart some of that understanding to his new companion!
Yesterday, we in Utah (and other parts of the world) were able to watch a live broadcast of the missionary training titled, "Hastening the Work of Salvation". Though Lance wasn't able to watch it live, I'm certain they will get the opportunity soon to watch it online. It was a very inspirational program! As I have suspected for years now, the internet is going to be a huge tool in getting the Gospel out to the four corners of the world! Missionaries are going to start using the internet whenever possible to help spread the word.
If you would like to watch the replay yourself, please visit http://www.lds.org/training/wwlt/2013/hastening/a-new-vision?cid=HPL1P01W01031&lang=eng
Over the course of last week, I received three amazing emails regarding Lance. One was a response from an email I sent to Sister Nielson thanking them for their years of faithful and happy service in Poland...and for being wonderful to my son! In her response, she suggested my husband and I ought to be very proud of Lance and that he is faithful and diligent.
Later in the week, I received a surprise email from a man who lives in Salt Lake City. He and his wife were in the Denmark/Germany/Poland region to visit friends from the mission he served in Denmark 40 years ago. They were having lunch at a sidewalk cafe when they saw Lance and his companion walking by. He says, "We had a great experience meeting your sons. They are obviously outstanding missionaries who carry a great spirit with them." He says that they didn't have time to visit too long as the missionaries had an appointment to teach a lesson in the park. So they parted ways. Later, the man and wife again ran into Lance and his companion. He says, "As luck (or the Spirit) would have it, we ran into them a second time on a different street that happened to lead to their apartment." He shared that they had a great discussion about the challenges of missionary work in Poland and how to move it forward. He included this picture:
The last email I received this week regarding Lance was from his soon to be former mission president, President Nielson. Here is some of what he had to say about Lance: "I wanted to take a moment to let you know just how wonderful Elder Kotter is doing. You have every reason to be pleased, happy, and proud of your son. It is a real joy to have Elder Kotter in the Poland Warsaw mission. I know that the Lord called him here and that he is striving each and every day to be the missionary the Lord and you want him to become." How wonderful and comforting it is to know that my son is happy, faithful, and doing a great job!
I shared these emails with Lance and he said those were some awesome compliments! He is going to miss President and Sister Nielson, but knows that they will get to see each other again. Especially since they live in Las Vegas, which isn't too far away from us. He also remembered well the couple from Salt Lake City and thought they were wonderful.
Lance was excited to have two new investigators attend church yesterday. They met this "way nice lady" on the street earlier in the week and she said she had met the missionaries before, years earlier. She stated that she is interested in learning more. So she and her husband showed up for church. Lance gave a talk on the Atonement in sacrament meeting. He feels the Spirit was testifying strongly to everyone in the room of the beauty of the Atonement. Then in Sunday School, the topic was the Millennium, resurrection, and Spirit world. It was a great discussion and he could tell they were very excited to learn more. So the missionaries have plans to meet with them again later this week and they are planning on attending church again next Sunday. Lance says, "There truly are so many miracles left and right!"
His Chinese friend is leaving soon but Lance is confident she will do very well in China. He says he loves her and that she is very strong in the faith. He is very grateful to have had the opportunity to teach her. I know I have personally enjoyed reading her faithful posts on Facebook!
My husband shared a scripture with Lance: Ether 8 (see http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/8?lang=eng). That scripture references the "secret combinations" that have been on the Earth since Cain slew his brother Abel. Secret combinations are what I refer to in our modern day as conspiracies. And they're only conspiracy theories until they are shown to be conspiracy facts. In the meantime, we as Latter-day Saints believe that conspiring people are being inspired thru evil designs to thwart the Lord's plan. Though we all know that nothing of the adversary can win over righteousness, we are still painfully aware of what is being done to make mankind miserable. Lance had this to say concerning the scripture: "I know that we can be protected from evil in any form because we put our faith in something that will never fade away! Something that is eternal and we saints fight for something that satan does not...and that's our families, our freedom, our God, and our religion. We will always be strong and protected if we follow God and fight for what is right!"
Lance says he loves the story in Alma 46 (see http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/46?lang=eng). He says that verses 11-23 are his favorite because it shows the manner by how we should protect ourselves and swear to God that we will follow him and do what's right always. He also loves Captain Moroni's example in chapter 48 of Alma, verses 11-14. I would agree that the book of Alma is one of my absolute favorites!
Lance closes his email by thanking us for our inspiration and guidance. He says he takes his dad's advice by treating everyday as though it's his last...by living life to the fullest, everyday.
Here are some pictures from Sister Nielson's blog. I am so grateful for her work in keeping the blog up to date, even with all of her other responsibilities!
Zone conference in Bydgoszcz
The Szczecin District
Missionary Handbook study chase
Celebrating recent birthdays
The Nieslon's tradition of cutting a tie (or a scarf for sisters) to add to their collection
Holding up their donations