Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lance attends "The New Zealand Embassy concert celebrating an anniversary for strong Polish and New Zealand relations"

Last week was pretty eventful for Lance!

He begins his recording by filling us in on the the weather, which has been raining and cold. But it didn't deter them from teaching lots of lessons. They use the buses, trams, and metros to get around and he enjoys sharing the gospel while traveling. The people are a bit surprised when he starts up a conversation, but for the most part, the people are polite.

Lance was invited to attend the New Zealand Embassy concert with another elder in Old Town, Warsaw, by a renowned violist from BYU. The concert was to celebrate strong New Zealand relations with Poland. The concert included ambassadors from New Zealand, Malaysia, Russia, Argentina, and Poland. He said it was a little intimidating when they first walked in because it seemed so "high class", but they were able to talk to everyone and represent the church well.
The violist from BYU emailed me to let me know how she felt about the experience. She said that both Lance and his companion represented the church "with poise and grace". Lance was very impressed by her and asked me to send her his CDs.
They were able to mingle with the ambassadors and the musicians. She points out that the Elders' ability to speak Polish so well impressed everyone, especially the pianist who commented on how beautifully they spoke. Most of those in attendance had never interacted with LDS missionaries or Mormons, so the missionaries left a strong positive impression. She received many authentic questions about the church afterwards.

A professor emeritus of viola and a founding member of the International Viola Society
Two of the concert artists
The concert artists being introduced by the New Zealand ambassador to Poland
The picture on the wall is of Poland's own Chopin

Lance LOVED the music, which he said was very Baroque/Medieval/Renaissance/Old World. The Polish violist played a song that Lance says was a perfect musical description of Poland..."It was the best song I've ever heard!" He had some great conversations and received some good advice on music and schooling. They all left a lasting impression on him. He ended the night by sharing the Gospel with the taxi driver and presenting him with a Book of Mormon!

This week's spiritual thought Lance shares is on talents. We all have God given talents and gifts...and with these talents, we can build the Kingdom of God, as well as creating a happy life for ourselves. He says that if you're not sure what your talents are, then prayerfully ask, "What am I good at?" I would like to add that we can ask ourselves, "Where are my passions? What makes me enthusiastic?"

Through prayer, self examination, and desire, we will discover what we are good at, even if we don't recognize it as a talent at first.

We must be ready to commit our time and effort toward fully developing these talents. Have faith that God will help us and have faith in ourselves that we can achieve whatever it is we honestly desire. We will attain the abilities we need for our desired talents!

Then we should act on these talents. Use them everyday, exercise them in your own behalf and on the behalf of others. Sharing with others is a great way to cultivate those talents. The main point he emphasizes is to pray for what we want to gain/achieve/accomplish...and it will show up for us.

Lance uses the example of Lehi, a prophet of the Book of Mormon. In 1 Nephi, Lehi is describes as a "visionary man". Not that he's unrealistic, but he has a goal. His gift/talent is that he is a prophet. He has a vision from God and desires to make it happen. He sees this as a worthy goal.

He closes his recording by extending his love to all his family and friends.

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