Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Zone Conference- Arlington

 It use to be that Zone Conferences consisted of all of the Zones coming together divided into three days. President Ames made a change to hold zone conference by their individual zone and only combine the zones in the areas in which they served.  He wanted to be able to look into their eyes and converse with one another. Sometimes when the groups are too large, its hard to connect and reach all those present.  Its much more personable and though it takes more effort on our part, it really is worth it.  It also use to be that the two assistants to the president would travel with and be the ones to set up, organize etc. but now President Ames had the zone leaders and the Sister Trainer Leaders organize it.  Its their zone that they have responsibility for after all, and they have all done an amazing job.
 As a missionary, you are asked to do a lot of things.  For example, our missionaries are counseled that obedience brings blessing but exact obedience brings miracles.  It doesn't take long for them to see that this is so very true.  They are counseled to pray without ceasing, to study and search the scriptures, to fast with real intent and are encouraged to fast once a month.  They are counseled to love as the Savior loves, to find, teach, baptize and retain those who are searching for more and don't know where to begin.  To help those who are searching attend church, pray and read the scriptures. Our missionaries are asked to study every morning for one hour and then study with their companion for another hour.  If they are learning a new language, to study their language skills for yet another hour.  They are organized and plan every night and on Thursday nights do a 10 day plan.  They are asked to be in bed by 10:30 and to be up by 6:30 to exercise.  They talk to everyone they see and meet and invite according to their needs. They go on exchanges, where they are with their leaders for 24 hours and evaluate, learn and develop skills by role playing and practicing. They work with the members of their ward, taking member referrals and helping them bring their friends, family and others into the church.  Our missionaries invite and teach others to come unto Christ, by helping them learn and receive the restored Gospel by learning and believing in Jesus Christ and His atonement, by helping them improve their lives and change bad habits into good habits, improving all the areas of their life, by getting baptized, demonstrating their commitment. By receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by those having the authority, and having that gift lead them in the many areas of life.  

As our missionaries are asked to do all these things, it can be easy to forget just what the focus is?  Is it to work with members? To plan and organize? To go on quality exchanges? President Ames demonstrated, that its ALL of them and they can all be done at the same time.  Just like a golf swing, there are many things you have to remember and do at the same time and with enough practice, it can become muscle memory.  The missionaries have a 12 week training program, and by then, most of them are doing all the above and more.  Its miraculous and inspiring to see.

 For lunch the Stake Relief Society Presidents coordinate different wards to provide the yummiest of meals and treats.  The missionaries are always so very gracious and thankful.  To show their thanks, they sing to them.

Cleanest companion car award/certificate.
Cleanest cars/zone traveling trophy 

 29 Day Challenge Certificate
"In all of living have much fun and laughter, life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured".~ President Hinkley