Sunday, September 13, 2015

Elder Martino's Visit

This past week we had the great blessing of having Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy come visit our mission and teach us and our missionaries.  It has just been a wonderful experience--I think Dad and I enjoyed it the most of all!  He was so personable, and so dynamic, and so fun, and so inspiring.
We learned so much from him.  We picked him up from the airport on Wednesday about noon and spent the whole afternoon with him as he just chatted and counseled with us about our mission and our missionaries.  We then had dinner here at the mission home and he and Steve and our assistants went out teaching for 3 hours, where they had great experiences.  Then on Thursday he held a special Zone Conference for all of our Calgary Zones--so about half of our mission.  That was a great day--he had asked Dad and I to both speak to our missionaries, and then he spent all the time instructing and working with them.  He did the same thing on Friday with all of our southern Alberta zones.  Each day Relief Society sisters prepared lunch for our huge groups -about 100 in each group.  We were so appreciative of their efforts--they are always so willing to help out.
Elder Martino focused much of his training on our missionaries working with the members to find investigators, and also less active members to bring back.  He also instructed us on how important it is for our missionaries to have the right member with them on all of their teaching visits because the right member will make all the difference for the person they are teaching.  He related the story of Alma and Amulek in the Book of Mormon and applied it to our missionaries.  It was really great.
His instruction went right along with our September training plan on member work, and working with the bishops, ward council and the members.  So, we are now more excited than ever to go implement everything we have been taught.  Our missionaries are excited about this, and we have even had Ward Mission Leaders, High Councilors over missionary work, and bishops tell us how enthused they are.  We feel like we are doing the Lord's will here and following President Monson's counsel to work closely with members.
After our Zone Conferences with Elder Martino were over we then had a Stake Conference in Lethbridge to attend with him.  He spent Saturday with the Stake President and Steve didn't have to be there until 4:00 for the priesthood meeting where he took part.  We then had a yummy dinner at 6:00 with the Stake President and his wife and some of the bishops and their wives prior to the evening session.   Elder Martino had told us previously that we probably would not speak on Saturday evening; so I was just going to sit back and really enjoy the meeting.  Then about 1 minute before it began, he came to me and said, 'I'd like you to speak for 5-7 minutes tonight.'  So, I gulped and said, 'ok!'  It ended up being a marvelous meeting, where we were able to listen to a recent young adult convert, a newly activated older gentleman and others.  And then to hear Elder Martino again.
On Sunday morning Steve was asked to speak for 5-7 minutes--and he did a wonderful job.  I still love hearing him talk- no matter how many times I have heard him.  He is a wonderful Mission President!  After Stake Conference was over we went to President Maclennan's home where his wife had fixed us box lunches for the road trip back to Calgary!  She was so sweet!  So we picked those up and took Elder Martino back to the airport to catch his flight. It was a great week for us--our first General Authority visit...and we loved it.  We will see Elder Martino again in November when we go to our annual Mission President's Seminar in Omaha, Nebraska. We will look forward to that.
We are so grateful for these wonderful men who have dedicated their lives to serve the Lord.  What a blessing they are to all of us.
This upcoming week we prepare for transfers!  Can't believe that time is almost here again!
Our Calgary Foothills Zone with Elder Martino- 3rd from the right on front row.

Our missionaries standing to sing a thank you song for the women who prepared their lunch

Our office staff--Elder & Sister Birch, Elder & Sister Shields, us, Elder Martino, Elder & Sister Sefcik,
Elder & Sister Peppinger- we love this group!


  1. Awesome week! I'm sure you did great speaking too! Love ya.

  2. What a great week! I enjoy reading about your experiences.

  3. Elder Martino is the one who called Curt to be YSA Stake President last year - he is GREAT. Fun coincidence.