Monday, November 9, 2015

First Mission Presidents Seminar

This past week we attended our first Mission Presidents Seminar in Omaha, Nebraska.  It was fun to be back in the states!  25 Mission Presidents and their wives from the North America Central Region all gathered together along with Elder Craig Christensen, Elder James Martino and Elder Wilferd Andersen of the Seventy and their wives.  We all arrived on Thursday evening where we had dinner together and visited and met everyone.  Then on Friday morning we our seminar began at 8:30 a.m. where we were taught and instructed by our General Authorities.  We also were able to have a lot of group participation and interaction, which was so great, because we could learn from each other.  At noon we had lunch together and then we left on a tour of the Winter Quarters Cemetery and the Winter Quarters Visitors center.  This was really neat...Winter Quarters is where the Saints gathered after being forced out of Nauvoo.  They built very small log cabins to live in to get them through the winter.  They lived right by the banks of the Missouri river.   We were able to go in a replica of a log cabin- and they were tiny-but they kept them out of the elements.  There was about 9 miles of homes built in Winter Quarters.  The cemetery was a very sacred spot.  About 369 saints died while in Winter Quarters--so you really feel you are on hallowed ground.  In the Visitor center they have the actual headstone of one of the graves.  It was for a mom, Amy Sumner Porter and her two little boys.
It really made you stop to think about what these pioneers went through.  I thought about my girls with their little boys, and thought about what it would be like to lose them--I can't imagine it.
Following the visitors center tour we all were able to go on an endowment session in the Winter Quarters Temple.  That was really special to be in there with all of these wonderful people.  It was just a really special experience for us.  The temple was beautiful and you also felt the sacredness of its location- knowing that many Saints had lost their lives in this area as they were trying to go west to the Salt Lake Valley.
We loved what we were taught in our seminar...we talked so much about building the faith of our missionaries and helping them to gain a greater understanding of the Savior and His atonement and love for them.  If we can help their testimonies grow and become firmly planted in Christ then everything else will fall into place..obedience, hard work, baptisms, etc.  As they come to love the Savior then they will naturally want to do those things that please Him.
We are so grateful for this wonderful gospel and to be able to share our testimony with others about our Savior and His atonement.  We know He lives and loves each one of us and that He gave His life for each of us so that we might be able to live again as eternal families with our Heavenly Father.
We know that following Jesus Christ is the true way to happiness.  We love this gospel and are so grateful for the peace and guidance it gives us in our lives.
I believe winter has now come to Canada.  We woke up this morning to snow coming down and it has continued all day long.  We had to drive the two hours to Lethbridge tonight for a baptismal interview and the further south we got the more it stuck on the road.  It has stayed about 32 degrees all day and is  supposed to get down to 21 tonight (which is about -6 celsius).  I'm still trying to figure out the celsius stuff!
After attending a Zone training meeting tomorrow morning we will head back to Calgary to prepare for our upcoming zone conferences that begin on Thursday.  Never a dull moment on a mission!

Winter Quarters Temple

Bronze pioneer statue

This beautiful statue depicts a husband & wife who had to bury their baby-the cloak around them represents the love of the Savior for them

Dad coming out of the log house replica

The original grave marker of Amy Sumner Porter and her little boys

Painting depicting Winters Quarters

Me with Sister Gardiner of the Omaha Nebraska Mission- we knew  each other before our missions--we were in training together, so it was fun to see each other again!

The Canadians!  Us with President & Sister Manion of the Edmonton Mission, and President & Sister Craig of the Winnipeg Mission.

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