We have discussed many things in these conferences, but the main theme Steve wanted to teach was for our missionaries to really know WHO they are...that they are disciples of Christ, who are given power and authority to preach his gospel, and that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly
Father and they have such divine potential. We have felt that as they come to really know this, deep in their hearts, that their desire to serve more effectively will grow, and that the things they look at as 'burdens' (like daily companion study, effective planning, etc.) will become easier for them because they will want to do it out of love for the Lord. Not because they have to do it. Each time he has taught this in our conferences there has been a great spirit there; and I can tell it has been something our missionaries have needed to hear.
We have also talked about the Christlike attribute of diligence, and the blessings that come from being diligent. We've had role plays on How to Introduce the Book of Mormon, and how to teach using the missionary pamphlets. We have also had some fun with acknowledging birthdays, and we play a game where I come with questions out of Preach My Gospel, The White Handbook, and the Scriptures--and the first one to answer gets to choose out of the basket of candy. It's really quite fun, and we always have a bonus last question. This time it was, "How many grandsons do President and Sister Miles have?" Today one elder, Elder Henry, guessed it right off the bat. Then Steve threw out another bonus question, and said, "How many dates did it take for me to kiss Sister Miles?" They about died when he asked it and they were throwing out responses like: 3rd! 4th!, and when he said, "First" they just laughed and couldn't believe it. I was just a tad embarrased-- ha ha!
The best part of zone conferences though are the testimony meetings we hold at the end. Each one of these have been so amazing. The spirit has been so strong and yet tender as these elders and sisters share their testimonies of our Savior and how His atonement is changing them. I love to listen to them share their feelings and testify of Christ. I love watching them grow in their faith, and also to hear the joy they have as they watch other people's lives change as they accept the gospel. To see a missionary more excited and worried about someone else's eternal future is quite a thing to witness.
It is such a joy to see the change in our missionaries as they go through the struggles and rigors of missionary life, and to see their testimonies deepen. You can tell that as they turn their lives over to God He is molding them into something wonderful! It is soooo amazing! I just love it.
I wish I could adequately express how much we love these missionaries, and worry about them!
We feel so badly when they are struggling, yet we also know that it is through their struggles they grow. It's when they have to dig deep that their relationship with Christ strengthens. We love these missionaries and just want them to know that we know the ONLY way to have true happiness in your life is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are so grateful to be part of this work.
Here are some pics from the various zone conferences!!
|Sister Pipkin, Sister Jones, Elder Abunuwara|
|Love our elders!|
|Loved this pic of all of them in their white shirts standing together.|
|Our cute sisters!|
|Great looking bunch of elders!|
|Our new senior couple- Elder and Sister Sonntagg|
They are going out to help in a tiny branch in Columbia Valley
|Elder Lee enjoying dessert at zone conference|
|Elders with their mail!|
|Elder Bailey getting goodies to take home from zone conference-|
was glad he took some veggies along with the desserts!