Sunday, December 6, 2015

Historic stake conference

Today was the final session of the Calgary South Stake Conference; but it was a different session than  usual.  Today they formed a new stake in Calgary, which is historic!  For years there have been 6 stakes in the Calgary area, and today they created a 7th.  Elder Wilferd W. Andersen of the Seventy, along with our Area Seventy, Elder Larry Spackman were the presiding authorities.  They took wards from 5 of the stakes and created the new Bow River Stake--which we are now part of.  All of the wards affected stayed in tact, they were just put into the new stake.  They also renamed two of the other stakes--the Calgary East Stake is now the Confederation Park Stake, and the Calgary South Stake is now the Fish Creek Stake.  Also, the three YSA wards were affected and moved a bit.  I can't tell you what a huge thing this is...One stake (the east stake)just lost 1500 members!  Can you imagine that?  And it will now mean that we will create another zone in our mission.   Our zones have lined up with each stake.  For example, the Calgary West Zone served the Calgary West Stake, and so on.  Now we will make a new zone for the Bow River Stake, and will adjust the districts in it, according to how that stake is organized.  It will be better for our missionary work and we are excited about it.  As Elder Spackman announced the new changes, I could feel that this was divinely organized.  It just felt right.  We have known ahead of time because Steve had been invited to the meeting with all the Stake Presidents when it was formally presented to them, and because it affects our mission...but hearing it done today just confirmed that it was the way it should be.
It was a great stake conference.  Last night Steve and I spoke, along with a counselor in the Stake Presidency, (who is now the new Stake President of the Bow River Stake, President Thompson); and then a young single adult gal who shared her conversion story of a few years ago, and another YSA guy.  Then Elder Spackman and Elder Andersen spoke to us.  They were both so inspiring.  They really helped us to see that we can all be doing missionary work in our every day lives.  We needn't feel like we have to wait for the perfect moment, and worry about what we will say.  If we have a true desire to be more missionary  minded, and pray for it, the opportunities will come.
At the beginning of the week we attended a zone training meeting in the Calgary West zone, and it was such a great meeting planned and conducted by the zone leaders, Elder Adams and Elder Keith.
They both did great training, as well as the Sister Trainer leaders, Sisters Ovard and Larsen.  I was just so impressed with them...there was a great spirit there.  We love just showing up at these meetings and watching our missionaries teach one another.
That afternoon we held a meeting with all of our Spanish speaking missionaries.  They said this is the first time ever that the whole group has been assembled.  We discussed their challenges and needs, and also what is working and how we can improve.  Once again, we just loved being with them and trying to help them, and listening to their insights.  We brought them a bunch of Tim Horton donuts which they also loved!  Tim Horton's Restaurants are ALL over Canada--and they have the best donuts ever.  I try not to eat any--but every once in a while we break down and have one.  The missionaries always love them!
On Wednesday I had a unique day--I was at home in the  mission home ALL day long.  That is the first time in over 5 months that has happened.  I was busy doing many things; but I never left the house.  It was kind of weird!  And Steve only left once to go get the windshield in our car replaced.
On Thursday Steve went and did a weekly planning session with two elders and when he got back he said it was so much fun with them--and the elders were so excited to go forward the whole next week with everything planned out.  We saw those two elders last night at the stake conference meeting and they said to Steve, 'anytime you wanna come on a 3 leg with us you can come!'  Steve said there was just such a great feeling as they met and as he taught these young elders how to plan.
We love our missionaries, but we have realized because they are young they do need help learning HOW to plan, and HOW to teach, etc.  They have the desire to do it; but sometimes just don't quite know how.  And once they begin really learning, and get it--they are so excited.  It is really fun to watch!
On Friday we had our 'Retrainers Meeting', where all of our newest missionaries (who have only been here for 5 weeks) and their trainers come and we discuss how they are doing.  It was also a great meeting--we had such a good discussion with them. We are trying to stress the importance of unity-and being there for each other--through good and bad.  If there is ever a place where someone should feel they have friends, it should be on their mission.  And we teach that friends help each other--even if that help means talking to them about something that is hindering the work and is inappropriate.  Many times that conversation, when done in love, can be the thing that turns them in the right direction.
So, we have had a wonderful week.  This next week coming up is our week before transfers--so Steve is trying to determine who will go where and with whom for the upcoming transfer on Dec. 17.
This is such great work.  We are still so humbled by it.

Calgary West Zone Training meeting- Elder Keith at the board

Sisters Palmer, Dean, Smartt and Jensen doing role plays

Elders Hewlett and Varble doing role plays with Elders Abunuwara and Fong

Our whole group of Spanish speaking missionaries!  Muey bueno!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment