Sunday, March 20, 2016

Zone Conferences!

Sisters Dean, Tilley & Perrero

Fish Creek Zone

The elders have to take 'selfies' with my phone!
This week we held 3 of our 6 zone conferences, and they were so great!  We met with all of our Calgary Zones.   There was such a wonderful spirit in each conference, and we felt that our missionaries walked away feeling inspired and uplifted. We have come to really love zone conferences--we love being with a bigger group of our missionaries, but not so big that you can't interact with them personally.  We asked our missionaries to come prepared to teach the lesson on the Restoration in 6 minutes, and to have read Chapter 11 in Preach my Gospel on Keeping Commitments.  We also asked them to memorize 3 Nephi 5:13 which reads, "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of Him, to declare His word, unto His people, that they might have everlasting life."  We love this scripture because it states exactly who we are as missionaries, and what we are to do.  So, in addition to reciting "My Purpose as a Missionary" from Preach my Gospel in all of our meetings, we will also recite 3 Nephi 5:13.
Steve and I actually role-played the 6 minute lesson on the Restoration in front of the missionaries.  The purpose for doing it in 6 minutes is to learn how to give the lesson simply and with clarity, without rambling!  We have learned that the spirit can truly testify to these brief segments of truth and touch the hearts of the people we are teaching.  It isn't necessary to teach everything we know--we need to teach enough for the spirit to testify to them that what we are teaching is true.
After we did our role-play we invited 8 missionaries to come up and each one took one of the 8 principles taught in that lesson and recited it.  They did a great job--and most of the time they came in at right about 6 minutes!  It was really fun to do with them--and we all learned the value of teaching simply for understanding.  We also had wonderful discussions (led by our assistants) on How to Help People make and Keep Commitments.  We touched on teaching with the spirit, and how crucial that is; because the spirit is the one that takes the message into their hearts.  We even spoke about how our dress (and abiding by the missionary guidelines) is another way to 'yield our hearts unto God'--by being completely obedient.  Following lunch we played our question and answer game where we have come up with about 10 questions from Preach my Gospel, the White Handbook, and the scriptures and we ask them and the first one to be able to answer gets a candy bar.  It's a fun activity they have come to enjoy; and it is also a good teaching opportunity--as we use questions that teach us something.  Then, after singing Happy Birthday to all the missionaries who have had birthdays since the last zone conference, we settle in for a spiritual lesson by Steve.  This time he chose to speak about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and it was so incredible.  In Preach my Gospel it tells us that as our knowledge of the atonement grows, so will our desire to share the gospel.  So, we decided that we always need to be strengthening their faith in the Savior and His atonement.  So, following the lesson we gave each missionary a specially bound book we had made with 30 talks on the atonement written by different prophets and apostles.  We are going to begin studying it the day after Easter, and go until our zone conferences in May.  Then in our May zone conferences we are going to attend the temple together.  Our southern zones will go to the Cardston Temple, and the northern ones to the Calgary Temple.  We are excited about that.
The very last part of our conferences we watched a 5 minute testimony of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on the Book of Mormon.  We thought this was a great  thing to end with since we are completing our reading of the Book of Mormon as a mission this coming Easter Sunday.  Following the video, we had a testimony meeting.  This is alway such a highlight for me.  I love to hear these testimonies of these incredible missionaries.  I love to see ones that a few months ago were struggling, and now can stand firmly and share how much they have grown to love the Savior.  It really is such a sweet thing.
After those zone conferences were complete, we celebrated Steve's 60th birthday on Friday!  It was a regular missionary day for most of the day--but he got lots of calls and texts from missionaries wishing him happy birthday.
On Saturday we drove to Medicine Hat to participate in the Stake Conference there with President Salmon and Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy.  This was our first stake conference in Medicine Hat, and it was great to be there and feel of the spirit in that stake.
Then we drove to Lethbridge to get ready to finish up another week of Zone Conferences with our southern zones--we are excited to be with them.
We also announced at zone conferences that Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be coming to our mission on April 16!  Our missionaries are SO excited about this!  And so are we.  Elder James B. Martino will also be coming with him--it will be a great day!!!
Calgary West Zone

Calgary North Zone

Confederation Park Zone

Bow River Zone

Foothills Zone

Calgary Zone


  1. I look forward to your blog. I really appreciate your taking the time to do so. (It's nice to see pictures of our daughter Sister Atkinson) We are so blessed to be having her serve the Lord. We pray for her, for you and all the missionaries in Calgary every day. Thank you for your service!

  2. Thanks for your blog:) I love getting all the details my sweet missionary doesn't have time to tell me in emails;) Btw she loved zone conference!!!