We held our MLC on Wednesday in Calgary, and as always it was a great meeting. Since we have quite a few new zone leaders, and some that had been transferred to different zones, we had a good discussion on 'ministering' within our zones, and trying to follow the example of the Savior in our ministry. These zone leaders and sister trainer leaders really do care about the missionaries in their zones, and want them to be successful and happy. Steve led a discussion on having a 'vision' for their zones and challenged them all to prayerfully come up with a vision for their individual zones. They had to turn in their 'vision' by Saturday evening. We were so impressed with what they had decided on. MLC is really an amazing meeting--it is always filled with the spirit as we counsel together, and we always have fun, too.
Then on Thursday morning we got up at 3:00 to get showered and ready to be at the airport by 4:30 to catch our flight to Denver for our Interim Mission President's Seminar. We left Calgary about 6:30 and got to Denver about 9:00. Our room wasn't ready yet so we grabbed some breakfast in the restaurant there, and waited in the lobby until the room was ready. As we waited the other 25 mission president's and their wives began to trickle in. It was great to see all of our group again.
This was an incredible seminar. We were blessed to have both President Whitney Clayton and Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy with us, along with Elders James B. Martino and Wilferd Andersen of the Quorum of the Seventy (and all their wives). We were given such good instruction for 2 1/2 days. We talked about everything from increasing faith and testimony in our missionaries, to emotional health, to baptisms, to finding, to working with members, to us getting our exercise, to loving and lifting our missionaries, to helping them see who they really are and the power in their calling, and many other subjects. Throughout the whole seminar you really feel the love and support of the general authorities. They truly want to help us in any way they can. They really lifted and inspired us.
It was fun at lunch time and dinner time because we would be assigned a different table at each meal so we would be able to sit with different president's and their wives and also be with a different general authority each time. At the meals the talk is much more casual and everyone is always exchanging ideas and talking to each other about everything! It is a great way to bounce things off of each other and just talk with someone who is doing the exact same thing you are. One thing we have found is that unless you have served in this capacity, you really have no idea just how strenuous it is, and how daunting it can be. Even though we have been out 10 months now, and feel somewhat more comfortable, we still feel a complete dependence on the Lord. We know it is His work and He will guide us in it. We pray constantly for guidance. I have such a testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers--because mine are answered constantly in so many little ways. For example, we arrived home late Saturday evening from the seminar and had to speak in the Bow River Alberta Stake Conference on Sunday morning. Neither of us knew what we were going to speak on. As I studied and prayed on Sunday morning I felt like some thoughts came and so I wrote a few down on an index card to take with me. When we were driving to the building I asked Steve, 'so do you know what you will talk on?' And he said, 'nope'. So we went in and sat down, and were given the program and we read over it. Steve leaned over and said, 'I know what I'm going to talk on--I'm going to talk about inviting our non-members friends into our homes to feel the spirit that is there, because our homes are holy places.' This came to him because we saw that the theme for the Stake Conference was 'Stand in Holy Places'. Well, I still was a little unsure, and then as we sang the opening hymn, which was 'Joseph Smith's First Prayer', I felt prompted to scrap what I had planned on and to share an experience that Leslie and I had when we sang that song in a mother/daughter choir in the Conference Center in Salt Lake for a General Young Women's meeting. It is amazing to me how Heavenly Father just showers us with these little blessings at the time we need them. He is so good to us!
In Denver, it snowed the whole time we were there. It didn't affect us any because we were inside the whole time. And then we got back to Calgary and we are having unusually warm weather! 27 celsius--which is about 84 Fahrenheit! That is usually what it is mid summer. Everyone is getting worried about the lack of moisture here. But it sure is nice and our missionaries are loving it.
We are getting excited about our zone conferences coming up where we are attending the temple together.
|Sisters Smartt, Tilley & Dean came over for a p-day visit and snuggled in the recliner.|
|The conference room in the Marriott Hotel in Denver.|
|Us with the other Canadian Mission Presidents and Wives- The Manions (Edmonton Mission) and the Craigs (Winnipeg Mission)|