Monday, September 12, 2016

Beginning of Zone Conferences..

This week we began our zone conferences--one of our favorite things ever!  We began in Lethbridge with the Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Lethbridge East zones on Tuesday, and on Thursday we had the Cardston and British Columbia zones together.  In-between on Wednesday we held a Mission Leadership Council in it was a busy week.  But a great one!
In our zone conferences we review the things we taught in our mini zone conferences in August, and then we spend a whole section on how to teach repentance.  This is such a key concept to teach new investigators.  It is through repentance that people begin to feel the atonement working in their lives and begin to feel the Savior's love for them.  So, we watched video from the Preach My Gospel DVD's on 'How to teach Repentance', using the pamphlet, then we discussed it, and then we had a little role play where each companion took a turn for 7 minutes teaching the other one on the principle of repentance.  It was really good.  We also taught about the Christlike attribute of "NOT Gossiping".  We had each of the missionaries come prepared to share a Christlike attribute they admired in their companion.  For 5 minutes we just let them share these attributes, and it brought such a great spirit into the room.  We then contrasted that with what happens when we gossip and say hurtful things about others--how the spirit is 'grieved' and leaves us, and also about the damage done.
We quoted from the book of James where he tells us the tongue can be used as a blessing and a cursing--and 'these things ought not so to be'. We encouraged the missionaries to be true disciples of Christ and following his example by not gossiping-ever.
   We also played a fun question & answer game where we reward the winners with candy bars!  That was our morning session, and then we have lunch which is made by Relief Society sisters in the area (and it is always good!).  Following lunch we have a little training by Elder Thorley on vehicles (which is supposed to happen at each zone conference), and then we did something a little different.  We broke out into two groups--just the elders in one, and the sisters in the other.  I spoke with the sisters about dress and grooming, and also appropriate behavior with the elders, and then we ended by referring to Pres. Nelson's talk that he gave a year ago in General Conference, "A Plea to My Sisters".   Steve spoke with the elders also about dress and grooming, and also about appropriate behavior with the sisters, and then respect for women in general, not only on their missions, but throughout life.  He also spoke with them about being non-judgmental of other missionaries.  We felt the breakout sessions went well.
After that we spent the remainder of the conference discussing Elder Holland's talk on the atonement titled, "None Were With Him".  We had asked all of the missionaries to study and read this talk in preparation for the conference.  I wish everyone could have heard the discussions we have had.  These missionaries have such wonderful insights, and share what they have learned and how they have been touched through the atonement.  It is so powerful to hear them.  Following the discussion we actually watch Elder Holland give the talk, and then we ended with a testimony meeting, which is really quite incredible.  There is nothing quite like a testimony meeting filled with missionaries sharing what they know to be true.  It is nothing short of extraordinary.  I wish all of their parents could be there to hear them.  It is truly so amazing.  We are uplifted after every conference!  We can't wait to do the 3 in Calgary this week, beginning tomorrow!
Thursday night Steve had a Coordinating Council Meeting in Lethbridge, so we stayed there again for the night and drove home Friday, only to turn around Saturday and drive 3 hours to Medicine Hat to participate in the Stake Conference there, which was a wonderful Stake Conference.  After the Sunday session, President and Sister Salmon invited us to their home for a bite of lunch before getting back on the road to Calgary.  That was really nice--usually on Sundays after a Stake Conference that is away from Calgary, we just take some snacks in the car to eat on the way it was great to have a true lunch!  We made it home safe and sound about 5:00 to have a meeting with our assistants.  It was a great week, and we look forward to this one.
Medicine Hat Zone

Lethbridge Zone

Sisters Black & Meyer doing a selfie on my phone!

Lethbridge East Zone

British Columbia Zone

Cardston Zone

All the cute Sisters in the Cardston Zone- there's a lot!!

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