Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mission President's Seminar

Meeting with our Mandarin Missionaries
I'm finally getting a chance to write!  We've had a busy 10 days.  Last Monday evening we held a meeting with all of our Mandarin speaking elders to discuss the work in their areas, and address some of the challenges they face.  We love these elders!  They have great desires to bring the gospel to as many Chinese people as they can find.  At the end of the meeting we told them we wanted them to sing the closing hymn in Mandarin and they could choose what they wanted.  They chose, "Called to Serve".  It was so exhilarating to hear them sing with such enthusiasm!  I loved it!
Following that meeting we came home and packed because we had to get up at 3:00 a.m. to shower and get ready to catch our flight for Kansas City, Missouri to attend our Mission President's seminar.  When that alarm clock went off I felt like I had been asleep for 15 minutes.  It was a short night!
We arrived in Kansas City about 1:00 and then all 26  mission presidents and wives went to the Kansas City temple together.  We had a great session, and it was a wonderful way to begin our seminar.
On Wednesday and Thursday we had training from Elder Ulisses S. Soares, Elder Wilford Andersen, Elder Scott Grow, and Elder DeFeo, all of the Seventy.  It is so awesome to be taught by them.  And what is even more wonderful is to feel the love and encouragement they give us in this calling.  We really know they are there to support us and help us.  We were also able to have training from Brother Mills of the Missionary Department--he is the director of Training for the MTC's, and he gave us great training about planning and other things.  We also had training from Brother Gale from LDS Family Services on emotional health of the missionaries, and how to help those that struggle.  So, as you can see, we received so much great counsel and training.  To sit at the feet of General Authorities and have them teach you is really a special thing.  And then we are also lucky enough to be able to sit with them at lunch and dinner, and just visit and have fun with them!  They helped us to know how to inspire our missionaries with a greater vision of this work.  We are excited to take what we learned and felt and help our missionaries and our mission go forward.
On Friday of the seminar we had a day where they took us to tour the many church historic sites in that area.  We were able to go to Independence, Far West, Liberty Jail, and Adam- ondi-Ahman.  I can't even tell you how incredible it was to be in these places that you have heard and read about and actually see them.  As we walked around Adam- ondi-Ahman, I could feel the holiness of that place.  It was such a great experience for us.
And being at Liberty Jail (the floor is the original floor of the jail) gave me new love and admiration for Joseph Smith--seeing the conditions he and the 4 other men lived in for nearly 5 months in the dead of winter.  And to think that while he was there in those deplorable conditions, came sections 121, 122, 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  It's amazing to me that while he was imprisoned there he could write the words, "let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and of his arm to be revealed."  What great faith.
We arrived home late Saturday night in time to crawl into bed and be at a meeting in the Bow River Stake Conference the next morning at 8:30 a.m.  This was such a wonderful meeting.  It was under the direction of Elder Zevallos of the Seventy, and it was held for those that are less active in the church, any non-members that would want to come, any returning members, and our missionaries.  He invited any who wanted to to share their testimonies.  It was so neat to see people who had once been completely inactive, and even antagonistic, come and share what brought them back into the gospel.  It was so touching.  One of the best meetings I've been to!
Afterwards was the general session of Stake Conference which we were invited to speak at.  It was a great stake conference.  This is the new stake that was created last December.  And it's actually the stake where we live!
We have now begun interviews, so on Monday we drove to BC to do interviews with that zone on  Tuesday.  We were able to say good-by to Elder and Sister Sonntag, our senior couple who have been serving in the Columbia River Valley.  We will miss them so much.  They have done incredible work here.  And we were able to greet Elder and Sister Ebert, who will be taking their place.  And they will be marvelous.  They are from our stake at home--we did a little recruiting to get them here, and we are thrilled to have them.  Following interviews there we drove back to Calgary to begin interviews today.  It will take us 3 full weeks to complete all the interviews!
Kansas City Temple

Liberty Jail-the prophet was confined to the lower part

The Canadian Contingent- The Pattisons (Edmonton Mission), the Craigs (Winnipeg Mission), us

Adam-ondi-ahman sacred!

Elder and Sister Ebert and us

Saying good-by to the Sonntag's

District meeting in BC

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