Sunday, April 23, 2017

Zone Conferences & Mission President's Seminar

This last week has been a great one for two reasons--we had our zone conferences, and then we went to Denver to our interim Mission President's Seminar.
Because of the seminar we had to shorten our zone conferences and hold two in a day for two days.  So on Tuesday we held one from 9-12, and one from 1-4 and then did the same thing on Wednesday.
I know I've said this before, but zone conferences are the best!  I love the spirit in them and the excitement of our missionaries, and I love hearing their insights and thoughts.  This zone conference we began by watching President Monson's General Conference talk this past conference where he counseled us to always be reading the Book of Mormon, and gave us promises we would receive by doing so.  We thought this was a great way to begin our conferences especially because we had just completed reading it as a mission on Easter Sunday.  And then we just talked about what we had learned as we read it this time.  I wish you could hear what our missionaries say about the Book of Mormon.  It truly does testify of Christ and you can feel the spirit as you read it.
We also talked about working with our ward councils and finding those in the wards who are less active, or part member families, and 9 and over unbaptized children.  We want so much to bring them back into the gospel!
And then we also spoke a lot on improving our teaching.  The missionaries had studied Chapter 10 in Preach My Gospel on this and came prepared to teach the first lesson on the Restoration.  So we had a fun role-play doing it, and learned a lot from it.  Each companionship committed to identify 2-3 areas where they could improve in their teaching and to work on it.  We recognize that if the Lord is going to put people into our path, we need to be the best teachers we can be, always realizing that if we have the spirit with us, we can teach exactly what the Lord would have us teach.
We have been doing a 'spring fling' in our mission where we have been focusing heavily on being faithfully diligent!  Our missionaries are working harder than they ever have,  and are exercising their faith as never before, and we are seeing miracles happen.  They have come to realize that they can push themselves more than they thought they were capable of, and with the Lord's help, they can do it!!  And the Lord will bless them for their efforts.  It's been really exciting.
On Thursday morning we got up at 3:15 a.m. to get to the airport to catch our flight to Denver.
These seminars are so wonderful--how can they not be when you are taught by 4 General Authorities and their wives?  We had Elder L. Whitney Clayton, Elder Ulisses Soares, Elder Wilford Andersen, and Elder Massimo DeFeo.  They are such caring and devoted servants of the Lord.  They instructed us in so many things...the power of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine of Christ, the missionary purpose, teaching repentance and baptizing converts, seeking the spirit, and so many other great things.  We were truly edified and uplifted and encouraged in our calling!  One of the other great things about these seminars is that we get to just visit with other mission presidents and their wives and talk to others who are doing exactly what we are.  It's nice to be able to bounce things off each other, and just see what each other is doing.  You really develop great friendships and its fun to see each other every 6 months.  Our seminar ended on Saturday at noon and then we caught our plane home at 3:15 and were back in Calgary Saturday night.
Today we attended the Mandarin Branch in Calgary and it was such a special meeting! Our Mandarin branch is growing, and they have a goal to get enough members to be able to move into the chapel from the Relief Society room.  One of our elders, Elder Chen, spoke and gave an awesome talk on prayer.  Then the branch president's wife spoke and gave a wonderful talk on faith, where she had one of the women in the branch translate for her.  There was such a great spirit in the meeting.  We were so glad we could be there.
  So, it has been a great week.  We are looking forward to finishing up our interviews this week.
President & Sister Pattison, (Edmonton Mission) us, President and Sister Craig (Winnipeg Mission)
the Canadian contingent at the seminar!

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