Sunday, May 28, 2017

Zone Conferences

This past week we held our 4 zone conferences and it was a great week!  We always love zone conference and to have our missionaries together to teach and train each other and to feel the spirit.  We had so many great trainings.  We had two Sister Trainer Leaders in each one train on teaching the principle of repentance, and then everyone had to role-play it.  This is such an important principle for any investigator to understand because it is through repentance they come to experience the atonement in their lives and come closer to the Savior.
Then we had two zone leaders in each one train on how to help investigators that aren't progressing to progress.  That was also a great discussion--that we need to re-evaluate our teaching, we need to help them make and keep commitments, we need to be more earnest in our prayers for them, etc.  It is really so amazing to watch the missionaries discuss things, and to hear their insights.
In each conference Steve taught on the spirit, and on love, and he led the discussion on the talk they had all studied on the atonement.  We studied a talk by Elder Oaks that was really powerful, and it is always one of the missionaries' favorite parts of zone conference--to have read and studied a talk on the atonement and then come prepared to discuss what they gleaned from it.
He also taught them about baptism, and just how important it is to invite people to be baptized--and that a person who is sincerely repenting will seek for baptism.  We showed the Bible video of the Savior being baptized and it was really powerful.
I also led a discussion on working with the youth and young single adults.  This was a follow up from our March zone conferences where we had them watch a video from Elder Neil L. Andersen, our apostle, on reaching out to find the youth and young single adults to teach the gospel to.  So, we re-issued a challenge for each companionship to prayerfully determine what they were going to do differently, or better in their area to find them.
At the end of each conference we always have a testimony meeting which is truly a highlight.
We asked the missionaries that are going home in 4 weeks to share their testimonies as this would be their last zone conference, and those were really special.  Each one gave such a wonderful testimony of the Savior.  I think this is one of the most satisfying things for Steve and I in our calling is to see the growth of each missionary.  To see them stand and share such a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ is really remarkable.  We are so proud of them!
Saturday evening we were able to attend a very humble baptism of Emmanuel Mbakewe.  There weren't very many in attendance, but it was still very sweet.  It is always humbling to watch someone enter the waters of baptism.  After Emmanuel was baptized and was changing his clothes, two of our sisters, Sister Dewsnup and Sister Meiners, stood and taught about Joseph Smith's experience in the sacred grove, and bore testimony that they knew it was true.  Then they also bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  There was a great spirit there.   The woman sitting next to me was a friend of Emmanuel's and we chatted for a bit before the baptism and also when Emmanuel was getting changed.  I asked her if she had ever read the Book of Mormon, and she said, 'no, but I would like one'.  So, I grabbed our missionaries and told them to get her one, and then they set up an appointment to teach her.  She had been touched by what she had seen and heard.  It is so exciting!  I just want everyone to know of this  beautiful gospel!  We love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our lives have been so richly blessed because of it.  We truly know that the way to joy and happiness is by following our Savior.
Elder Hacking, Emmanuel, Elder Pentz at Emmanuel's baptism.  

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