Saturday, October 31, 2015

July Transfer Week

     In July we said good-bye to some wonderful missionaries, including a great former Assistant. We had a lot of fun with them as well as a sweet experience as we shared experiences and testimonies.

     We said good-bye to 11 but got 14 new missionaries and they have strong testimonies, many talents, and great enthusiasm. They will be a great blessing to the mission.

Mission Tour July 7-9, 2015

     This year we had Mission Tour with Elder and Sister Ardern. We had another wonderful experience. I have to admit I was nervous again about having a member of the Seventy stay with us, but they are warm, personable, and fun. We had a wonderful time visiting with them and learning from them just like we had last year with the Bowens. What a blessing to be taught by these consecrated disciples of Christ!

Our faithful couples had the great experience of sharing an evening of good food and fun with the Arderns on Wednesday evening. Elder Ardern let the couples ask questions and it was very insightful to learn about his calling and speaking in conference as well as other things. It was a wonderful evening.                        

     The Mission Leadership Council had the bonus of being taught by Elder and Sister Ardern. There were many wonderful things taught but this a very short summary of the main topic:
               Prepare Spiritually + Develop Christlike Attributes + Develop Teaching Skills
                                                   = Master Gospel Teachers
A couple of other significant things they taught were that we cannot increase our faith without studying doctrine daily. Elder Ardern ended the meeting by saying the leaders needed to "awake and arise . . . and be the leader you are called to be."

Mission Leadership Council on July 7, 2015

 Mission Tour Meeting at Lipa Stake Center on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mindoro Zone

Batangas Zone

Cabuyao Zone

Lipa Zone

Mission Tour Meeting at San Pablo Stake Center on Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lucena Zone

Marinduque Zone

Lopez Zone

Santa Cruz Zone

San Pablo Zone

     Elder and Sister Ardern are both incredible teachers and taught with power. Elder Ardern taught a few different things at each of the meetings. I'm grateful that I was able to hear both days.
     They began each day with Sister Ardern sharing about her family's conversion story and her memory of being sealed in the temple even though she was a very young girl. She taught the missionaries the importance of being diligent, obedient and told them to make sure they were "honorable missionaries"! Elder Ardern began by saying that "participation increases revelation". The most important thing is what the Spirit teaches. He then taught about his conversion and the importance of the follow up missionaries that he had. He said they taught by principle and example and he trusted them. He taught that we all leave a legacy--what kind of legacy will will leave? That was really a strong reminder to me. They taught how important it is for us to read the scriptures with the idea of not turning the page until we have learned something. "The Lord packs more on the pages then we unpack." Elder Ardern teaches the importance of writing in a journal and having it an example of an honorable mission. He used his as a storybook for his children to teach them the importance of missionary work.
     Elder Ardern had missionaries come up and share a scripture and then he expanded on them. It was wonderful. I gave a talk about the importance of understanding that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father and what that should mean to us. President Mangum taught about that we're not here by chance and used the scripture from John 15:16. He taught about the importance of increasing our faith. He also taught about transfers, companionships, and agency.
     Elder and Sister Ardern had a question and answer period that the missionaries really enjoyed and we all learned a lot from. Elder Ardern taught about his calling as a Seventy. Sister Ardern taught about the message of the restoration of the gospel by reading from Joseph Smith History and then had the missionaries share words that matched the message of the gospel. Afterwards she had them share words that described missionaries that match the "glorious message" of the restoration of the Gospel. Since the March zone conference we have focused a lot in our mission about being missionaries that match His message. She took it up to the next level from doing things that match the Savior's message to becoming missionaries that are like the Savior. It was wonderful.
     Elder Ardern taught about finding and teaching the doctrines. He has a wonderful way of teaching involving the missionaries, demonstrating, using the scriptures, and most importantly teaching by the Spirit. He keeps the missionaries totally engaged and learning. I had one of the missionaries tell me "Elder Ardern uses every teaching method from Preach My Gospel." Another missionary commented, "I loved watching him respond to the Spirit and change direction at times." All in all it was an amazing teaching and learning experience. I feel so blessed to have been a participant in the learning process and being taught by the Spirit as well as by Elder and Sister Ardern and the missionaries.