Wednesday, July 6, 2016

March Zone Conferences

     On March 8, 9, and 10, 2016 we held Zone Conferences. As always we enjoyed the time with all of our missionaries being inspired, edified, and strengthened as well as enjoying time with each other visiting, laughing, and of course, taking photos!
     We had an interesting experience with our DVD this zone conference. The night before as the office elders were finalizing the DVD the computer crashed and they had to start over and make it into a Slide Show instead of a movie. It was still fun to see the photos and an elder played the piano for background music. Each day the slide show improved but there was no DVD.
     In each zone conference we had business, the kwan challenge, beautiful special musical numbers, heartfelt testimonies from the departing missionaries, and great workshops. President Mangum and I taught about "The Role of the Holy Ghost in Conversion" using clips from Elder Bednar teaching the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. We enjoyed teaching about this subject and it was great to have Elder Bednar teach with us and ask the questions that we then had our missionaries answer. We had some great discussions. We then broke into zones and the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders  gave workshops to their own zones on using Gather the Flock and the resources available. President Mangum and I enjoyed going to a few minutes of each workshop and seeing the different ways that the leaders taught. They did a great job. The Assistants taught a wonderful workshop on love, kindness, and charity and introduced the new training plan on The Atonement of Christ and Charity. (This has been an incredible training plan that the missionaries have really loved studying and used effectively.) They taught about not judging, forgiveness, service, compliments and gratitude. They had an activity where they broke into groups and had someone stand in the middle and each person had to give a compliment and end with "I love you". It was fun to watch the missionaries participate in this activity. It was definitely out of some of their comfort zones.
       President Mangum finished the Zone Conference by teaching a wonderful workshop. He began by using Elder Holland's video "Lovest Thou Me?" It is a powerful video that makes you think if you really love the Savior and our Heavenly Father more than anything or anyone else. He taught about the Easter Initiative "Hallelujah", Follow Him, Discover How. The missionaries had been asked to read from the four gospels about the Atonement and resurrection. He then taught about the Savior's merits, mercy, and grace that made it possible for the Savior to perform the Atonement for each of us. He had missionaries share their feelings as part of the workshop. At the Special Sisters Meeting with Sister Nelson she had the sisters stand and read a part from Elder Holland's talk that the video clip came from about loving Christ that teaches about what it means to be a true disciple. We decided to do this with the missionaries. It was a powerful experience to stand and put your name in the quote about being a disciple forever.

"What need, (your name), are disciples—and need them forever. need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not feeble message. It is not fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, (your name), for the second and presumably the last time, am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve.”

        Each Zone Conference was wonderful but they each are a little different because of answers and comments given by the missionaries and the guidance of the Spirit. We love the time with the missionaries! 

Lopez, Lucena, and Marinduque Zones

Batangas, Lipa, and Mindoro Zones
The rat that came to Zone Conference--I had to leave the meeting to talk to a sick elder and I was sitting in the dark Relief Society Room on the phone when I saw something out of my eye. I thought to myself a cat got in here
but then I looked at it and realized it was a rat. Yuck! I really have a fear of mice and rats; especially great big rats!
I went back in the chapel and sat at the back where I proceeded to tell my story to the office couple. She started pointing at the glass door into the chapel and there was the rat. She said she thought it was going to push the door open. I saw it down the hallway and took at photo with the phone. Later when Bart looked at the photo closely he realized the body was as big as the 12" inch square and the tail almost as long as the next 12" square. Two of our senior elders went out to kill it
but only got it out of the building. The way they tell the story is hilarious! I hope to never see a rat that big again.

Cabuyao, San Pablo, and Santa Cruz Zones


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