It has been another week! It was a good week of lessons, exchanges, proselyting, and meetings. I would especially like to share the great things I learned through three of the meetings we held this week: ZTM, SPM, and GC.
Elder no and I had too big meetings that we put on this week that I think both turned out really well. One was our Zone Training Meeting for our zone which we held on Thursday morning, and the other our stake presidency meeting with the stake presidency, President Barrow, and the assistants, which we had on thursday evening.
We tried to hold a simple, short and sweet zone training meeting based off of President Barrow’s focus and newsletter for the transfer, following and bearing testimony of Jesus Christ We planned elements that included a talk on preparing for and receiving revelation through general conference, a discussion on good methods for finding new investigators, a talk on following Christ’s example, a discussion on the an assignment president barrow gave to us where we read 3Nephi and a parts of the Bible and mark things that Christ did that we can also do, a teaching practice practicing proselyting more boldly using the church’s new Halelujah easter intitiative and cards, and an extended testimony meeting. These assignments were handled by us and the District and Sister Training Leaders. We tried as much as we could to keep the meeting short and made a goal of strengthening our zone members testimony of the Savior. I think it turned into one of the most spiritual meetings I have attended on my mission. To end, we watched a montage of pictures from the Savior’s earthly ministry set to the music Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and then invited the zone members to bear short testimony of Christ. It was very powerful. As we ended the meeting singing the hymn I Believe in Christ I could feel the spirit so strongly and even teared up. It really strengthened my own testimony of Christ, how he is the center of our work, and how we need to teach and testify of him. It showed me that the point of our meetings is not to be complicated or fancy, but simply and accompanied by the spirit. As a missionary I have really learned a lot about planning and putting on good meetings and am truly grateful for all the great bishops who do that every week.
We also spent a good amount of time this week preparing for SPM, a meeting where we discuss the missionary work and needs of those within the stake and its boundaries. It actually took a very long time to get everything together but I thought it turned out great. I could really feel like we were addressing real issues and needs and that there would be changes made. I could also really feel the love of the Stake Presidency as they detailedly looked over our missionaries, investigators, less actives, and recent converts and strives to know them and see how they can help them. It really reminded me that those meetings and our work really comes down to helping individuals come closer to Christ.
Other than that the main highlight of the week was general conference. In fact, both Saturday and Sunday were almost entirely spent just watching all the various sessions. I learned so much. I went into conference with a list of detailed and specific questions and I found a lot of answers and am looking forward to finding even more when I restudy again. I really dont know if I had a favorite talk, but I really noticed a lot of reoccurring themes and patterns. I saw a lot on children, marriage and family, and going to the temple. One thing that stands out in my mind was Elder Renlund’s talk “That I Might Draw All Men Unto Me.” I really like his point about how it does not matter as much how close we are to God and Christ as it does whether we are getting closer to God and Christ. He said: “Our absolute distance from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is important, but the direction we are heading is even more crucial. God is more pleased with repentant sinners who are trying to draw closer to Him than with self-righteous, faultfinding individuals who, like the Pharisees and scribes of old, do not realize how badly they need to repent.” Sometimes as members or missionaries I think we fall into the trap of thinking we are better than others or that we are righteous, when really we should be thinking how we can improve and what more we can do.
I know that this work is true, that the Savior lives, and that God speaks to us through his servants in General Conference.