President's Pen 8-17-15 (Zone Conference Recap)

As missionaries in the Texas Houston South Mission, we know our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We do this through our constant efforts to find, teach, invite, retain, and activate God’s children; we love it, we live it, and we do it! We begin with the “End in Mind”, and see God’s children as he does. We are Disciples of Jesus Christ and the best missionaries in the world!

Elders and Sisters, it was great to be with all of you at our zone conferences this past week.  I hope you’re still “flying” from the experience and putting into practice the things we discussed and learned.  I have often found that the only way I remember, and therefore act, is if I go back to my notes to review what I felt and learned.  To help you in this process we have created a Google Drive where you can go and download all the content we discussed (slides and videos).  You should have all received an email invitation to the drive to access the materials, please let me know if you didn’t receive it.

Some of the highlights for me from the conference as we learned together were the following:

Faith over Fear – We can all have the assurance that through the Savior and His Atonement we can come to “Fear No Man”.  We are all like the Apostle Peter and when we come to recognize who we are as Disciples of Christ we can do all things.  We learned that we can be bold, not overbearing, as we love those we invite to come unto Christ.  We also learned from Elder “Green’s” experience as his heart changed to become the type of missionary the Lord expected him to be.  This required obedience, humility, and the giving of his whole heart, might, mind, and strength.  What kind of missionary will you be, fearful or bold in your testimony of the Savior? Have you been fearless since we met?

The Restoration – Our Message to the World – I hope you have pondered and treasured up the teachings of the Restoration.  We were taught to teach simply and boldly. We focused on teaching people, not memorized or scripted lessons.  We learned how to teach more effectively and how role-play can strengthen our message. We were taught that each principle can direct our thoughts towards the Savior and as we testify between principles the Spirit becomes the teacher.  We were taught that we must take our time to share the account of the First Vision, allowing for our investigators to feel and become a witness of Joseph’s experience.  We were taught that we should and must invite all to be baptized in the first lesson, that we can do so without fear.  We learned how to effectively introduce the Book of Mormon, and help them read from the beginning.  We also learned how to use the pamphlets and help investigators take responsibility as they learn the truths we teach.  I hope more than anything you learned that God loves his children and that these restored truths are here to bless you. Have you taught the Restoration differently? Have you role played with your companion? Have you considered how you will teach more simply and powerfully?

Developing the Faith to Find – I hope you all learned that as we become better at teaching, the Lord will trust us to find his children.  You are their “missionary!”  The Lord has assigned you to a portion of his vineyard to bless, nurture, and harvest.  I hope you recognize your full finding potential through members, less active, recent converts, area book, current investigators, and OYM’ing.  We must teach lessons of the Restoration and as we do the Lord will open the hearts of his children.  Finding is an attitude and we must we ask “Who else do you know?” everywhere we go.  Have the tools in your hand, role-play situations that might be common to your area, and do all that you can to gain the Lord’s and members trust in your ability to teach.  “Hi, we’re you’re missionaries, we live in your area, our mission is to bless…”  Have you used it?  Do you have a plan to find?

Standards of Excellence -- We are full purpose missionaries and we are taking our standards to new heights.  The standards should be companionship goals and you should make plans to accomplish these standards each month.  Remember, these are a means to an end, don’t lose sight of your true purpose.

Find

5 new investigators a week, per companionship.

OYM and ask referrals from everyone! “Who else do you know?”

 

Teach

20 “people lessons” per week. Must have prayers, principles, and invitations.

The quality of our lessons is more important than the quantity.

Every lesson is a Member “Friend” Lesson.

 

Invite

Minimum of 1 Baptism per month, per companionship.

Always extend baptismal invitation in lesson 1 and every lesson thereafter.

 

Retain

Within one month of baptism, all converts go to the temple with family names.

 

Activate

Anxiously engaged with stake, ward, and branch leadership

We use the mission leader, progress records, ward council & PEC to further our work!

 

Adjusting to Missionary Life – USE IT! It will bless you spiritually, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically.  Missions are hard work, the Lord has provided great resources to bless you.

The Doctrine of Christ – Your missionary purpose is the same as the Doctrine of Christ.  When you understand this doctrine it drives your missionary labors and you have a greater desire to help God’s children return home to him.  Personalize how faith in the Savior and His Atonement is real for you, recognize how repentance cleans and frees you, cherish the covenants you made at baptism and live them, strive for the Spirit to guide and direct you, endure joyfully as you have received all that you need to walk back to God’s presence.  This is your blessing to teach, your purpose for serving, and your motivation to do all you can to teach it with power everyday.  Go back to this purpose daily, it will bless you now and for the rest of your life.

Summary – We learned a lot, I had so much fun being with you and so greatly appreciated your preparation and interaction.  We are the best missionaries in the world because we take what we learn, apply the principles, practice (role-play), and know our full purpose.  We love you, I’m grateful to each of you, you bring me more joy than I could have ever imagined!  You are Disciples of Christ; make him proud each and every day.

For this week will you please report to me on the following...

1.  What principle or teaching most benefited you from our zone conferences and how have you decided to apply it in your missionary work?

2.   How do you personally feel about the new “Standards of Excellence” introduced at the conference? Are they obtainable and can you and your companion achieve them?

Message from Sister Hall

A thought for you about working as companionships...  When President Hall and I counsel together we are more successful when we come together as one.  Titles, pride and the need to be right are left at the wayside. What is needed are new eyes and open hearts to see the others’ viewpoint, a different approach, and/or past experiences that will help us do things differently and hopefully better.  Sometimes we fail to speak up when we want to try something new or see another way, sometimes we’re too pushy, in some cases we don’t want to hear what is being said and reject it due to our own inadequacies or weakness.  We’re on the same team! We learned to do a lot of things differently at zone conference.  Are you open to change, looking at your companionship, and approaching your missionary purpose with new eyes? It will take humility and faith, but I promise you growth and success will happen.  I know it works for me in all my relationships it will make you happier as you work together.  Big Hugs

Weekly Mission Update

We have had 20 souls enter the waters of baptism this month to receive a remission of their sins.   I know we will do all we can to retain them, by helping them to the temple.  Their ancestors have long awaited this event, let’s help those on the other side of the veil as well.   We can all bring people unto Christ every month by finding new 5 investigators per week, 20 people lessons each week, always inviting on lesson 1, and asking referrals from everyone.  We are full purpose and we know why we’re here!!!

Saludos y abrazos, have a great week!

President Hall