Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Apostolic insights and lessons in leading

SAN DIEGO — I sure hope you are doing well. I pray for you all the time, I hope you know that. For some reason, It has sure hit me harder than usual how much I love and miss you! It sounds like you had a great General Conference. I hope your Easter is great too!

This week has been a crazy one! We were super busy with General Conference and we also had MTE (missionary training event) this week as well. I feel like I have been soaked with doctrine, now I just have to keep it all in!

As part of MTE, they always have either a health training or safety training, and this time it was a car safety training on what is called "TIWI". The Church is launching a new program to keep the missionaries better obeying traffic laws, so we now have GPS tracking devices in all the cars and we have to log in to them every day. If we speed, stop or start too fast, or anything like that it gives us a mark on our record and the GPS talks to us and tells us to stop. We have to keep in the "green zone" in order to be able to have driving privileges. Crazy huh?

It sounds like everyone loved Conference. I did as well. Some of it got interrupted having to take a tour, so I will have to watch it again later or wait for it to come out in the Ensign. Do you remember Elder Perry's talk? About Scott giving him a new tie each conference and about how bold he was in talking about the Book of Mormon? Scottie is Elder Zwick's son. The one who said one of the prayers in conference and who came to our mission to inspect it the other month. The one who we had an interview with.

I don't remember if I told you about Scottie, Elder Zwick's son, so I want to share a story that he and Sister Zwick told us about him and why he was on the plane that day, talking to the man about the Book of Mormon. Because Scott has a mental disability, he was unable to serve a mission. But when his little brother decided to serve, he promised Scottie that he would serve his mission for the both of them. So every week Scott would get word of what his brother was doing in their mission together.

At one point during that time, I think it was something like Elder Zwick had to do on another mission tour close to where his son was serving, and he asked the mission president of his son if they could visit or something. The mission president replied, "You can only come on one condition. If you bring Scottie. The whole mission has heard everything about Scottie from your son, and I want him to come serve with his brother for a week." 

Scott, in Elder Perry's talk, was already being a missionary on that plane, and continued to serve side by side with his brother as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for that week. I just love that story so much! I'm not sure I got it exactly right, but super close.

About what else is going on: we are still working with our investigators, and they are slowly but surely moving forward.

I also wanted to leave you with something that has been on my mind lately. As this transfer draws closer to an end, I will most likely be transferred, and it will most likely be time for someone else to take the role of being the sister trainer at the Battalion. I have been looking back and asking myself what I could have done differently. I want to share a learning experience I had this week, as being a "coach" during MTE for some of the sisters.


March 29, 2012

Today, I coached two of the sisters. It was a very good learning experience for me. As a coach, I sit on the sidelines as the sisters teach and afterward, guide them to focus on what we learned at MTE to incorporate it into their teaching. We had lessons that went pretty well.

The sisters are amazing at asking everyone for referrals. We had a dinner appointment with Wilbur and Edna, Wilbur is a non-member married to an active member, but he goes to Church with her every Sunday. Long story short: it was a pretty rough lesson, of which I shouldn't have talked, but I did- first lesson learned once again about being a leader: LET PEOPLE LEAD!

We had a tense few minutes in the car on the way to our next appointment. One of the sisters was crying along the way, and I started feeling a sense of despair and not knowing how to help the situation. To make matters worse, because we left Wilbur's late, we missed the next investigator for our next appointment, so tension was really high. Second lesson learned tonight: don't try to fix the problem when the environment is not right for the Spirit to be present!

I decided we needed to pray. I asked if I could say a prayer. I desperately begged Heavenly Father to send the Holy Ghost to guide us and help us know where we needed to be. It was so great to feel the Spirit once again with us, and I felt instantly that whatever happened next would be okay. We went to one of the backups they had, which happened to be a 14-year-old girl (whose parents they were trying to contact). As I sat on the sidelines and watched the sisters teach this girl about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I was hit harder than I ever had that this little girl was God's daughter. I walked away from the lesson, with a sure knowledge in my heart that God does know and He does care. 3rd lesson learned: I cannot lead without the Holy Ghost as a constant companion.


I share this with you because each of us are leaders. Each of us are most definitely inadequate. If you think you are up to par, think again. God needs us to lead, and we must lead according to God's will, not our own. What you do makes a difference: how you interact, what you say, how you teach.

The missionary handbook teaches that we must minister to those around us. There is a difference between administering and ministering. To minister is to encourage, lift, inspire and bless. Administering is accomplishing the tasks to get something done. What kind of leader are you in your homes? at school? at work?

I feel like leaving you with an invitation from our Savior Jesus Christ: "What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I am."

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