Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Fabulous Week of Zone Conferences

Monday (6.6.16)
Elder Jensen and I worked really hard on preparing our trainings for MLC (Mission Leadership Council, a meeting with President and Sister Maxwell, the APs, Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders). We are both working on a doctrinal training and discussion for MLC. 
Working in the office with Sister Horne!

It took about two hours and then we had to race back to our flat to pack for the night.  Well right when we stepped out of the flat and shut the door with all of our stuff I realized I had locked the car keys AND the house keys in the flat! Arrrgh!!  We were really in a hurry because we had to pick up the Tasmania missionaries from the airport for MLC tomorrow!!! Because neither Elder Jensen or I are skilled breaking into locked doors…..we had to call the Zone Leaders to bail us out…luckily they have a key and they helped us get back into our flat.  Then it was a race to Airport to pick the Tasmania Elders up! After our pick up we raced back to the office to drop off the Tassy Zone Leaders and we raced to the Maxwell’s house to eat dinner with Elder Mafi because he was leaving the first thing the next morning. That is why we had to pack an overnight bag in the first place so that we could stay at the mission home with Elder Mafi to take him to the airport in the morning. 

Tuesday (6.7.16)
Today started really early but it was a really fast morning. We had planned to wake up around 4:30 am to get ready to leave for the airport with Elder Mafi around 5:30 am, however, it ended up being a bit of a late night and we all overslept and we didn’t end up waking up till 5:23 am. Ha ha! The crazy things that happen on the mission! So we RACED and got ready in record time….like 15 minutes and we were on our way to the Airport to send Elder Mafi off!... He is a great missionary! He was visa waiting in the Australia Melbourne mission while his visa to Brazil was being processed. Elder Mafi is an amazing missionary and he will do WONDERS in Brazil. 
Elder Mafi the day he arrived in Melbourne and now he is on his way to Brazil! He is an amazing man (a professional rugby player who decided to serve a mission) and a humble, hardworking all around fabulous missionary! 

After we dropped Elder Mafi off at the airport it was a race back to the mission home to start MLC at 9:30 am. Today was one of the days that was  really just go go go go go! I love to be busy and doing lots of things but this day was one of the fastest of my mission! MLC started just as we arrived back at the mission home. It was a great meeting because we have SUCH AN AMAZING MLC! We are extremely blessed with the leadership in the Australia Melbourne Mission!  MLC finished about 4:30 pm and then we raced BACK to the airport to drop off the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. Just as we arrived back at the mission home, we got a call from the Sister Training Leaders telling us their flight had been canceled!  So we got to work rearranging things for them.  You just really NEVER know what is going to happen in missionary life and as an Assistant to the President you have to be prepared to serve the Lord’s missionaries in any way that is needed. After we got everything situated for them, new flights, transportation and a place to stay for the night, we went back to the mission home to have some dinner and work with President and Sister Maxwell to assign trainings for the upcoming Zone Conference.

Wednesday (6.8.16)
We started the day by attending the Heidelberg Zone Meeting! It is always wonderful to go to a zone where I was a Zone Leader and just see what great things the Zone Leaders are doing! I learn so much from watching and observing missionaries. We are really blessed and have outstanding leaders in the Heidelberg Zone. The meeting was great and I was able to learn a lot from the trainings the missionaries gave! Then it was a quick stop to KFC for some lunch... KFC is a life saver! It is fast and on the way to pretty much ANYWHERE hungry missionaries need to go! I guess I sound pretty pathetic calling KFC a life saver but that’s what it is! After lunch we went back to the office to talk cars and K allotments (the amount of kilos or miles missionaries are allowed to drive monthly) with Elder Gourlie! I love chatting with Elder Gourlie, he is so knowledgable about everything that when we get talking all of a sudden an hour has passed!

After we finished chatting with Elder Gourlie, we worked on making the agendas for the upcoming Zone Conferences. As APs (Assistants to the President) we are in charge of pretty much all of the logistics of zone conferences. So we spend a lot of our time preparing for them to make sure the zone conferences are valuable for the missionaries. I am really excited because I was asked to sing in a missionary choir that will be performing in a luncheon for Elder Dudefield, Elder Nielsen, Sister Reeves, and Sister McConkie, and some other Church Public Affairs people.  We had choir practice for that around 8:00 pm. The choir has a multicultural focus and will be representing eight countries. I am really blessed to participate because there are only four Americans. It is really a great opportunity for me to sing. We finished the night with some cake and ice cream with some missionaries and President and Sister Maxwell. Before Elder Jensen and I went to bed we worked on some of the last minute things for Zone Conference.

Thursday (6.9.16)
Today was the Wyndham and Deer Park Zone conference. It was a great meeting! 

Wyndham Zone!

Deer Park Zone!

I trained the missionaries on a diagram that I use when I teach the Restoration lesson to investigators. It has a heavy emphasis on the Great Apostasy and shows things in a clear, visual way. Through teaching many investigators, I have found when people understand how important proper Priesthood Authority is in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, they feel a desire to join. I was really pleased with the way the missionaries responded to my training. It went really well! We do all sorts of training and role plays and videos at these conferences and it is always great to be with the missionaries!!! After the Zone Conference we headed up to Wangaratta! It is about three hours away.  On the way up we were hungry so we stopped at……you guessed it….KFC!!!!  After dinner, President Maxwell kindly offered to drive the rest of the way. Elder Jensen, Sister Maxwell and I just sat back and enjoyed the drive! We arrived in Wangaratta at about 10:00 pm and settled into our hotel.
 Mirror shot with Elder Jensen and I at our hotel!

Friday (6.10.16)
We were up in Wangaratta for multiple reasons. However, first on the list was the Zone Conference and it was great! Every zone conference is pretty similar with the trainings we do as APs, BUT I love hearing the other missionaries train and the wisdom that comes from them. I also never mind hearing the same thing over again because I have found many time that the Spirit is able to draw different information out of the same training and I am able to personally benefit greatly. 

Wangaratta Zone Conference. I got to see my old companion, Elder Sifuentes!

Following the Zone Conference we went to the Hewlett’s (they are a senior missionary couple) home for dinner. The food was delicious and we were all able to share some of our missionary experiences so the evening was very enjoyable!

Dinner at the Hewlett's! It was awesome and they fed a crowd of missionaries!

The day started with a nice breakfast at the hotel with the Maxwells and then we had to drive President Maxwell to an appointment. After his appointment, we dropped President off at the church so he could prepare for the District Conference that was ALSO taking place while we were up in Wangaratta. Elder Jensen and I decided to kill two birds with one stone. While we were waiting for the 6:00 pm meeting to start we went tracting and MAN it felt awesome! I loved how down to earth the people are up in the bush towns!  It is really encouraging because a lot of them are willing to have great talks with you.  Elder Jensen and I went on exchanges with the Wangaratta Elders and it was really great! 

Elder King from the Wangaratta Zone! He is a great new missionary!

We visited some less actives and invited them to come to the conference on Sunday morning. Then we went to the evening session of conference and it was amazing! Elder Walker of the Quorum of the Seventy was there and it was a great meeting that was totally filled with the Spirit! :) 

Sunday (6.12.16)

This morning started off with breakfast at the Hewlett's home. They have been so kind to Elder Jensen, the Maxwells and me and taken great care of us! After a delicious breakfast we were off to the chapel to get ready for the Sunday session of the Conference. We were there a bit early and they invited us was to sing in a branch choir and that was really nice! Then the meeting started and it went until 1:00 pm. After the meeting there was a lunch with all the members of the conference to say good bye to the Maxwells. Because Wangaratta is a district, the mission president, President Maxwell, presides over it. Because of that everyone in the District really grew to know and love him and Sister Maxwell. They were all anxious to talk with him and say goodbye so we weren’t able to get out of Wangaratta till about 3:30 pm.We arrived back in Melbourne around 6:30 pm. The Maxwells had to immediately jet off to a devotional with the Auxillary leaders that are visiting for the long weekend. Elder Jensen and I headed back to the office so we could prepare for the missionary meeting scheduled for tomorrow!

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