Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Zone Conferences . . . Or . . On The Road Again!

The past couple weeks we have been touring the mission for zone conferences.

We experienced gorgeous scenery
(Manzanillo Coast)

(Drive back from Tepic)
Interesting Agave Fields
(On the way to Tepic)

And quaint little towns. 
But most fun of all was seeing the missionaries!

Elders in Manzanillo

Ciudad Guzman
Colima Zone

Lomas in Guadalajara

Independencia In Guadalajara

Our focus for the zone conference came from the saying,
"Show me your morning and I will show you your mission,
Show me your mission, and I will show you your life."

We wanted to emphasize the importance of starting your day out right with both your personal and companionship study.
(Preach My Gospel, Chapter 2)

The zone leaders taught and demonstrated the proper way to hold companionship study, and then the missionaries practiced teaching the 8 points of the restoration in three minutes!
Our purpose was to be sure they had the basics down (skeleton) so they could then add the "muscles"

A missionary would teach the person in front of him until 3 minutes were up. They would both then evaluate. After the evaluation, the missionary on the outside would move down one seat and those on the inside would teach, evaluate, and then those on the outside would move a seat down again. And then they repeated, teaching, evaluating, moving, teaching, evaluating, moving. 
This way each missionary taught twice and and was able to learn from two different people. 

Another emphasis of the conference was improving skills in teaching stories and principles from the Book of Mormon
Here President Wagner is coaching "Moroni" as he tells "Joseph Smith" about the plates.

He emphasized that the Book of Mormon needs to become real to the people who are reading it. Not that the missionaries need to stand on chairs, but that they do need to learn to love it themselves so they can share that love and understanding with others. 

The missionaries each practiced teaching a story and principle to their companions. First they were to pretend the companion was an investigator. Then they were to pretend they were teaching their own child who was preparing for baptism.
It was amazing how different the teaching style became when they were teaching their "child". What was also amazing was the additional love they demonstrated. 
So now they have been challenged to teach their investigators with that same amount of love and simplicity they used with their pretend children.
We threw in a few things for fun as well.
Being a former seminary teacher, I couldn't resist testing them on their scripture knowledge.
M&M's went to the winner of this scripture chase. 

At one point in the conference, President Wagner opened up the meeting to questions. So far, in all six conferences we have attended a question has been asked about the Plan of Salvation.

Here President Wagner is answering a question about final judgment.
He was teaching that in the end it won't be how many good things you have done verses how many bad things, but rather who you have become. 

In this example he used pushups to illustrate. If you need to be able to be a person who can do 100 pushups to get to the Celestial Kingdom then you will need to be able to do 100 pushups. 
Unfortunately none of the elders so far have made it to the "Celestial Kingdom":-)

One tried very hard though.
Lunch provided a nice break from the meetings.
We put all that sloppy joe mix and chocolate chip cookies to good use. 
(They were being stored in my freezer)

In addition, we had yogurt, a banana, and some chips.
Oh, and of course the mandatory jalapeños!

One thing that was kind of funny is an American elder had told his American companion that two things he would never see in Mexico were sloppy Joe's and homemade cookies. 
But we had both!

After the conference they all headed back to work!!

Next week I will have pictures from Santiago, Tepic, Union (Guadalajara) and Vallarta
plus some pictures from our two district conferences!

Oh how we love these missionaries!!

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