Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Interviews Round 4!

Today we began our fourth round of interviews. It is hard to believe we are doing this for the fourth time already. The time is passing so quickly!! While President Wagner met with a missionary, I met with the rest of his/her district to talk about health, language study, apartment cleanliness and play a jeopardy game.

The game had questions from the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon. After playing it with the three zones, I have decided that I need to come up with some harder questions by tomorrow! They were all pretty smart.

Here are pictures of each of the companionships. We have missionaries in this zone from the United States, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sister Training!! One Very Fun Day!!

This past week we held specialized training in the office for the sisters in our mission. Although there were a few chaotic moments, and the office proved to be a bit small (and hot) for all of us, I think it went well. And I am sure the sisters all had a great time being together. 

Our theme was "Power Through Covenants." This was taken from Preach My Gospel where it says, "Your calling gives you authority, your covenants give you power". So of course we started our training with "covenant bars" which were actually Nestle Crunch bars with a new wrapper.:-) 

First on our agenda was a lesson by President Wagner on the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood and how it applies to women. 

Here are all of our cute sisters in the office ready to be taught--and to teach. The sister on the right on the front row is our first 19-year old sister. We are expecting four more in April. 
Next a companionship of sisters taught lesson 5 from chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel on Eternal Marriage. Our goal was not only to strengthen the desire of our sisters to make and keep sacred covenants but to also help their newly baptized members work towards attending the temple. 

Here the sisters are practicing making an outline for teaching the principle of Eternal Marriage

 The training model for missionaries is--explain, demonstrate, practice, evaluate and re-practice. We use this training model in almost everything we do. We have also learned that it is very effective to do a group evaluation after the last practice and ask, "What did you learn?" It is always interesting to hear the insights they gained from each activity.

Next up the assistants shook it up a bit with an outside activity we called "Speed Contacting" This is the same activity we used in leadership training (see earlier posts). It was a lot of fun and nice to get outside where there was more room!
 Then one of our wonderful Senior couples used the game of charades to teach basic English words you would find at church. This was so much fun!!
One sister would act out the word and her team had to guess it in English. Then Sister Crockett would write the word on the board and everyone would practice saying it. 

And speaking of Sister Crockett--she also made these very cute bookmarks and wood decorations for all the girls. Each bookmark and each wood decoration was different so it was a LOT of work!! 

 Next up was my part on "Scripture Power". Here we used PMG chapter 10 to learn how to use scriptures to add power to our teaching. In this picture the sisters are practicing with a scripture to decide how to introduce it, what difficult words might need to be explained, what the investigator should "look for" while reading it and how to apply it to their lives.
Next up was lunch!! Thank you to our other senior couple, the Calls, this was delicious!! I brought the fixings for sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, and Elder Call made mouth watering salsa, guacamole and the most delicious fruit salad I have ever tasted!! They, along with the Crocketts and the assistants, got everyone served. What a blessing Senior Couples are!! We are so thankful to have them!

 After lunch Elder Call also taught from lesson 5, chapter 3 on temple and family history. I am sorry I don't have a picture of him teaching! But just know he did a great job.

Then Sister Call taught all the sisters how to use Family Search. And she taught in Spanish!! (And did great!!) She had everyone fill out a pedigree chart and then we used five computers to give all the sisters time to look up their families. That was a lot of fun for them all.

Of course no training would be complete without pictures!! Here the assistants were roped into taking pictures for everyone!

Group Photo!!

Our senior couples that we love so much!
And I couldn't resist this. 
Here are a few pictures of the sister's work shoes.

And here are the shoes they wear to training meetings!
Love them!
And we love our sisters!
They come from all over Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Peru!
And we are thankful for each one of them. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A little rumbling action . . .

This is what the volcanoes looked like on our drive TO Colima

And this is what one of them looked like on our drive back home. 

Apparently it has had a little indigestion lately. But other than the occasional spew, nothing is happening. It was pretty cool to see it though. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Leadership Training Days 2 and 3

Everything is starting to pile up on top of each other. We just finished leadership training and tomorrow we need to get everything ready for our sisters training on Tuesday. Also--we just got word that one of our missionaries from Central America who has been waiting for his visa, received it and will be arriving in the middle of the training we have planned for our sisters.

So life is getting a little crazy at the moment. Therefore--in an effort to not get behind too much on the blog, I am posting pictures of both days 2 and 3 of our leadership training at the same time.

And here is a run down of what we did. . . . Everything came from Preach My Gospel or the Missionary Manual. President Wagner first went over the responsibilities of leaders and what they are supposed to cover on divisions. Then we practiced some of the things they are supposed to cover.

First we had companionship study. (PMG Chapter 2) They were given a principle and told to make an outline of the principle focusing on the doctrine they were teaching. Then they combined with other missionaries to add scriptures and examples. This section was taught by the zone leaders in one of the three zones attending, and they all did an AWESOME job! (Elder Aguilar and Elder Gonzalez, Elder Webb and Elder Duda, and Elder Turley and Elder Casas) Here are some pictures of the groups working to improve their outline.

 Although some can't help but pose for the camera.:-)

We also practiced challenging people to be baptized after teaching any principle. They formed two lines and were given a principle. After teaching two lines of the principle they were to challenge the person to be baptized, and after they accepted the challenge (we only had golden contact this day:-) the missionary was supposed to ask for a list of people the investigator would like to invite to the baptism. They then were given another principle and another--all for just one minute each. It really was a lot of fun doing this. (Oh and one of the lines moved one person down each time so after every minute they were talking to a different person)
Another practice in lines was asking for references using the specific questions the missionaries have been given to help them with this. We turned this in to a competition to see which line (team) could get the most references from their "investigators" or "members".  The Assistants handled both of these activities
President Wagner also talked with the missionaries about how to plan a successful baptismal service--where you can invite potential new investigators. Elder Snyder, Elder Brighton and Elder Silverio were asked to come prepared share their ideas (which were all great) and then everyone shared one idea they used that was successful.

Another thing leaders are supposed to do is check area books. We had three missionaries who shared what PMG says needs to be in the book and then they shared some great tips to have a PMG Area Book. Elder Longhurst, Elder Armengol, and Elder Upchurch taught this part and all did a great job. Afterward everyone checked their area book for ways they could improve and then practiced by checking the area book of someone else as well.

 I also covered cleaning. We are supposed to check all the apartments every six months, but have realized that is not nearly often enough, however, it is impossible for us to do more. (Oh, how we would love a senior couple to handle this!!) What we are now doing is having the district and zone leaders check apartments during each change period--so every six weeks. To teach this part--of what an apartment should or shouldn't look like--I showed pictures of the missionaries apartments. It was pretty funny to see their heads drop in shame when I showed a bad picture of their apartment or have them look up and smile--when I showed a good one. 

Lunch for all three days was Subway. Two of the groups bought the meal --which included a sandwich, drink and a cookie--all for about $3.50. The last group skipped the drink and cookie and bought a footlong for every person. I guess they were a hungrier group.

I also taught a segment on how to help the people you are on divisions with set goals. (This all came from the missionary manual) Here some of the missionaries are practicing using PMG to help the person find ways they can improve. 

And of course we ended with the mission hymn!

Lastly, here are some pictures of our last group. A district leader helping out the sisters in his district.

Mail Call!!

 And along with the mail comes the Liahona (Ensign)
 It was so much fun being with everyone!! We look forward to doing it again in three months!