Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Leadership Training Meetings

Last week we held three days of leadership training meetings. Those invited were district leaders, zone leaders and sister leader trainers. President Wagner, myself, Sister Wagner (our daughter) and the assistants did most of the training but were also joined by Elder Brighton and Elder Vergara in Guadalajara, Elder Turley and Elder Casas in Tepic and Elder Upchurch and Elder Carbó in Colima. Also teaching were Sister Lopez, Sister Flores, Sister Reynoso, Sister Bernal and Elder Fortney.

Everyone did an exceptional job. We are so blessed to have such great missionaries in our mission.

Our focus was on weekly planning and how to carry out a district and zone class. Included in the training was how to do practices, ideas for language study, helping people better understand the Book of Mormon, asking for references, baptismal challenges and inviting someone to pray.  So, yes! It was a lot!!

Sister Wagner (Hija) reviewed both Spanish and English vocabulary with a very fun game. The words were on a chalkboard and when she called out a word in one language, a person from each team had to race to the board and hit the word--in the other language. So if she said, "yellow" they would have to hit the paper that said, "Amarillo".  We had a lot of fun with that game, although it got a bit crazy.

In another activity we used pictures to help tell the timeline of the Book of Mormon. My friend Cherie Clark from Florida came up with this idea back when we were teaching seminary together about 20 years ago. I just changed the wording to Spanish. We hope that the pictures can be used in family night lessons as well as when the missionaries introduce the Book of Mormon to people for the first time.

In addition . . .the Area Presidency here in Mexico has asked that we teach planning better to our missionaries. We gave each of the missionaries a large sheet of paper that will help them better plan their week and then together they practiced doing it. Our hope is that with better planning our missionaries can also have a deeper sense of urgency for the work. (Most are really good already, but there is always room for improvement.)

The pictures below are of some of these activities. They are in order of when they were taken--and so divided by area--not by activity.


Listening intently to planning instructions. That paper in front of them--the long one--is the one the mission is now using as a planning tool.
Two of our great sister leader trainers
 And they are off!!
 The battle of the redheads. I am thinking long legs in this case is a plus.
 Will he be a gentleman or just go for the win?
 Teaching the Book of Mormon Timeline
 Sometimes you just have to get right down on their level. :-)
 Glad to see after a long day of training they were still smiling.
 Of course they also got their mail and supplies so that may have had something to do with it.

Day Two--Back to planning.
Right on!!
 I am pretty sure Sister H didn't need the help the zone leaders were giving her!! That was very nice of them though--even if it really was cheating.
 Here the missionaries are lining up for a different game using questions to ask for references. The assistants were in charge of this one and did a great job.
 Nothing like a little brotherly love. . . or should I say, "elderly"?
 Putting the timeline in order
 Assistants--past and present.
 Day Three--I think the game got a little carried away here.
 Run, run!!
 I love it when the sisters teach. This was from a lesson on how to do practices.
 Back to the assistants game . . . have to make sure they line up just right.
So who do you think has the quicker reflexes? Yep! President Wagner! Elder Fox gave it a good try though. 
 A quick lunch of Subway.

 And then back to work with the timelines. First they put them together  . . .

 And then they practiced teaching it.
 And once again it is nice to see happy faces after a long day of training.

 It is always nice to stand out in a crowd.:-)
 The gap in the middle is for Elder Grantham who couldn't be found at the time the picture was taken.

Finally!! They Are Here!!

We have now welcomed two more missionaries!! Both have waited a long time to get here. One is from Guatemala and served there for 6 months while waiting for his visa, and the other is from Peru and served there for five months before his visa arrived.

We are so glad to finally have them both in our mission now!! Welcome Elders!!

 Oops. I forgot to have him put on his jacket before the picture!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mission Council (Concilio de la Misión)

We had our second official mission council on the first Tuesday of this month. And we had several new missionaries joining us!

First off --we have a new assistant--Elder Snyder. He is replacing Elder Jensen who served honorably for 8 months. We look forward to great things with Elder Silverio and Elder Snyder!!

New Zone Leaders
Elder Sosa, Elder Upchurch, Elder Cassanova and Elder Payne
New Sister Trainer Leaders
Sister Lopez and Sister Bernal

 We also look forward to working with the new leaders!
We are sure they will all do a great job. 

Twenty New Missionaries!!

A couple weeks ago we welcomed 20 new missionaries into the mission! Due to scheduling conflicts--both with our schedule and their flight time arrivals, we had to do all the training on the same day they arrived and we had to do it at the office as we didn't have time for traveling to the usual welcome meal at the mission home.

Things were a bit chaotic, so we felt bad about that, but all of the missionaries seem to be adjusting well. Thankfully!!

Here are some pictures from that crazy--and oh so exciting day!!

We received 8 new sisters!! So happy to have them!

 Six new elders from the states!

And six additional elders from Latin America--four from Mexico, one from Chile and one from El Salvador!! 
I am sorry I didn't get a picture of them all together but here are four of them signing the mission quilt.
A big welcome to you all!!

 After feeding them all a dinner of lasagna, homemade breadsticks and chocolate cake (I also had a salad that accidentally got left at home:-( We were joined by their trainers.
The office isn't that big so now things got a little crazy!

 Not only did we have the entire office staff and forty additional missionaries . . . 
But we also had all their luggage. 
 Somehow everything worked out okay, and the new missionaries were able to get all the papers and documents they needed---including the all important bank card.
Thank you Elder Call!!
 Then we all went outside --where there was more room--to have the "meet your new companion" time.
Here all the new missionaries lined up on one side of the yard . . . 
And all the trainers lined up on the other side.
 My favorite part is always when they meet in the middle. 

We now have 45 missionaries in training! And all of our sister missionaries are either training or being trained. 
Such is life these days in the mission field.

Exciting Times!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Colima, Colima! The last of the zone conferences.

I am finally getting around to posting the last of the zone conferences. 
There are from our visit to Colima!
Once again we had a great time with the missionaries there.
The first couple pictures are of practices.
Ahhh, the life of a missionary. Practice, practice, practice.

 How about a little scripture chase. . . 
 And some scripture power!
 Learning body parts in English . . . 

 I got a kick out of this. We broke for lunch and these elders all gathered around the president to ask him questions, instead of hurrying off to get their food, like they usually do. 
 Group shot
 And some smaller group shots.