This last month we have had several excellent training meetings. The first three were for zone leaders, district leaders and sister leader trainers and were taught by President Wagner, myself and the assistants. The most recent meeting was for our mission council (zone leaders, assistants, and sister leader trainers) and was taught by Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela of the First Quorum of Seventy and second counselor in our Area Presidency.
It was awesome.
And we were so proud of our missionaries!! They arrived early and were all reverently seated when we arrived--15 minutes before the meeting was scheduled to begin. They made excellent comments and asked very good questions. In every way they were perfect!!
And the training was even better. Elder Valenzuela showed our mission numbers and said "Numbers talk. What are these numbers telling you?" The missionaries responded to that and with nearly each comment he took time to train us how to be better in the area mentioned. It was wonderful, really. The Spirit was so strong and a lot of learning was taking place.
Here is a picture of those in attendance, minus myself who took the picture.
Here are a few quotes from his training:
"The success of the mission depends on the mission council. They carry on their shoulders the responsibility to lead and direct the work and to help everyone succeed."
On the sacrament . . .
"Missionaries themselves need to participate in the sacrament more fully and worthily. We need to live better what we are teaching."
"The blessing of partaking worthily of the sacrament is the Spirit. If we are not partaking worthily we do not have the Spirit and cannot effectively participate in missionary work."
"It is good for the missionaries to worry about their investigators on Sunday, who will sit with them, who will welcome them etc. But that should not supercede personal worthiness and participation in the sacrament."
On the need for more baptisms . . .
He commented that God is pleased with the good things we are doing such as finding more investigators, more lessons with members etc., but that we need to improve on baptisms. He then said, "We want all new missionaries who arrive in the Guadalajara Mission to know that this mission has a culture of baptizing."
"No one wants us to be more successful than God does."
He also told the story of when Elder Henry B. Eyring came to Mexico. He said he stepped off the plane and heard a voice say, "Be careful what you do here. You are on sacred ground" Elder Valenzuela then went on to say that we need to always remember that we are in a sacred place, doing sacred things.
"We need to trust more in God and we need to trust more in the Book of Mormon."
He also taught us how to be better missionaries by the examples given in Helaman 3. (Everyone should read it.:-)
And one of my favorite comments from a missionary . . .
"My investigators are a reflection of my own conversion. If I don't value the atonement, neither will they. If I don't value the Sabbath day, neither will they."
There was much more but too much to write here. Just know it was great!
Now comes the hard part though . . . putting it all into practice! But, we can do it!!