September 27, 28 and 30, 2016 – ZONE CONFERENCES
The theme for the conference is BECOMING ROCK SOLID, TRUE BLUE, THROUGH AND THROUGH DISCIPLES OF CHRIST
President and Sister Risenmay with rock visual aid
This is a report of the September 27th session. Today South, North 1 and West 2 Zones attended. On Wednesday South 2 and East 1 will attend. On Friday East 2, North 2, and West 1 attended
Conducting: - Sister Limage
Opening Hymn: #264 Hark All Ye Nations
Accompanist - Sister Kleine
Chorister - Sister Vasquez
Opening Prayer: Sister Chansriramee
Purpose: Sister Yoshida-Field
Sister Yoshida-Field quoted 3 Nephi 12:1 telling us that we can’t know Christ without living the doctrine of Christ and knowing that we can be like Him. Teaching His doctrine daily increases our faith. She closed with 3 Nephi 11:41.
White Handbook Reading: Sister Li and Sister Ramos
Assistants: 1) There will be a testimony meeting Sunday evening at 8:30 pm in Theater One. 2) MLC will be held Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. 3) There is a General Conference ticket for each sister. The tickets may be picked up on Friday afternoon in the Assistant’s office. 4) Sisters were reminded to get their pictures taken at the Church Office Building for their access cards. 5) Sisters are not allowed to call local missionaries. Senior couples can make the call in specific circumstances once approval from the Zone Leaders.
Sister Risenmay: 1) You still need to remember to drink plenty of water even though the weather is turning cooler. 2) There is a bit of “mission creep” with regard to modesty. Please do not wear too tight pencil skirts or knit tops. If either the top or skirt is form fitting, it is too tight. Look professional, not casual. Be sure to wear a slip. Use fabric soften sheets to combat static cling. 3) We were asked to not wear work boot type boots.
Sister Sharp: 1) Please protect the sound systems and put them in their proper places. 2) Please do not leave tour bags all over the Square. Please empty the supplies out of the bags and put the supplies and bags away in their proper spots.
Elder and Sister Geddes: Deep cleaning miracles. Numerous languages and nationalities joining together for a united cause. Creating Celestial Apartments. The sisters all felt so good after their deep cleaning. Sister Geddes reminded the sisters to put it on or put it away. Keep apartments picked up and clean and beds made. Clean before engaging in p-day activities. We will have an inspection every transfer. Sisters were challenged to take the Celestial Challenge to prepare right now for their future home and family.
Elder Richardson: Taught the sisters about blind spots while driving. He showed a video on blind spots, following too close and also on changing lanes. He cautioned the sisters to be fully adjusted before leaving the garage. Keep being safe on the roads.
General Conference Training: Take a question to conference, it will be answered. We read Acts 8:26-35 and were asked to teach people NOT lessons.
Sister Clark T., Sister Nevil and Sister Kemple
Sister Kleine suggested that we teach the bullet points of lessons instead of entire lesson. Sister Eging suggested that we start where the person is at spiritually and go from there. We were asked to draw a picture of our family on our iPads in one minute and then share with each other their family. We were encouraged to share with guests how the gospel affect us. Don’t bombard members at conference with referral requests. Sister Valdez read Alma 12:28-30. We are like angels from heaven sharing the gospel with conference attenders. If we strive to help conference attenders take the messages into their lives, we can more subtly bridge to missionary work. God works in mysterious ways to hasten the work and He is working so hard.
The Simple restoration – Role play to a member
Sister Vasquez and Sister Kleine
(to see their video, please see their video on the mission blog)
Points from their presentation; Ask meaningful questions. Teach the restoration at their level. Share the scriptures. Offer to help in their missionary work. Open up personally and be yourself and testify.
Simple restoration – Role play with history
Sister Wentzel and Sister Carrus
(to see their video, please see their video on the mission blog)
Points from their presentation: Taught the establishment of Christ’s church, the atonement, resurrection, the apostasy and the restoration.
Simple restoration – Role play rejection – open their own box
Sister Liu and Sister Parks
(to see their video, please see their video on the mission blog)
Points from their presentation: Open their own box. Keep inviting them to act. Testify!
Learn to recognize and rely on the promptings of the spirit.
Sister Stussi and Sister Valdez
We were encouraged to recognize and rely on the Spirit. The Spirit is the teacher. It is a privilege for us to work with a member of the Godhead. D&C 50:17-18 and Preach My Gospel pages 96-97. To recognize the Spirit, we must be “in tune.” Learn to hear the Spirit’s voice – it is calm. TS Eliot was quoted - “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” Virtues to seek: Patience, quiet and peaceful, walk by faith, follow the Spirit, harkening to the voice of God’s peace here and in eternity. We were challenged to learn to ponder and respond to promptings of the spirit. Sister Macfarlane read D&C 8:2-3 and commented that Oliver wanted to translate. She asked, can we just hear the Spirit and not understand? Sister Cox commented that she loves to read the First Vision in Joseph Smith’s own words. Equating the Spirit to coals in a fire, Sister Cox said that something needs to be added to the coals to keep them going enabling the coals to grow into a full fire. Sister Wentzel referred to D&C 11:12-14 stating that the Spirit will lead you to do what you need to do. Sister Carrus read D&C 9:8-9 and said that Oliver Cowdery needed to follow Christ and not his own desires. We need to ask God – He will answer.
Nephi of old read the scriptures as do we. We were asked to read and study Preach My Gospel chapter 4 to help us recognize the Spirit more and to be disciples of Christ. President Gordon B. Hinckley read Moroni 7:13, 16-17 and then said: “That’s the test, when all is said and done. Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous? Then it is of the Spirit of God …”
President Risenmay told us about the Mission President’s Seminar. There were ten Utah mission presidents and their wives in attendance. The theme of the seminar was Becoming rock solid, true blue, through and through disciples of Christ. What does it mean to be rock solid? Sister Leavitt recited Joseph F. Smith’s experience with a mob leader pointing a gun at his face and asking him if he were one of those blankety, blank Mormons. President Smith responded, “Yes sir, true blue, through and through.” The sisters were asked what it means to be rock solid. Sister Gomes – Consistent in what we believe and act upon it.
Sister Wentzel – Unbreakable
Sister Limage – Firm foundation
Sister Nevil – We become rock solid over a life time
Sister Strihavka – Strong and settled
What does settled mean?
Sister Baker – Pioneers took what they had and were settled
Sister Kemple – Happy where you are and love it
Sister Leavitt – At peace
Sister Cutrer – Determined
Sister Eging – It is character; doing what is right when no one is watching
Sister Macfarlane – A rock is a rock forever
Brigham Young saw this valley where the saints would be safe and settled. Examples of rock solid and settled are: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Joseph F. Smith and 80,000 pioneers. The 6,000 that died in the journey were still rock solid.
Joseph F. Smith was 6 when his father, Hyrum, died. He helped his mother cross the plains. When he was 13 his mother died. At 15 he was called to a mission to the Hawaiian Islands for four years. He returned home at 19. He was a powerful missionary. Be determined to be settled as to who you will be. The following scriptures were read: James 1:5-6, Alma 32, Alma 38:2.
President Risenmay used Elder Neil L. Anderson’s talk from the Mission President’s seminar for the basis of his talk. The talk was entitled the Faith to find and Baptize Members. There were five specific points from Elder Anderson’s talk. They are:
· Keep your teaching and goals of finding and baptizing converts front and center, no matter where you serve.
· Remember baptism is prominent in the doctrine of Christ.
· Learn how to emphasize and speak of baptism with balance and permanence.
· Guard the flame of faith that missionaries can find and baptize converts, and miracles will follow.
· Lead your missionaries with Christ-like love and high expectations.
President Risenmay related a few stories from his mission in Holland and the baptism of a family that resulted in the baptism of others along the way.
Closing prayer and blessing on the food: Sister Ruiz
Conducting the afternoon session: Sister Tagliavia
Opening prayer for the afternoon session: Sister Yan
President Risenmay told of a meeting with the Zone Leaders to discuss the baptismal goals for each zone and the mission we reached our goal for the year on September 25, 2016 we had 1021 baptisms. Our goal for the entire year was 1016. The zones met to discuss what their zone goals will be for baptisms each month here after. Each zone was asked to sustain the goal for their zone. The enthusiasm of goals and working to achieve them was likened to the Lord of the Rings and the how the flame spread from one village to another for the group of villages to combine and succeed. The flame of faith will spread. The beacons are lit – will you respond? In response to the video from the Lord of the Rings the following comments were shared:
Sister Kleine – All the beacons have to light themselves. We have to light it for ourselves.
Sister Chansriramee – become an example to others. The light will spread.
Sister Deschene – Unity. All must desire to answer the call.
Sister Limage – Pumped up, set goals, sacrifice, have the spirit and desire. This is a joy.
Sister Nevil – If one had not lit the beacon, it would not have been able to continue.
Sister Gomes – Effort of everyone to succeed. Satan only one who wants failure.
Sister Wentzel – Climb to the top sweating due to hard work.
Sister Ashton – Lord’s goal. He knows who is ready.
The Lord brings us to people and people to us. Elder Holland has said, “Why is it so hard? Because salvation is not cheap. We must be prepared to walk some of the path Christ walked. We must experience some of what He felt and shed tears as he did. Salvation is not a whimsical thing for missionaries. The atonement will carry us when we struggle etc. Standing shoulder to shoulder to Christ we have every reason to stand tall. The Savior’s example helps us go on. Persist in prayer. Give thanks for the opportunity to serve and ask what you can do next.”
Zone break out – We were asked to pray personally about a baptismal goal for October. Then we were to discuss as a companionship the received answer and set a goal followed by a companionship prayer. As a zone we discussed what our zone goal should be. There were comments by sisters. The zone leaders took the suggested comments and then decided on a zone goal. We need to exercise faith as it is His work and to put our whole heart into the work. Perhaps we should go to conference asking what do I need to change to help reach this goal?
We had a wonderful musical number by Sister Ward and Sister Macfarlane accompanied by Sister Kleine.
Sister Macfarlane, Sister Ward and Sister Kleine
Testimonies were shared by those leaving either before the next transfer or at the next transfer.
The Assistants to the President gave us training.
Sister Sommerfeldt and Sister Eging
They reminded us that we are in a spiritual battle – fighting for salvation. We are fighting 24/7 on the Lord’s side. We were asked how Satan affects us.
Sister Leavitt – Tired
Sister Carrus – Problems at home drag us down
The war is here and now. We need to start fortifying ourselves in our personal studies. Rolepay asking someone who has come onto the Square to be baptized, the restoration, the Book of Mormon, follow through in studies and be baptized. The Assistants showed the video (400th Anniversary of the KJV of the Bible) about William Tindell and the blessings of sacrifice. The video can be located at lds.org/topic/bible.
Sister Risenmay asked what we had learned today. Sister Leavitt commented as representatives of Jesus Christ we must expect discouragement. Sister Carrus said that she now views faith in a different perspective. Sister Valdez that we need to have high expectations. She referred to 3 Nephi 5:12-13. What does it take to be a disciple of Christ? Humility, sacrifice, obedience, love, faith, willingness and charity. Repentance is something we need to do every day. God compares us with what we can be only if we continue to repent. It is the little tiny things that we need to work on. She showed the painting Hold to the Rod by James Christensen.
What are the little things that can get in the way of repentance? What are some of those little things? Pride, not forgiving ourselves, trying to be too perfect, fear of what others think, ashamed to repent, fear to fail, looking back instead of forward – be in the present. Don’t hold onto our weaknesses. We need to become as Elder Le Grande Curtis said, “Professional Repenters.” We need to look hard at ourselves. The spirit of our calling comes after repentance. The following scriptures were discussed. D&C 133:4-5; 3 Nephi 8 and 3 Nephi 9:2,13,14.
Sister Risenmay told the story of a dream that Joseph F. Smith had. He felt as though he was debased in his condition and poverty. While in that condition he dreamed that he was on a journey and he felt impressed to hurry – hurry with all his might for he feared he might be too late. He rushed on as fast as he could he was conscious of a small bundle wrapped in a handkerchief. As he was rushing on he did not know what was in the bundle. Finally, he came to a wonderful mansion – too grand to have been made by human hands, but he knew that was his destination. Rushing towards it as fast as he could, he noticed a sign, “Bath.” He turned quickly, went to the bath and washed himself clean. At that point he opened his little bundle and there was a pair of clean garments, a thing he had not seen for a long time as the people that he lived among did not think too much of making things exceedingly clean. But his garments were clean and he put them on. Then he rushed to a great door and knocked. The Prophet Joseph Smith opened the door. He looked and Joseph F. Smith and a little reprovingly said, “Joseph, you are late.” His response to Joseph Smith was, “Yes, but I am clean – I am clean!” We all want to be clean.
President Risenmay reminded us that we serve a grateful God. We should be very thankful for Christ’s atonement and remember that it is Christ that we represent. We hold onto the rod planning to do our best. Christ held on being perfect. President Risenmay counseled us to hold onto the rod, letting our weaknesses go and access the power of the atonement. Being filled with the spirit we want to bless the whole human race. Nothing happens in missionary work until we find someone to teach. There are people perishing. Elder Sharp indicated that sometimes it hurts us when we can’t stop and talk to people. Even small acts we do can have lasting effects on the lives of those we meet.
President Risenmay told the experience of Elder Hugh B. Brown in Cambridge, UK. Three to four days into his mission he left some flyers around the town. One person came to Elder Brown’s apartment and asked if he had left the flyer and if would become the pastor for an entire group of people that had left the Church of England. This group had been searching for just the message that was listed on the flyer.
Closing Hymn: # 219 Because I Have Been Given Much
Closing Prayer: Sister Wong
Sisters set up and take down the chairs for lunch.