The Taranto Zone is a huge zone. Some of the missionaries have to travel from the toe part of Italy all the way up to Taranto for zone conference. It requires a 3 1/2 hour train ride coming and going. We keep trying to figure out ways to rearrange zones to consolidate things so missionaries won't have to spend so much time traveling, but unless we make more zones it just doesn't work. Making more zones doesn't work because we don't have any more time to travel to them. So, for the time being, the status quo will continue to work. Who knows, there might be someone on the train who is anxious to hear their gospel message.
The STL's or Sister Training Leaders did an adestramento on setting goals and exercising enough faith to achieve them. They had each missionary look in their handbook and count up how many goals they had set for the week and then asked them to do a push up for each goal. (Mind you, it was the sisters who instructed everyone to get down on the floor and exercise.) Some of the missionaries got off easy because they didn't have a lot of goals. Some of them were huffing and puffing because they had lots of goals. It demonstrated the need to work really hard to achieve goals.
The District Leaders talked about being prepared and having a good attitude about missionary work.
The Zone Leaders talked about ways to do missionary work and find new investigators. They emphasized the importance of trying new things instead of always doing the same thing. They drew nine dots on the blackboard and then asked several missionaries to try connecting all the dots by drawing four continuous lines. It took quite a few attempts before anyone finally came close to achieving the goal. Their challenge to the other missionaries was to think outside the box. Sometimes the answer isn't the same thing we have always done. Sometimes we have to listen to the spirit and try something new and different.
President Waddoups concluded the conference by talking about the things Elder Allen had talked about with the other zones who met in Rome the week before. He expounded on the importance of getting baptism commitments at the very first. This way the path is clearly marked and missionaries and investigators know exactly where their paths are leading. It's important for missionaries to establish the fact they are in Italy to help bring others unto Christ and the way to do that is to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Baptism is only a step on the path to eternal life. The goal is to have members who can go to the temple and be sealed to their families for time and all eternity and then to keep the commandments throughout their entire lives. The missionaries role-played committing to baptism.
He concluded the meeting by talking about the various techniques missionaries can use to find investigators.
|"Take a picture of my good side. Which side is your good side. I don't know. Then . . .|
|. . . we'll take a picture of both sides.|
|Sis. Waddoups, I forgot my watch and won't know how long to talk. - Don't worry, you can borrow mine.|