Monday, November 30, 2015

Rome Forum - November 2015

Rome Forum
November 2015

Conquering the Unexpected

When new missionaries arrive in Rome, there is a feeling of great excitement and zeal for the work.  Sometime during the first or second transfer (sometimes the third), they start saying how hard a mission is and that it isn’t what they expected.  In addition, there is always the inevitable bout of home sickness.

A recent article stated we can compare these times to the Zion’s Camp that the early saints experienced.  It was a difficult assignment and many of the saints complained.  They experienced all kinds of challenges including hunger, fatigue and illness.  Many of them wished they had never gone on the trek.

Zion’s Camp was not what those involved expected.  Your mission is obviously much different than some of the preconceived expectations you had before you came.

In our day we have difficult times, too.  In our mission we have had experiences with persecution, physical trials, illness, temptations on the internet and by Satan’s angel’s, family problems at home, loss of scholarships, loss of employment, missed weddings, births, ordinations, and baptisms, and mental struggles that have tried and tested many.

We believe these trials, like those of Zion’s Camp, are refining you.  You are the future leaders of the mission and of the Church.  From your ranks we will see future elder’s quorum presidents, relief society presidents, youth leaders, bishops, stake presidents, and general authorities.  You will become patriarchs and strong teachers.

After withstanding the trials of a mission, you will be blessed with temple marriages and become loving fathers and mothers.

For those who complete honorable missions, we echo the statement of Joseph Smith to the members of Zion’s Camp “The Lord has accepted our sacrifice and offering, even as he had Abraham’s when he offered his son Isaac”.  And like Joseph Smith, we ask Heavenly Father to “ bless us with eternal life and salvation”.
In the end, Zion’s Camp was a refiner’s fire.  Many of the soldiers involved grew spiritually and became great leaders in the church.  Nine of the original Apostles, all seven presidents of the Seventy’s quorum, and all sixty-three other members of that quorum had all served in the army of Israel that marched to western Missouri in 1834.  Instead of giving up, complaining all the time, or losing their testimonies, they put their trust in God, met the challenges, and endured to the end.
As a mission, we have accomplished much, and we will accomplish even more.  May the Lord bless you and protect you as He always has His worthy saints.

Presidente and Sorella Waddoups

Listening to the Holy Ghost

Listening to the Holy Ghost

D&C 8:2-5

Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart,
by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and
which shall dwell in your heart.

Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation;
behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel
through the Red Sea on dry ground.

Therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it, and blessed art thou,
for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies,
when, if it were not so, they would slay you and
bring your soul to destruction.

Oh, remember these words, and keep my commandments.
Remember, this is your gift.

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We did an activity at Zone Conference designed to help the missionaries discern between the voice of the Holy Ghost and other voices trying to lead them astray.  We divided the missionaries into groups of six and then asked one person from each group to leave the room.  That person was then blindfolded.  Each member of the group was told to guide the blindfolded person to a different location.  That meant each blindfolded person had five people telling them to go to five different locations which resulted in a very congested room full of people who didn’t know where they should go or who they should listen to.

The blindfolded individuals were then taken out of the room again and one person in every group was assigned to be the designated voice that the blindfolded person should listen to.

The object at this point was to have the blindfolded missionaries listen to the designated voice and go to a location in the room where a picture of Christ was on display.  Our goal as missionaries is to help others Come Unto Christ.

When I first planned the activity, I envisioned everybody listening to the right voice and walking to the picture of Christ and that would help them understand the importance of having the Holy Ghost as their constant companion and a voice that would never lead them astray.  As the activity unfolded, it was evident that many more lessons were being taught.

One missionary went straight to the picture and had a huge smile on her face.  A couple of other missionaries made it without too much difficulty and it was obvious they were pleased.

One missionary never moved from his original spot.  There were so many voices telling him different things and he wasn’t familiar with the voice he was supposed to listen to.  He was so confused he never even moved.

I could hear people all over the room shouting “Come with me, I know the way”  or “Come with me, we’ll have a really good time” or “Come with me, don’t listen to anyone else”.   One of the elders tempted his companion with all the things he knew he liked, i.e., peanut butter.   One elder imitated the voice of the person who was giving the right directions.

Most of the sisters were pretty intense on leading the blindfolded person astray.  When the blindfolded missionary  got closer to where they were supposed to go, most of the missionaries backed off because it was obvious they wouldn’t reach their goal anyway.  Those who were doing the leading astray used very loud voices, but the person assigned to lead them to the picture of Christ always used a still calm voice to guide them.

The blindfolded missionaries said how difficult it was the first time because they didn’t know what was happening.  It was still hard the second time, but at least they had an idea what was happening.  Sometimes they didn’t recognize the good voice and so they followed the voice of their companion whom they were familiar with.  Their companions were very good at leading them astray.  There was so much background noise, most of the time it was difficult to hear the guiding voice.

At the end of the exercise, I read the scripture from D&C 8:2-5 that talks about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it can deliver us out of the hands of our enemies.  As missionaries, we are blessed immensely when we listen to the Holy Ghost and follow the prompting that are given to us.  Our investigators really struggle until they understand the power of that still, small voice that guides us.  Sometimes there are so many other voices giving conflicting points of view that they are confused and have a very difficult time accepting the truths of the gospel.  We need to be patient and listen to the promptings we receive to help guide them and help them Come Unto Christ.

Bari Specialized Training - November 2015

November 30, 2015

Bari Zone 2015

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The Sister Training Leader taught true conversion should be based on the truths of the Book of Mormon and not because they like us and our personalities.

The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence of the divinity of Christ.  It is also proof of the 
Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  An essential part of conversion is receiving a 
witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true.  As a missionary, you must first 
have a personal testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. 
Preach My Gospel, Page 103

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 The Zone Leaders talked about teaching skills that should be utilized when teaching investigators. 

The first few moments with investigators are very important.  Investigators must learn to trust you.
Preach My Gospel, page 176

(It is very convenient for the missionaries to watch video clips on their I-pads.  Many times the missionaries doing the addestramenti just airdrop information onto their I-pads.)

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We did an activity to help the missionaries better understand the importance of listening to the voice of the Holy Ghost and how difficult it can be sometimes.

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Happy Birthday

Departing Testimony