Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Mission Tour

Anziano Patrick Kearon

Italy Rome Mission
March 19-21, 2014

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Patrick Kearon (born 18 July 1961) has been a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since 2010. He is a member of the church's  First Quorum of Seventy. 
Kearon was born in  Carlisle, England.  He was baptized into the LDS Church on Christmas Eve 1987. He was introduced to the church when he stayed with an LDS family in California; two years later, he ran into LDS missionaries in London and began learning about the church. He has worked in transportation, real estate and related fields. In the LDS Church, he has been the president of the Bristol England Stake and an area seventy.
He gave his first General Conference address in the October 2010 Conference. He spoke of being healed spiritually through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Kearon and his wife, Jennifer Carole Hulme, whom he met while she was studying in London as a BYU student, are the parents of four children. At the time of his call as a general authority Kearon was living in Somerset, England.  In 2011 he was appointed as an Assistant Executive Director of the church's Priesthood and Media Services departments.

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Elder Patrick Kearon, Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency and a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, presided over the annual Italy Rome Mission Tour.

Meetings were held in two locations over a three day period.  The first meeting was held in Rome and most of the missionaries serving on the mainland of Italy and the missionaries from Sardegna met in Rome.  We had about 100 missionaries in attendance.   The second meeting was held on the island of Sicily in Catania.  All the missionaries serving in the Palermo and Catania Zones as well as a few of the missionaries serving near the boot of Italy met there.  Again we had about 100 missionaries.  All the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders  went to Catania so they would be there for the Capi Conference (Leaders Conference) the following day with Elder Kearon.

It took weeks of organizing travel and sleeping accommodations.  The office elders and assistants did all the work while we were still traveling and doing training.  The day of the conference in Rome there was a transportation strike which made things a bit hectic for a while, but by two minutes prior to starting time, all the missionaries were there.

The theme of the conference was FAITH and ACTION.   Over and over the conversation lead to faith (fede).  President Waddoups taught we have to have faith to teach about faith.  Faith is demonstrated by goals.  We have to want to do something before we can do it.  Have faith in yourself and in your talents.  If God said we can do it, we can believe it.

Mark 11:22-24

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
A lot of time was spent on finding new investigators to teach.  If we don't talk to people, we don't find investigators.   If we don't have investigators, we don't have anyone to teach.  If we don't teach, we don't baptize.  When we are finding, we have to talk to everyone and use all the "clubs in the bag".  We need to show confidence and testify of the things our companions say.  It is important to listen to the spirit when finding as well as when teaching.  The Italian people love their families, and they will love the concept of eternal families.

Elder Kearon began by reading part of the First Presidency Message from the Preach My Gospel manual.

We challenge you to rise to a new sense of commitment to assist our Father in Heaven in His glorious work.  Every missionary has an important role in helping "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39).

The Lord will reward and richly bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him.  More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children.

Elder Kearon referred to a talk given by Elder Nelson where he refers to the image of parents taking their child to a primary school and wanting them to come home happy.  Heavenly Father wants all His children back and missionaries are the ones He needs to help them return to Him.  Many people don't know they are stuck in a primary school and don't know there is a better way and a pathway to get there.  Missionaries have that knowledge and the responsibility to teach them.

One of my favorite quotes was "If you have voices of doubt--turn it off".

It requires action to make things happen.  Elder Kearon asked the missionaries to highlight the things they will do after the conference.  Too many people listen and take notes and think what they hear is really good, but then they don't do anything about it.   Elder Holland said "It takes a great Stake Conference to last past Tuesday."

The missionaries were asked to think of the most capable missionaries in finding and list their attributes.

Happy - Men are that they might have joy?  (Not something in the future.  It's NOW!)
Natural - At peace with self
Look of love from eyes and smile
Bold - Know message and bear sincere testimony
Selfless - Talk about them instead of you.  We have 2 ears and 1 mouth
Focus - Talk to others instead of talking to companion
Unwearying diligence - Love for people
Find everywhere
Big smile - Look like the message - "Become the Message" - People see you before they talk to you
"You might be the only message some people read."

How can these attributes be adopted and shared?

Enos 1:4

 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

The way to truly adopt these attributes is through exact obedience.  Obedience molds character.

D&C 130:20-21

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated--

And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

The scriptures tell us that God's glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  That should be our goal, too.

Moses 1:39

For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Our purpose is to get Father's children home and the the gateway is baptism.  The missionary's role in the conversion process is to create a climate where the Holy Ghost can bear witness.

During the Leader's Conference with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders on the final day, Elder Kearon asked the missionaries to list the keywords that impressed them during the conference.  These are the things they listed:

*Positivity and Hope
*Mighty Prayer
*Self Worth
*Absolute Trust
*Reaction to Rejection
*Be Patient
*Passion for Missionary Work
*Courage and Boldness

It's impossible to concentrate on all those things at once, so they narrowed the list down to 6 things to work on--even though they will probably only work on 2 or 3 at a time.  These 6 things were:

*Positivity and Hope

At the conclusion of the conference, Elder Kearon referred the missionaries to a section of the Preach My Gospel manual that talks about being a successful missionary.

A Successful Missionary

Your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people and to help them become fruitful members of the Church who enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost.

Avoid comparing yourself to other missionaries and measuring the outward results of your efforts against theirs.  Remember that people have agency to choose whether to accept your message.  Your responsibility is to teach clearly and powerfully so they can make a correct choice.  Some may not accept your message even when they have received a spiritual witness that it  is true.  You will be saddened because you love them and desire their salvation.  You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith.  If you lower your expectations, you effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit.

You will know you have been a successful missionary when you:

*Feel the Spirit testify to people through you.
*Love people and desire their salvation.
*Obey with exactness.
*Live so that you can receive and know how to follow the Spirit who will show you where to go, what to do, and what to say.
*Develop Christlike attributes.
*Work effectively every day, do your very best to bring souls to Christ and seek earnestly to learn and improve.
*Help build up the Church (the ward) wherever you are assigned to work.
*Warn people of the consequences of sin.  invite them to make and keep commitments.
*Teach and serve other missionaries.
*Go about doing good and serving people at every opportunity, whether or not they accept your message.

When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself.  You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.

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The theme of the mission is "Bee the best you can bee."  We continually stress the importance of bee-ing a little bit better tomorrow than we are today and that we should never compare our best to somebody else's best. 

The one quote that Elder Kearon said that really resonated with me was:

"Your best will always be good enough."

President and Assistants with companion ties.

The anzioni usually get matching ties.  These anzioni have matching, shoes, socks, suits, and shirts--but not ties.

Americans with Italian Surnames
Amici (friends and neighbors) from home

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