Sunday, December 14, 2014

Stake Conference Talks and More Good-Byes

This week's focus has been primarily on talks that we both gave in Stake Conference yesterday.  Today we had a Regional Conference; Craig was asked to talk in the Stake's Priesthood Leadership Session and I was asked to speak in the Saturday Night Session.  Craig spent hours reading and pondering, I spent over 20 hours just trying to get what I had written and then translated comfortable-sounding and partially memorized.  (Can't remember the last time I even half-read a talk!!!)  We both had plenty of time to do this since we each had a day when we stayed at home, sick.  We have missed work here because we were sick more than we either one did in our entire careers - and for Craig that covers 45 years!  We're feeling better, and his talk was awesome and mine was ok.  Our talks were (appropriately) on missionary work.  A tiny recap:

I talked about how the way we do missionary work has transitioned over the years and now it is the MEMBER'S role to find people for the missionaries to teach.  Speaking primarily to the Ward Mission Leaders about the missionaries, Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Please help them to fill their daily planners with focused and meaningful teaching opportunities."  This, of course needs to be done with the help of the whole ward.  I also quoted President Hinckley saying that being a new convert in the church could be a "perilous experience" and begged people to welcome the new converts.  We have 30% activity, so retention is a serious problem!

Craig talked about the importance for the members to do all they can to strengthen their missionary effort - they can do it, they must do it, the Lord is depending on us to help finish His work.  There were over 100 in attendance - 92%, so the leadership here is strong! It was the first time he was really very comfortable talking in Portuguese and he felt like the Priesthood brethren really understood how important and real is their responsibility to take the leadership in their wards regarding the hastening of the complete missionary work. 
There is so much to do!!!

Tomorrow is another rip-my-heart-out transfer day when I say good-bye to some missionaries who I love so dearly.  I wish I had taken pictures of all of them who are so important to me.  Here are just a couple:
Sister Jackson (l)(MN) doesn't leave till Feb, but Sister
Allen (r) (AZ) does.  Both solid, wonderful missionaries
(Sorry not to have a pic of Craig - next week!)
Sister Mattei (MO) leaves tomorrow - always so happy
and willing to do whatever is asked.
Oh - Cute Sister Sowa (PA) in the back right also leaves.  :(
(Bad hair day for me which is sadly not untypical!!!) 
Frankly, it was good to be focused on non-Christmas missionary efforts to keep us from being too homesick.  We hope you are all enjoying the Season, and keeping Christ at the center of it!

All our Love!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so impressed you gave a talk in Portuguese! I don't even like giving ones in English:) I hope Jessie has missionary couples that love her as much as you love those kids.