A very busy week here in the Great THSM. My week started with meeting with some friends from the ward for lunch to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. I headed to the Friendswood chapel afterwards to judge the Friendswood Zone’s pumpkin decorating contest. There were some pretty impressive pumpkins like a portrait of the Savior, Light the World, the great THSM outlined in the state of Texas and a few traditional jack o’ lanterns too. Unfortunately, I forgot to take some pictures but the portrait of the Savior won. On my way home I picked up creative “buzzers” for the PMG jeopardy challenge. Last conference it was difficult to see whose hand went up first. Hoping this helps.
Zone Conferences began on Halloween day which made for a long day. Once home, I made a quick dinner to take Jessie over to her friends for trick or treating. I have to admit I was exhausted and hoping she would just go with her friends and their moms without me. However, I could see and hear her disappointment. I quickly changed my clothes, put a smile on and ended up having a great time in the drizzly rain. We even stayed out until 8:30 after all the friends retreated to their homes 45 minutes earlier. It was all about making memories with my Jessie girl.
The theme for our conferences was “Make Ye Disciples”. The well know charge the Savior gave to His apostles in Matthew 29:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” If you look at the footnote in verse 19, the Greek translation for teach isn’t just to simply teach, but to go and help people become true followers of Christ.
Aaron shared with the missionaries three powerful Greek terms to help the missionaries understandthat teaching is about helping others become disciples of Christ. That they can make disciples by teaching them in such a personal and powerful way that the investigators will want to practice, do, and apply what the Savior would have them do. The missionaries discussed how they personally must become converted to the doctrines and practices the Savior taught, and then bear powerful witness of how applying the gospel in their own lives has blessed them. We also discussed how we make disciples by ensuring we focus on specific invitation such as prayer, Book of Mormon, and church attendance and how they’ll have to do everything they can think of to help them act on these invitations.
For our Preach My Gospel challenge, I focused on the Christ-like attributes. A bit of an oxymoron to have missionaries competing as we’re teaching humility, kindness and charity but they had a great time. I used the jeopardy approach again because it helps get everyone is engaged and involved. We had one elder rip a hole in his pants on the final jeopardy question as he was racing to give me the answer. Good times.
The zone and sister training leaders did a breakout to teach how miracles are preceded by our faith and action. They also taught the importance of finding when they teach and teaching when they find. We do a lot of street contacting and door knocking and we often aren’t assertive enough in getting an appointment with them the same day or at the latest the next day. Many missionaries are great at getting potential investigators, but they need to have more urgency by inviting people to hear the message today. We find we can always improve.
We introduced and discussed the upcoming #LightTheWorld campaign and we are excited to get as many Houstonians involved with us as possible. There is a great feeling a community and service still due to the Hurricane and it ties in nicely to the 25 ways and 25 days of service opportunities. We are doing all we can to get the wards and members involved.
Aaron wrapped up our conference teaching the principles of being equally yoked in the work. A good number of our missionaries are satisfied with letting the senior companion lead so they can stay in the background. We also have those that are so dominant they don’t let their companion participate like they should. These are important principles to learn as it will help them with the skills they need to have an effective marriage and eternal companionship someday. Interviews with President, flu shots, bike riding building skills demonstrated by me and small group discussions on helping our investigators keep commitments followed each day after zone conferences finished up.
The Houston Astros came through as World Champions!! The boys went to the victory parade in downtown Houston on Friday and the news reported that about 2 million people attended. Most schools let their kids out to go (ours didn’t) and the streets were packed with people. Zac squeezed in a quick nine holes with some friends and Bode went to Sweetwater club with some of his friends to play basketball. Golf and basketball on Saturday too. They have been enjoying a pretty sweet life as of late.
Jessie’s school had their Fall carnival after school on Friday so she and I went to that. She told me on the way home the best part of the carnival was being with me. She is so sweet!! On Saturday, I took her and some friends to the International Festival in town center. They had a passport to go to visit each country’s booth. We also watched performances representing many of the countries too. We enjoyed frozen yogurt after and then the girls came over to our house for slime and stress-ball making as well as a fun “Chopped” competition. A fun day for Miss J!
This week Allie has been going to Ogden to help with the dance choreography for Weber High Cheer team. She still loves to dance and choreograph dances and this gives her an opportunity to do both. She is thinking about trying out for one of the university’s cheer teams this next spring. I think it would be good for her but we’ll see.
The weeks are just flying by. Hard to believe we have less than year on this adventure.