We are in full swing with Elder Zwick and his wife visiting the Bay City Stake and our mission this week. After Elder Zwick and his wife arrived last week we began a full week of activity with him. After speaking the night before we got up bright and early to drive back to Bay City for the morning session of conference where we did a combined testimony of the Restoration. One of the highlights of the conference was one of our recent converts speaking about their family being baptized in December (5 of them). They have already been to the temple, the cute sweet mom who spoke, is in a relief society calling, and they are already working towards being sealed as a family at the end of the year (her husband gave the closing prayer). Stake conference weekend’s in Bay City have proven to be the most demanding as travel back and forth the long distance.
On Monday the mission tour with Elder Zwick and his wife began and it didn’t slow down for four straight days. He serves in the missionary department and visits two missions a month assignments to see how mission presidents are doing. He’s very charismatic and friendly, but even so at times it was very intense and always felt like we were under the microscope. Not sure how you can’t feel like that but I think we did well taking it in stride. His wife is darling and so real with her experiences as a wife to a mission president and the challenges of raising a family while in the mission field. I could relate to her so well. We enjoyed dinner with the Zwick’s and the kids at Torchy’s, the kids choice. They were just as impressed as we are. J Later that night, we arranged to have a family home evening here at the mission home and had about 20 join us, seven being investigators. It was all in Spanish for our 20 guests, 7 of which were investigators which made is difficult for the kids and I. Regardless, we felt the spirit during the lesson on how to find truth through prayer. It was a great night and we plan to try to do more family home evenings with investigators here in mission home.
On Tuesday we had a special mission leadership council. Elder Zwick and his wife each took time to teach the missionaries key principles in being leaders using personal experiences. Aaron and I did a brief lesson on our missionary purpose and some of the things that were discussed at recent missionary broadcast in January. Each companionship did a return report on their efforts in their areas and our missionaries stood up well to what they have been asked to do. Afterwards, I took Sister Zwick to the hotel while her husband interview missionaries and I picked up Jessie and Bode from school. Aaron and I picked up the Zwick’s to head to the Friendswood stake center for our first missionary devotional for all stake and ward councils and half of our missionaries.
Aaron was asked by Elder Zwick to organize two evening devotionals on Tuesday and Wednesday to help the members understand what is expected of them in missionary work. Elder and Sister Zwick did a wonderful job in engaging those in attendance in the importance of their role. Aaron and I spoke together on the doctrine of Christ both evenings. The second devotional with the other half of our missionaries was held here in Sugarland. As a result of this devotionals, we are very hopeful that we will have more people for the missionaries to teach.
On both Wednesday and Thursday we held multi-zone conferences. A lot of prep went into these conferences on our part and the missionaries which Elder Zwick noticed and pleased with. He had the missionaries do some role-plays that both Aaron and I really liked. It is an approach called Simplify, Intensify, Testify that we will continue to use as we teach our missionaries in future trainings. I spoke on how personal and companionship study can help us meet the needs of the people we teach as the Spirit guides and directs us. Aaron focused on helping the missionaries understand what it means to serve with real intent and full purpose of heart. Sister Zwick is an amazing speaker and spoke one day on prayer and the next day on the Atonement. Elder Zwick spent a lot of time on obedience and his own missionary experiences. The missionaries loved the conferences!! Each day after the conferences I was racing home to pick up Jessie and Bode. Taking opportunities as I had them to talk with Allie about what she was up to. I love talking to her and being a part of her life even if it is at a distance. When I think about it I would be doing the same thing at home although I would be hugging her almost every other weekend. ;)
After dropping them off at the airport Thursday night, Aaron and I want to sleep for a week. That night we went out for a pre-Valentine date. It was a great place that I likened to a Spanish Tapas restaurant but American sized portions. Very unique and delicious flavors. Aaron was back at it Friday getting ready for interviews, having the mission audit and finalizing district council trainings for the rest of the month. This week was especially hard for me trying to balance my time with the kids. Zac had a great game (a rare W with 16 points) that we didn’t see on Tuesday but we did get to his game on Friday night. I was able to take Jessie to her gymnastics but I wasn’t able to stay to watch. Although in the end she didn’t mind because it meant a play date at Natalie’s afterwards. I think it is harder on me then the kids because I’m the one missing out while they continue on without me. L Bode is at a lost for what to do after school without basketball. Although on Friday he went to the mall yet again with friends to just walk around and play hide and seek in Dick’s Sporting Goods. Not sure what the employees think about that. We look forward to Pday, it will be 80 today with no humidity. No complaints here. We did learn this week that our house in North Ogden has been flooding and that we have major damage to some drywall and our wood floors, upstairs and down stairs. (we’re told they’ll need to be replaced). We don’t know if insurance will cover it yet as it was caused by and ice dam on the roof. The joys of home ownership when you don’t see what’s happening to your home. ;) Counting our many blessings, life is good.