Sunday, January 12, 2014

By Greg:

We continue to immerse ourselves in the missionary and office work of the Missouri Independence Mission.  This week we began our official training period for our office assignments.

I will be handling the finances of the mission.  This is a big job as it requires constant attention.  Each missionary gets a debit card when he or she arrives in the mission field.  They have an assigned PIN that a few of the new ones forget, so I may have to access that for them.  We put $150.00 a month on this card.  This is for their support, food, personal items etc.  The mission pays all of the costs for housing, rent, utilities, repairs, etc. and we also pay the gas if they have a car.  Each car has a credit card in the car.  It is set up like a fleet.  They have to enter the car number, the mileage when they input the card.  They then send the receipts to the office monthly.

We have all these apartments, more than half of which are rentals.  The others are member-housing.  The Church in Salt Lake actually pays the rent and utilities, but I have to initiate the payment.  It is a pretty slick system, but you have to pay attention. 

New apartments, after they are found and rented must be set up and their utilities all arranged.  Going forward, I don't think I will be finding and furnishing apartments as much as I have been.  But this week we have still been doing that assignment as well.

Debi will tell about her office assignments.

With my new calling as the Executive Secretary to the Mission President, as part of the Mission Presidency, we are doing hands-on missionary activities.  This week we visited 5 different sets of missionaries in the morning and observed their companionship study.  Sister Haws made a pan of cinnamon rolls (our famous Rhodes bake and serve) and we were there at 9:00 am.  The missionaries are so good!  We give them some counsel and advise, and we also provide some training, but we try to be out of there by 10:30 at the latest.  This is actually very fun.

This is Elder Hart and Grzan, they are Spanish Speakers-Elder Hart is from Liberty, Utah

Elder Cortez and Christiansen live in a member's home in Raymore, Mo.

I prepared a handout and maybe some of you would be interested in what a morning companionship study involves.  If you want to be an effective missionary, unlike the car scenes on TV, you can try this at home.

Missouri Independence Mission

The purpose of companionship study is:       *To build unity in your companionship in order teach by the spirit.                 
*To focus on the progress of those you teach.
(See Preach My Gospel page ix)

Get up, get ready, get going!                         6:30 am-Arise, pray, exercise, and prepare for day
                                                                        7:30 am-Breakfast
                                                                        8:00 am-Personal study
                                                                        9:00 am-Companionship study
                                                                        10:00-Begin proselyting

The following is a suggested agenda for Companionship Study-adapt as needed for your circumstance—refer to Preach My Gospel and the 12 Week Program. Follow the Spirit.

Prayer:                                Begin with a kneeling prayer, then sit in chairs facing each other

Repeat together:                My Purpose as a Missionary
                                             D & C Section 4
Memorization:                   Baptismal Commitment
                                             Request for referrals
                                             Joseph Smith Testimony of First Vision
                                             The 42 Doctrinal Points
                                             Preach my Gospel Chapter Headings
Other memorization as determined by companionship

Reading:                             3 Pages from the White Missionary Handbook
                                             How do the Handbook pages apply to us as a companionship?

Sharing:                              Each missionary should share what he or she has been studying, pondering, and learning in his or her personal study.  Also, inspiration that has come from this study and pondering, especially as it applies to him or her, the companionship, and current investigators—each missionary should participate and share his or her thoughts

Planning:                            Ponder and plan what to teach each investigator—seek guidance from Preach My Gospel—make a plan and write it down.

Discuss how to help each investigator progress by keeping commitments, having the Right Member Present, giving the investigator opportunities to feel the Spirit, etc.

Role Play:                           Each missionary should take turns being the investigator as they role play their teaching plan and commitment challenges. There is always a temptation to shorten or skip this part of the Companionship Study.  Be careful not to miss this opportunity to prepare to teach by the Spirit!

Prayer:                                End with kneeling prayer

We also are going out a few times in the evening with missionaries teaching discussions.  We did a Plan of Salvation lesson this week in St. Joseph, Missouri.  It was a real eye-opener as to what these missionaries are facing as they teach investigators.  We are also there to observe and to teach, not the investigator, but the missionaries.

We visited a very sick sister missionary this week in our travels.  Sister Haws used her best doctoring skills to diagnose her problem.  We took her to a doctor.  We are very concerned as she is in terrible pain, and at this point, we do not know what is the cause.

This is our dear friend, President Jeremiah Morgan, President of the Liberty Mo. Stake
Last Sunday we met with the Stake President of the Liberty Stake at 6:30 am and we were with him until about 7:00 pm at night.  He held PPIs with each of his 13 bishops.  The purpose was to discuss Young Single Adults.  We reviewed our work with each bishop, and we went down the list name by name.  This is the conclusion of our part in this rescue effort.  The ball is now in their court, as they say, and we are certain that they do not intend to fumble it.  This has been a wonderful assignment, but we are moving on.  President Keyes told us this has been his plan all along for us.

We are so busy, but the days just fly by.  Section 88 says that the Lord will hasten his work before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  All we can say is that with nearly 300 missionaries in this mission, each ready and able to find and teach, there is a great momentum being created.  We are humbled to have a small part to play in this great drama!

By Debi:

Another week has gone by and we are amazed how the time flies. Each day we are on the move constantly. We get up and exercise, read our scriptures, get ready for the day and then we are off for an adventure.
I am taking over the responsibilities of Sister Drake.  She is in charge of the mail, the referrals, the Harvester (the monthly mission news letter) the recording of baptisms, the bulletin boards in the office with the pictures of the missionaries and the baptisms.

I didn't think my job sounded too consuming but I was wrong!  There is a lot to do and there is a lot to learn.  All throughout the day referrals are coming in from the Church and from the missionaries.  Even individuals from around the world can call with a referral.  Then I have to find the write set of missionaries to call and give the referral to.  Then I am suppose to follow up on all referrals and watch the progress of each person until they are baptized or don't want any more contact.

Recording baptisms is serious stuff.  Technically, until the baptism is recorded it didn't happen.  It is so important that they are recorded promptly and correctly. It is hard to read peoples writing and getting the right spelling of the names and dates and addresses.  This is a great responsibility.  I will take this one very seriously.

Sister Drake is so kind and really patient in helping me learn my duties.  Hopefully, before she goes home I will know what I am doing.  Right now I am writing every word that comes out of her mouth so I can refer back to her instructions when she has left for home.

On a very fun note, our friends the Flints from Hooper just arrived in our mission on Wednesday.  They are here as FM missionaries.  They are living in Liberty and will be working around that area.  We took them out to dinner Wednesday night and we had a good time catching up on the news of home and family.  They will be a great asset to the mission.

Also, two other great couples from Hooper are just arriving in Ghana, Africa to serve missions.  The Julanders and the Schiffmans are both serving in the same mission, The Cape Coast Mission.  They will be serving with President and Sister Shulz.  Three couples in Africa in the same mission.  That is amazing.

We truly feel that the work is indeed hastening throughout the world!

1 comment:

  1. I am loving seeing my cousin in these recent posts! He is a great kid!