Sunday, January 29, 2017


MIRACLE:  Thursday, January 19 a transfer was needing to be decided as Sister Devitt would be flying home on Saturday.  That would leave a missionary without a companion.  
President Felix was looking at the transfer board and finally said I'm going to pray and ponder about this and closed the doors to the board.  He walked down the hall at the mission office and his phone rang.  It was the missionary department saying there was a sister that was being reassigned to our mission.  President asked how soon is she ready to come.  He was told immediately.  He then said, how about Saturday.  Sister Cook was the answer to the transfer.
We took Sister Campbell with us to the Burbank airport to say good-bye to her companion and to meet her new companion. 
It was great timing that Sister Campbell and Sister Cook were able to attend the follow up training on Tuesday, 24 with the other new missionaries.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Nakkens

The word is out -- please meet the Nakkens.  We have talked with them a couple of times and know they will be wonderful for the Great California Ventura Mission.
We have been asked how we feel about the upcoming change in our lives.  We are not trunky and plan to endure to the end.  Our children have said to us "it will be hard for you to leave." Maybe that explains why we aren't trunky.

David H. and Stephanie Nakken
David Herbert Nakken, 58, and Stephanie Smith Nakken, five children, Mesa Hills Ward, Cedar City Utah Cross Hollow Stake: California Ventura Mission, succeeding President Dell C. Felix and Sister Maurine Felix. 

Brother Nakken serves as a Gospel Doctrine teacher and is a former stake president, stake presidency counselor, bishop, high councilor, ward Young Men president, and missionary in the Canada Alberta Mission. Retired owner and general manager, Parkway Autoplex. Born in Jacksonville, North Carolina, to Herbert Henry Nakken and Janet Margetts Alger.

Sister Nakken serves as a Gospel Doctrine teacher and is a former ward Young Women president, ward Relief Society presidency counselor, seminary teacher, Sunday School teacher, and missionary in the Guatemala Quetzaltenango Mission. Born in Delta, Utah, to Phillip Ray Smith and Lorene Black Wilhelm Smith.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

MLC and Worldwide Training

All the missionaries yesterday were in attendance at the stake center in their zones to watch the worldwide missionary training.  It was from 9:00 – 11:00.  President and I received training in December in conjunction with what all of the missionaries were going to see in January.  President Felix felt it would be really good for the zones to have a zone council following the broadcast to discuss the change in schedule.  The zone leaders were asked to do a zone council and were told it would be regarding what they learned from the broadcast.  We told the assistants a week and a half ago about the change in schedule so they could experiment and see what worked for them.  Monday night, all of the zone leaders were contacted and given a heads up as to a change in schedule and that would be what they would counsel on after the broadcast.
The broadcast was wonderful as we were reminded to teach repentance and baptize converts.  It was great seeing the executive missionary council in action as a council.  We all loved what we heard and felt.
Elders Swenson and Taufatofua
Zone Leaders
Front:  Elders Palmer, Morby, Slaugh, Bradley, Bronson, Hunter, Christenson, Holm
Back:  Elders Davis,Wayment, Hales, Huston, Allison, Harvey, Peart, Gemar
Sister Training Leaders
Hermanas Anstee, Wright, Scott, Wiles, Sisters VanDerWatt, Barnum, McClure, Baird
Spanish Elder Training Leaders
Elders Suarez and Peisley
Today we had MLC and tomorrow will be zone meetings.  This week will be monumental.  Following the accountability and stewardship report and after some reminders President conducted a council focusing on the weekly missionary daily schedule and preparation schedule.  Each zone was able to share with us how their councils went.  It was reported the missionaries like the use of agency, less stress, planning in the morning, extra sleep, flexibility, extra time in the morning, companionship study moved, having a specific time to write in their journal, and that they would be learning a life skill.  The concerns were:  lunch only a half an hour, review time of the white handbook and orientation book, when to update the area book, and would they be reporting contacts.
The purpose of the new daily schedule is to help missionaries:
1.  Be more productive each day.
2.  Set more inspired goals and plan more effectively.
3.  Be more healthy.
4.  Use their agency to make righteous decisions about how best to spend their time.
Our council was focused on the flexibility of the schedule.
Blue is weekly and green is Pday schedules
 The weekly morning schedule will be set but planning and personal study can be interchanged.  The components of the new schedule are set, it’s just when things will be done is flexible.   It was determined:  missionaries in the mission 12 weeks or less will have an hour for companionship study which will include reading from the white handbook and the orientation book, no phone calls after 10:00 p.m., in district meetings time will be given to read from the white handbook and or orientation book and discussed, weekly planning will be on Thursdays, district meetings and zone meetings will start at 10:30 a.m.
Preparation day allows for two extra hours from what has been in the past.  This day is to get things done so the rest of the week they can focus on the work.  It will be prioritizing and getting things done.  This day they get up and pray then they can get dressed in exercise clothing if desired or proselyting clothes prior to eating breakfast, planning, and personal study.  From 8:00 – 6:00 the missionary will determine in what order they are going to get things done.  The components for Pday are:  laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning apartment and automobile, communication with President Felix and family, lunch, dinner, recreation and exercise, and showering.  The evening is the same as the weekly schedule.
I believe the missionaries feel the trust that the Lord has in them with this change of schedule.

There are just too many broken box springs in the missionaries' apartments.
Elder Floyd was able to “show and tell” about box springs.  He reminded the missionaries that tithing funds are used and they need to be respectful of what is given to them.
We had some training on accountability, communication, and obedience to help the missionaries proceed forth.  The assistants talked about accountability.  Agency is a gift.  It is an eternal principle and with it comes accountability.  Agency needs to be used righteously.  We should be accountable daily to the Lord for what we do.  PMG states “The attitude you have toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and His Son and your respect for the priesthood.”
Sister Felix discussed communication which included keys for good communication, barriers to communication, benefits of communication, managing conflict and compromise.  Deciding on how to go about accomplishing the different components of the day will require communication and compromise.
President Felix shared a letter from an Elder who recognized that “choosing to be exactly obedient and aligning our actions with God’s will then we will see miracles because we are not in the way of His plans.”  Obedience is the first law of heaven, it is an act of faith.  President Felix encouraged missionaries to be obedient to the rules.  President Monson said obedience brings blessings.
We learned in the worldwide broadcast that the key indicators were changed from nine to four.  Key indicators are powerful, too many of them can cause to lose focus and key indicators are the key to convert baptisms.  The four are:  Investigators baptized and confirmed, investigators with a baptism date, investigators who attend sacrament meeting, and the number of new investigators.
Elder Oaks said key indicators are to effect the behavior of missionaries.
Interacting to edify was at the end of MLC.  It is such a treat to hear from every one there as to what they felt or what they were going to do.  We have GREAT leaders.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Follow Up Training

It has only been a week since the missionaries arrived.  We did follow up training today.  So what does throwing a football have to do with missionary training?  President Felix helped the missionaries understand our purpose by breaking down "Our Purpose." Receive is an action word.  President is catching the ball from Elder Jarnagin and will bring the ball in and protect it.  We INVITE (encourage) OTHERS (everyone) to COME (come and see, come and feel) unto Christ by HELPING (accomplish something) them RECEIVE the restored Gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.  We all stood and recited Our Purpose with more meaning and understanding.
We like to have some kind of treat after the meeting so they can mingle for a couple of minutes before heading back to their areas.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Departing 1/18/17

All the sisters and hermanas had departing interviews with President Felix last week.  Elder Routledge came to the mission home a bit earlier today so that he could talk with the President.  We had a delightful evening together sharing experiences and testimonies.

Hermana Morales, Sister King, Elder Routledge, 
Hermana Peterson, Sister Lambert
In the van ready to drive to Burbank airport.
Elder Routledge backing up Elder Iverson. We teased him that it would be the last time.  The Floyds drove the truck and trailer.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Transfers 1/17/17

The Hermanas and Sisters slept at the mission home while the elders stayed at a members home.  We had breakfast at 7:30 consisting of waffles with strawberries, bacon, and juice or milk.  We love serving fresh California strawberries.

President Felix was able to visit with each missionary while Sister Felix played "Jeopardy" using questions from 
Preach My Gospel and the white handbook.
Because it was almost dark when we got to Ventura from the Santa Barbara airport we waited to go to the Cross until Tuesday.  President Felix is talking about being anxiously engaged and having both feet in.  Previous posts will explain the story from President Uchtdorf.
Putting both feet in!

The transfer train was in progress while we were with the new missionaries.  The mission office is one of the pick up and drop off points.  We are grateful for Bro. Judson who has helped us the last two transfers with his truck and a 
U-Haul trailer.
Lunch was available for the new missionaries, trainers, and departing missionaries.

I love this picture.  I surprised Sister Iverson as she was getting plastic bags to put left over sandwiches in for missionaries to take.

Trainers with a couple of follow up trainers and their companions.  While the new missionaries are meeting with the senior couples, President and the assistants meet with the trainers for some training.
After the two meetings both groups join together so that the companions can meet one another.  Luggage was left at the mission home so it needed to be picked up before going to their areas.
Sisters Hopkins and Castaneda
Hermanas Flores and Huesca
Hermanas Pazmiño and Puertas
Hermanas Dolder and Gomez
Elders Jarnagin and McLane
Sisters Lovato and Besendorfer
Elders Carter and Ameny
Sisters Scott and McGuire
Elders Stevens and Kitchen

New Arrivals 1/16/17

Our visa waiter arrived around noon, a few hours before the rest so Elder and Sister Clark were able to pick him up and take him to lunch.  We met Elder Kitchen when they brought him back.  President Felix was able to visit with him while waiting for the group from the MTC in Provo.  We have seven states represented from these missionaries; there are three from Utah and the rest just one - Arizona, California, Idaho, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Texas.  Two elders are Spanish speaking, one is English, three hermanas, and three sisters are in this group of missionaries.
By the time we got to the mission home it was dark so we didn't go to the Cross.  We had dinner and the Assistants did a little orientation.  
Elder Kitchen
Elder Jarnagin
Elder Ameny
Hermana Pazmiño
Hermana Huesca
Hermana Dolder
Sister Lovato
Sister McGuire
Sister Castaneda