Thursday, February 16, 2017

Zone Conferences 2/14-2/17/2017

February 14 - 17 -- The agenda for zone conferences:
New and Departing Missionary Testimonies, Awesome, Christ-like Attribute, Spirit of the Law and Letter of the Law, Automobile Training, Talks on Repentance, Repentance Discussion, Mid-Teens to Mid-Twenties, Reflections, and Closing Remarks from President Felix.

Awesome:  We listened to Hilary Weeks’ song Come Take Your Place.  Words include: 
You carry the light of His Son
And running through your veins is royal blood
You’re the brave and the strong, you’re the faithful
You have been saved for this moment in time
You hear the call
You feel the flame
You’ve been prepared
Come take your place

Through scripture and discussion it was great to be reminded where we came from and our purpose here.  The war has been transferred to here and the most valiant are sent now.  Our missionaries are awesome and we wanted them to realize their potential.  President Hinckley said “Believe in yourself.  Believe in your capacity to do great and good things.  Believe that no mountain is so high that you cannot climb it.  Believe that no storm is so great that you cannot weather it.  You are not destined to be a scrub.  You are a child of God of infinite capacity.  Believe that you can do it—whatever it is that you set your heart on.  Opportunities will unfold and open before you.  The skies will clear when they have been dark.”    

Sister Felix told the missionaries they were AWESOME.  They listed words that described missionaries beginning with the letters in awesome.  This got them thinking and it was a fun activity.

The missionaries were invited to choose one or two words from the list that they would like to work on and then report to President Felix in their email. 
All received a card to remind them to be awesome.

Christ-like attribute of Obedience was presented by the Assistants.  There are three phases of missionary work – finding, teaching, and baptizing.  Finding is the biggest challenge.  They did a wonderful demonstration by blindfolding an elder and saying find the investigators (Xs were written on the white board and the elder was to circle the Xs).  Of course they couldn’t see.  They had spiritual blindfolds on.  Some of the spiritual blindfolds are doing our own will, lack of faith, disobedience which included:  slothfulness, music, slang words, using time effectively, lunch only 30 minutes, morning schedule and holding their email time to one hour.  Behaviors are our actions and our nature is who we are or what we are doing when no one is looking.  Why are we obedient?  Because someone is watching or is it your nature?  We understand why we are here, then our nature will change.  When the missionaries go home, their nature needs to change so they can be happy and successful.  If the Lord says to jump, you may ask how high.  Jumping up brings you right back down in the same place.  The better question would be how far?  Meaning you are going forward and you are changing your nature.

Lunch was provided by the Ojai Ward.  We enjoyed salad, baked potatoes with toppings of ham, cheese, and sour cream, cookies for dessert. 

Happy Birthday for January and February!
Clean car award goes to Hermanas Dolder and Gomez.
Front:  Hermana Fernandez, Elder Hiltscher, Hermanas Dolder, Pazmino, Sister Hardy, Elders, Endicott, Leckbee, Ballantyne, Jarnigan, Ameny, Campbell, Slaugh
Back:  Hermana Cortez, Elders Herrera, Hermanas Gomez, Puertas, Sister Dye, Elders Johnson, Elliott, Atkinson, McLane, Carter, Jo, Hales
Front:  Hermanas Huesca, Hallows, Elder Avalos, Sister McGuire, Elders Suarez, Gardiner, Seui, Cannon, Betts, Ward, Still, Wayment
Back:  Hermanas Flores, Hirst, Elder Castro, Sister Scott, Elders Peisley, Judd, Lemus, Oakey, Kopaunik, Blaylock, Whatcott, Morby

President Felix clarified the difference between the spirit of the law and letter of the law.  The Mosaic Law began with Moses.  In Doctrine and Covenants 84:21-27 Moses’s people didn’t accept the higher law.  The Melchizedek Priesthood was taken and more of the strict daily rules were enforced.   We realize that the letter of the law has no deviation, it’s exactly as it is written.  The spirit of the law is a higher law.  The Good Samaritan demonstrates the letter and the spirit of the law.  Neal A. Maxwell:  “One of the ironies which is fostered, at times innocently, in the Church, is the feeling we have that the spirit of the law is superior to the letter of the law because for some reason it seems more permissive or less apt to offend others.  The reverse is true.  The spirit of the law is superior because it demands more of us than the letter of the law.  The spirit of the law insists that we do more than merely comply superficially.  It means too, that we must give attention to the things that matter most and still not leave the others undone.” 

Elder Iverson gave car safety training which consisted of parking lot safety, wearing seat belts correctly and going from “have to obey” to “want to obey.” It is interesting to note that a ticket for going through a red light is $400, replacing lost car keys is $350 and locking keys in the car and being retrieved is $150-$180.


Camarillo Stake provided lunch.  We had dressing, chicken, salad, cookies and homemade limeade.

Happy Birthday!
 Sisters Lovato and Besendorfer won the clean car award.
 Front:  Sisters Mendoza, Cook, Hermanas Torrico, Anstee, Elders Harris, Tanuvasa, Taufatofua, Bronson, Davis, Mata
Back:  Sister Wing, Campbell, Hermanas Mulloy, Scott, Elders Sila, Robins, Swenson, Allison, Hoff, Marchant
Front:  Elders Turley, Pickett, Emerson, Hunter, Bates, Sisters Lovato, Barnum
Back:  Elders Herrera, Heck, McCurdy, Harvey, Horman, Sisters Besendorfer, VanDerWatt

The missionaries were all asked to prepare a 5 minute talk on why is repentance necessary for conversion.  After Elder Iverson’s training was the announcement of the two missionaries who would give their talks.

President Felix trained on the topic of repentance. Repentance is a change of heart, a fresh view of yourself and your relationship with God.  There was discussion on the steps to repentance but there is no repentance without the Redeemer.  We need the atonement.  So, repentance is a change of behavior that requires the atonement.  Elder Neil L. Anderson said that repentance is critical to true conversion. We can teach investigators to invite to change and teach them the commandments.  If they love God, they will keep the commitments.  Conversion is a process.
We saw Elder Lynn A. Mickelsen’s talk “Atonement, Repentance, and Dirty Linen.”  Take care of repenting and don't dwell on it.  He said we shouldn't judge others, we must forgive and then forget.  

Sisters from the Thousand Oaks Stake provided enchiladas, salad and cookies.  The centerpieces were oranges that the missionaries could eat or take with them.

Happy Birthday!

 Sisters Housman and Page had the cleanest car.
 Front:  Sister Page, Elders Richards, Kelly, Rodriguez, Hermana Garcia, Elders Christenson, Gardner, Bunnage
Back:  Sister Houseman, Elders Chesley, Reichman, Plummer, Hermana Arkell, Elders Peart, Alder, Shumway
Front:  Elders Olacsi, Allen, Powell, Reeves, Snider, Mecham, Hermana Rodriguez, Elder Brodie, Sister Christiansen, Elders Young, Holm
Back:  Elders McLawhorn, Hansen, Dewey, 'Iongi, Gray, Anderson, Hermana Lethbridge, Elder Valladares,
Sister Perry, Elders Deason, Gemar

Sister Felix had a discussion after watching Elder Neil L. Anderson’s training to mission presidents and their wives regarding mid-teens to mid-twenties.  This group is more open and receptive to the gospel and we need to work with them.  The missionaries are excited to put more effort towards this age group.

This potato bar had chili, cheese, sour cream, rolls, salad, and cookies.  The sisters in the Santa Maria Stake provided lunch.

President & Sister Ridgeway with President & Sister Felix

Happy Birthday!
Sisters Cardon and Capener had the cleanest car on the inside.  It was raining so hard the outside of the cars couldn't be inspected.
 We sang Called to Serve to those who helped with the lunches.
 Hermana Wright, Elders Haslam, Shaw, Baker, Palmer, DeGraw, Sister Castaneda, Baird, Mortimer, Hermana Hernandez, Sister Iverson
Back:  Hermana Wiles, Elder Barrios Vega, Judkins, Lallatin, Davis, Willis, Sisters Hopkins, McClure, Greding, Hermana Kneip, Elder Iverson
Front:  Hermana Gonzalez, Adamson, Hermana Alder, Elders Portillo, Nielson, Strom, Bradley, Kitchen, Regalado, Bundy, Sister Cardon, Elder Pierce, Sister Aston
Back:  Hermana Ames, Sisters Fisher, Coleman,
Elders Liddiard, Jones, Matthews, Huston, Stevens, Levis, Thurgood, Sister Capener, Elders Crook, Aston

It was a treat listening to the missionaries share what they liked about zone conference. The spirit was present every day.

President Felix closed by discussing Doctrine and Covenants 18:10-16, 22-25, 41-44

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