Nov./Dec. 2018 Zone Conferences

We had another wonderful 4 days of Zone Conferences in the Valley and in the Mountains.  Our zone conferences are places of inspiration, learning and renewed commitments and desire to be better instruments in the Lord’s hands.  We love these missionaries and their determination to share the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone.  We had trainings on Finding with Efficiency, Inspiring and Motivating Member Missionary Work, and Effectively Teaching the Doctrine of Christ and How to Ask Inspired Questions.  At the conclusion of each day, the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders took their zones and discussed principles of Becoming Effective Instruments.  At each zone conference, our car and bike coordinators, Elder & Sis. Kenney trained on car and bike safety.  They did this by playing a game and it was both instructive and fun.  We also had our Area Medical Adviser, Elder & Sis. Schmitt come and do a training on Understanding Stress.  He is a retired doctor from Utah who is serving a mission as our area medical doctor.  He oversees 11 missions from the North America Southwest Area.  They did a tremendous job helping us to see the effects of stress and what to do to prevent stress from getting out of control.  We also, were fed very well at each conference.  Various stake RS presidencies take turn feeding us at zone conferences.  The meals are always delicious.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful RS sisters who are not only willing but excited to come and spend some time with missionaries and feed us at the same time.

 

 

11-15-18 Five Departing Missionaries

Having missionaries complete their missions and return home is both a sad and joyful time for President & me.  Sad in that we will miss seeing their smiling faces but joyful in sending home valiant servants of the Lord’s.   We grow to love them as we have worked with them closely in this great work.  There are certainly ups and downs to missionary work.  It can be both a time of incredible joy and also incredible frustration.  We get to work with the best of the best of young adults.  We know they will continue to be instruments for good in the Lord’s hands.

11-12-18 New Missionaries!

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We had 15 new missionaries arrive from the Provo MTC and the Mexico MTC on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.  Pres. & Sis. Robinson were there to greet them when they came off the plane.  They come from many different parts of the country as well as the world – Tennessee, Minnesota, Alaska, Michigan, Texas, Utah, Idaho, CA, Canada, England.  They are a great group of young people who are devoted to serving the Lord here in the AZ Scottsdale Mission.    They all arrived around 3:30pm at the PHX International airport.  After gathering all their luggage we took them to the church adjacent to the Mission Office/Home where Sis. Robinson had snacks and water bottles for them.  Pres. & Sis. Robinson then have the missionaries gather in the backyard of the mission home where we take a group picture as well as individual pictures.  After, the new missionaries met up with veteran missionaries who then go out to designated neighborhoods and do some contacting.  Its always exciting for them to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ fresh out of the MTC.  Then they come back to the church where Sis. Robinson fed them Taco salad with all the trimmings, fruit, tortilla chips with salsa and drinks.  After dinner, we gathered in the RS room where Pres. & Sis. Robinson officially welcomed them to AZ and the mission and showed Power point presentations of the Robinson family, what the Scottsdale mission looks like, and a message from Elder Holland and Pres. Eyring.  Pres. & Sis. Robinson share their testimonies and we end the night with prayer.  Then we finished with brownies, pumpkin pie and ice cream before sending them off to their sleeping accommodations.  Welcome new missionaries!

Tuesday morning starts at 6:30am.  The missionaries do a little exercising and then dress for the day.  Breakfast is served at 8am by Sis. Robinson.  The weather has turned cool (48 degrees this morning) so we ate breakfast over at the meetinghouse next door.  The missionaries feast on Sis. Robinson’s famous scrambled eggs (lots of many cheeses in her eggs!), sausage, pumpkin bread, yogurt, cereal, oranges, grapes, juice, milk and chocolate milk.  They are well fed in this mission.  After breakfast, the assistants and sister training leaders do a training with lots of role playing and discussion of a missionary’s purpose.  At the same time, Pres. Robinson does personal interviews with each missionary to get to know them.  After the assistants training, the office staff orients the new missionaries on their debit card, housing, phones, medical (Sis. Robinson does this) and other mission related items.  Then Elder & Sis. Kenney do a training on car and bike safety.  At the same time those missionaries who will be training come from all parts of the mission for an hour training on their new leadership responsibilities of being a trainer to a new missionary.

At 12:30pm Pres. Robinson gathers with both new missionaries and trainers and makes the new assignments of companions.  Below are the pictures when the new missionary and trainer are paired up.  Remember, that you can click on any picture to make it larger to see your son or daughter and their new companion.  Following the new assignments is lunch.  The missionaries were treated to ham, cheesy potatoes, green beans, salad, pumpkin pie and whip cream and rolls.  A few more trainings follow lunch and then they are off to their new area.

 

October Zone Conferences

 

We had very successful and motivating zone conferences in October with all our missionaries.  Sis. Robinson trained on baptism being the gate to the covenant path and then discussing what blessings await us on the covenant path.   She even played “Let’s Make a Deal” demonstrating how the adversary main objective is to entice, bargain and negotiate with us to leave the covenant path.  She had three brightly wrapped presents in various sizes and brought up one elder and one sister giving them each $1 to bargain or buy one of the presents.  One present contained two $5 gift cards to McDonald’s, one present contained a huge bag of Halloween candy, and one present contained a black small tree with a pair of P. Robinson’s workout socks hung on the branches.  It was all in fun and the missionaries loved the object lesson about not bargaining with the adversary.   Pres. Robinson trained on the anatomy of a first teaching visit stressing the importance of How to Begin Teaching (3 min), teaching doctrine (10 min) and then extending invitations (17 min).  Our teaching visits should be between 30-45 min.  Research shows that missionaries worldwide get less than 50% for a second teaching visit or return appt.    It was a very good training.  The assistants trained on teaching with clarity and power.  After lunch the Kenney’s played a game with the missionaries about car and bike safety.  It was a small competition but a very fun way to learn the safety guidelines for riding one’s bike or driving the cars in various kinds of road conditions.  After the Kenney’s training the Zone Leaders and Sister Training leaders trained in their individual zones how to prepare a person you are teaching to receive the invitation to be baptized.  All in all, there was great participation by the missionaries and all left edified and a more knowledgeable and uplifted to continue on with the work of salvation.  As always, we were well fed by the Stake RS sisters in the four different locations we held zone conference.  We always love to thank our RS sisters for the time and effort they put into these fabulous lunches by singing to them.  We are spoiled by the RS and love and appreciate their sacrifices to feed us every 6 weeks.

 

Departing Missionaries Oct. 4, 2018

It is always with strong mixed emotions when we must say farewell to our missionaries.  Truly, this group of young men and women have exemplified their missionary purpose in all that they did everyday.  Here are future leaders in the Lord’s church here on earth. From left to right, back row: Elder Stevens, Elder Melenciano, Elder Dunn,  Elder Humpherys, Elder Edwards, Elder Lemley, Elder Swainston.  Front row: Sis. Hopkins, Sis. Prellwitz, Sis. Tuttle.  We will miss them terribly but are grateful for their strong testimonies of Jesus Christ and the bright future ahead of them.

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October 1, 2018 New Missionaries Arrive

On a very rainy Monday afternoon we received 18 new missionaries from the Provo MTC as well as the Mexico MTC.   The first plane from Provo arrived about 2:30pm.  We took these brand new and very eager missionaries back to the church meetinghouse adjacent to the Mission Office, for a light lunch, receiving their new bikes and instructions on driver training.  Then they all went out and did some contacting with zone leaders and sister training leaders in the surrounding neighborhoods as we waited for the second wave of missionaries to arrive from Mexico.  The next group of missionaries came in around 4:45pm but by the time they made it through customs, we did not actually get them until closer to 6pm.  We brought them back to the church meetinghouse where they met the first group of missionaries.  Then we fed them dinner, introduced them to the mission via a power point presentation and then had a discussion about their missionary purpose.  Then we opened it up to questions.  They usually are so tired by this time of night that there is not a lot of questions.  By 9pm we got them situated in their temporary living quarters where they would stay for one night. (Pictures were taken inside the mission home due to the bad weather.)

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Brand new companionships!!  Tuesday morning, the missionaries were up and ready to go by 8am.  They enjoyed a great breakfast provided by Sis. Robinson at the mission home and then moved over to the church meetinghouse for a day of instruction and training.  Below are pictures of the brand new companionships.

Elder & Sis. Ochoa 9-20-18

Elder Ochoa and his wife visited the AZ Scottsdale mission in September.  What a joy they were to have and share their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Elder Ochoa is a General Authority Seventy.  He has previously served with his wife presiding over the Honduras San Pedro Sula Mission, then President of the Central America Area, and then second counselor in the Young Men General Presidency.  He now serves in the presidency of the North America Southwest Area Presidency.  We were privileged to have the Ochoas with us for two days.  We learned that our main objective as missionaries is to baptize and retain.  And if someone asks, “Elder why are you wearing that great tie today?”, the elder is to respond “to baptize and retain.”  All done in fun but to drive home the point that we need to always keep our missionary purpose front and center in everything we do.  Following are pictures of each zone with the Ochoas and then random pictures taken during lunch.

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