The Scottsdale Mission had the pleasure of having Elder & Sis. Uchtdorf visit with us on June 9, 2018. Accompanying them were Elder Brent H. Nielsen and Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy. Elder Heyman, our Area Seventy came also. We had all the missionaries in the mission gather at our meetinghouse next door. (adjacent to the Mission Home and Office) We all had the most amazing and special day with Elder Uchtdorf and his wife.
We began the day at 10:30am with our MLC where Elder Uchtdorf presided. The MLC is made up of zone leaders and sister training leaders in our mission, which is 30 missionaries plus the assistants, plus Pres. & Sis. Robinson. Our leaders came prepared to learn and spoke right up offering insights into how we can serve the Lord better and increase our discipleship to Christ. Elder Uchtdorf reminded all of us to ‘lift where you stand’. Doesn’t matter if you are a zone leader or sister training leader when the goal is serving those around you and representing the Savior. Elder Nielsen did a training on what we do well in the Scottsdale Mission and what are some of our challenges. It was a great discussion and we all learned together especially concerning the use of devices in missionary work. Elder Nattress trained on ‘How to make missionaries happy’. He mentioned 3 ideas to focus our efforts on: Inspired, Motivated and Loved missionaries. Elder Uchtdorf closed our meeting by reminding the missionaries to love their companion, not to compare with other missionaries, focus on loving the Savior, to internalize this mission experience, live the gospel for the right motive, and stick to the ‘plan’ in spite of all the challenges of life.
The Uchtdorfs, E. Nielsen, E. Nattress & E. Heyman then went over to the Mission Home with Pres. & Sis. Robinson for lunch. We had a lovely time together. At 1pm, we went back over to the meetinghouse next door, where all the missionaries, plus our senior missionary couples and our church service senior missionaries were waiting for Elder Uchtdorf and his wife. They had all assembled to be ready for a picture with Elder & Sis. Uchtdorf. It was wonderful to walk into the cultural hall where they were singing their hearts out waiting for Elder Uchtdorf. Elder Uchtdorf and his wife had the biggest smile on their face as they came in and saw 160 missionaries singing ‘How Firm a Foundation’ with great gusto! We were so proud of them. Then we moved into the chapel for our meeting. All the missionaries were able to shake Elder Uchtdorf’s hand and look him in the eye and feel of his sincere love for them as they filed into the chapel. It was a very sweet and touching and reverent moment for the missionaries to shake the hand and speak with an Apostle of the Lord. Our meeting in the chapel went from 1-4pm. Please ask your missionary what they learned from this experience. Elder Uchtdorf talked first. Then he invited Pres. and Sis. Robinson to share a message. Then Elder Nielsen did a training, followed by Elder Nattress. Then Sis. Uchtdorf shared her conversion experience. Elder Uchtdorf related her conversion experience in General Conf one time called “Fourth Door, Last Door”. Its a perfect missionary conversion experience for missionaries to remember to not give up and give it your all. Then Elder Uchtdorf closed. Following are some of the thoughts of Elder Uchtdorf: You are always in the middle of your mission, God does not call the qualified but qualifies those He calls, if you only give 10% that is what you will give back, give all you can and you will get so much in return, make the message your own by giving your testimony in your own words, ask questions and check for understanding, what would Christ be holding in His hands if he asked us “Lovest thou me more than these?”, extension of the Apostles arms, if we do our best, the Lord accepts our offering, joyful to the end, love the people, pray at the end of the day with gratitude and ask for forgiveness and you will be forgiven, God will not remember our sins if we truly repent but we probably will because that can motivate us to improve, don’t change the message but allow the message to change you, compare ourselves to ourselves, help investigators have a spiritual experience, find beauty in the journey. After the closing prayer Elder and Sis. Uchtdorf just stood there in the podium gazing at all the missionaries who were reverently standing with eyes fixed on the Uchtdorfs. E. Uchtdorf touched his heart and whispered how much he loved these missionaries and that it was hard to leave them. It was a very tender moment for all of us. Following are some random pictures which were taken by a professional photographer who had been asked to take pictures through out the day by Salt Lake.
All of the missionaries received the above group photos by email. Below, is what it looked like prior to the Uchtdorfs walking in with Pres. & Sis. Robinson. The missionaries patiently waited and sang hymns. It sounded like the Tabernacle Choir when we walked into the Cultural Hall. What a beautiful sight this was. Elder & Sis. Uchtdorf were very touched.
Then the Uchtdorfs shook each missionary’s hand and spoke briefly with each one of them as they filed into the chapel.