Goodbye Elder & Sis. Covington

This past weekend we said goodbye to our good friends Elder & Sis. Covington who have been serving up in the mountains on one of the Indian Reservations.  They were called to serve in the Seminary & Institute program helping native american members of the church teaching seminary, institute and also being the lead facilitators in the ARP.  They were a tremendous help getting up to 20 youth out to Seminary and 15-20 adults out to Institute.  We will miss them dearly as will the members up in Fort Apache.

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June 2018 Zone Conferences

We enjoyed spending time with these great missionaries for our zone conferences held in June.  We decided to do something a little different.  We invited each individual zone to have their own zone conference.  We made this meeting a little shorter than usual.  The assistants did a training on Best Practices of Missionary Work.  We had good discussions on how to find more effectively through members and also through the missionary’s own efforts.  Sis. Robinson played Missionary Jeopardy with the missionaries splitting them into district teams.  The focus were the fundamentals from Preach my Gospel: The Doctrine of Christ, The Role of the Holy Ghost in Conversion, Revelation through Prayer, Revelation through the Book of Mormon, Revelation through Church Attendance, Teach people, not lessons, We invite, they commit, We Follow up, How to Begin Teaching.  Plus some miscellaneous questions.  Very fun way of learning.  Then President Robinson did a training on the Scattering and Gathering of Israel and why President Russell M. Nelson wants us all to better participate in this great commandment.  As usual, we were well fed by the various Stake RS presidencies.  Remember to click on the picture to enlarge.

 

 

Evening with the Uchtdorfs

After our meetings with the missionaries, Elder Uchtdorf along with Sis. Uchtdorf held a meeting with Pres. & Sis. Robinson, E. Nielsen, E. Nattress, E. Heyman, six stake presidents and wives, six Bishops and wives, and six couples who are Elders Quorum Pres, Ward Mission leader or a RS President.  The idea was to have a meeting where we counsel together about ministering and missionary work.  The dinner was provided by one of the Stake RS presidencies and it was delicious.  We loved spending the evening with the Uchtdorfs and feeling of their love for us and for our Savior.

Elder & Sis. Uchtdorf!!!

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. DSC_8169

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.

5-31-18 Departing Missionaries

Time to say goodbye to these outstanding missionaries.  Sis. Cossey And Sis. Clipp departed a day earlier than the other five missionaries and that’s why they are not in the group photo.  We are always very sad to see these wonderful missionaries go but we also are excited to watch the next part of their lives unfold.

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Elder Merrill

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Elder Johnson

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Sis. Ames

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Elder Brown

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Elder Vargas

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Sis. Clipp

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Sis. Cossey

5-28-18 New Missionaries Arrive

We received 11 new missionaries today.  Five are actually going to the Philippines and will be with us until their visa approvals are completed.  The first group picture is of the missionaries who have been called to the AZ Scottsdale Mission.  We are excited to begin working with these great missionaries.  Missionaries are now coming into the Phoenix Airport about 4pm.   Once we helped them collect their luggage we left the airport and  brought them to the mission home.  We helped them get situated, get a cold water bottle and then head out to do come street contacting with some veteran missionaries.  After about an hour of having their real live street contacting experience they came back to the Mission Home where Sis. Robinson had prepared taco salad, fruit and pie for dessert.  Then the new missionaries had a devotional with Pres. and Sis. Robinson.  We read scriptures, discussed what a missionary’s purpose is and talked about what makes a successful missionary.  Then they watched a slide presentation of the Robinson’s family to get to know them better and also were shown a power point about the Scottsdale mission and the various areas they might serve in.  We were pleased that each new missionary contributed their thoughts and shared their testimony.  We love them already.DSC_0599

This group picture is of the 5 visa waiters who will eventually go to the Philippines once their visa’s are approved.  This is our third time having visa waiters come to our mission.  We will enjoy whatever time we have to serve with these fine missionaries until they have to go.

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One group picture with all the missionaries who arrived today.

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After a nights rest, the missionaries woke at 6:30am for a little exercise, then dressed for the day and then had breakfast at the Mission Home provided by Sis. Robinson.  They loved her famous scrambled eggs with cream cheese, cheddar and jack cheese, feta cheese and cottage cheese all mixed in.  Also, they had choices of yogurt, cereal, sausage, fruit and muffins if eggs are not their favorite.  All were well fed.  Then we went to the meetinghouse next door for orientation and to learn who their first companion/trainer would be.  After all the driver training and meetings we had lunch together and began to get know each other and their new companion better.  By 3pm everyone was off with their companion to their new area.  They will be great for sure!! (Remember to click each picture to make it bigger)

 

May 1, 2, 3,18 2018 Zone Conferences

We had very successful zone conferences with all the missionaries in May.  We combine two zones for each conference in the valley, and the three zones in the mountains for their conference.  If you click on each picture it will make it larger.  Hopefully, you can find your missionary!  I do not get pictures of all the lunches in each zone conference.  Please forgive me if your missionary is not in any of the lunch photos.  I will try to do better in getting more lunch time photos of all the missionaries.  For this zone conference we continued with the theme of “The Power of His Word in Us”.  President did his training on part three of that theme.  Sis. Robinson trained on “The Holy Ghost & Revelation, Pt. 1”.  The assistants trained on asking inspired questions.  The zone leaders and sister training leaders trained on Teaching People, Not Lessons.  There was much participation from the missionaries in all of the conferences.  You parents would be thrilled to hear the gospel discussions which go on in these conferences.  President and Sis. Robinson come away on a spiritual high after interacting with these fine missionaries.  Its a joy to be in the Lord’s service with these wonderful missionaries.