This was the first time for us to do Zone Conferences with 12 zones! We met together with a few that were close just because there were not days to do them all separately. We worried about the larger numbers in a few of the conferences but we divided into zones and smaller groups for some activities it worked beautifully!
The theme of the Zone Conference was “Acting in the Strength of the Lord”. President Lovell talked about what it means to act in the strength of the Lord and how to have the strength of the Lord with us. He also shared many miracles that have happened recently in the mission. The attendance at Sacrament Meeting has increased significantly. That is our focus. The area presidency has been stressing that as a key to measuring real growth. In some wards and branches it has actually doubled over the last few months!
Later President Lovell also talked about budgeting and finances and our new guidelines for when the missionaries use the computers.
We gave each of the areas a DVD with talks and presentations to use as a resource as they teach.
The Assistants also taught and led us in practices on the development and use of the Ward Mission Plan. That is so important to our success as missionaries.
The Zone Leaders did a workshop on working with members and it was fun to see what each set of zone leaders did to teach us.
The Zone Leaders in Esquel invited a member to come and teach us about working with members!
There were creative activities that helped us learn by experiences....and it was fun!
I talked about how important it is to eat healthy to have the strength and energy we need. There are times that the missionaries don’t have a meal with members and they need to cook in their pensions. We gave each of the missionaries a packet of recipes to use to cook simple, nutritious and inexpensive meals.
One of the other fun things I get to do is to help us celebrate the upcoming birthdays! I do my best to talk in Spanish but it feels good that President Lovell is there to help me when I need it.
The Zone Leaders from each of the Zones arrange for a lunch for all of us during Zone Conferences. Many times it is a member that comes and helps prepare it.
We ended each Zone Conference with a time of teaching by President Lovell and a time to share testimonies. Each zone prepared a special musical number to start this part of the conference and it was always a highlight!
We have had some very large groups of new missionaries over the last few months and we don't expect to see that again for some time. It is great to have the zones and the areas in place and focus on being missionaries!
We are truly being blessed as a mission! We are grateful for your Prayers in our behalf.