Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Zone Conferences

WEEK 86 - WEEK 87
Dear Family and Friends,

                It’s really crazy to think that another set of Zone Conferences has come and gone.  One of the great blessings of being in the office is to be able to attend all three of the zone conferences.  On Tuesday, we were in Lucena for the Lucena, Lopez, and Marinduque zones.  On Wednesday, we were in Lipa for the Lipa, Batangas, and Mindoro zones.  Then on Thursday, we were in San Pablo for the San Pablo, Cabuyao, and Santa Cruz zones.  It was an awesome experience once again to be involved in and all three of them were a huge success.  To my surprise, hearing the same business, workshops, scriptures, and quotes never seemed to become repetitive or dull. 

The main focus of the zone conference was to evaluate the progress that we’ve seen in the mission since we last got together and to introduce the new training plan for the mission.  Since, we’ve last had our zone conference and even since I’ve come into the mission, every area of the work has seen steady and notable improvement.  President Mangum threw a huge bar graph up on the projector so we could see how the numbers all lined up.  I know that it’s not all about the numbers, but it was definitely exciting to see how everyone’s faith is continuing to grow in the mission.  You can definitely feel momentum moving through the mission right now, and it really is an exciting thing.

The new training plan is focused on Charity and the Atonement.  The assistants used a quote by Abraham Lincoln that I thought was pretty cool.  “I do not like that man very much.  I must get to know him better.”  It made me think of the people in my mission that  I had walked by because I had judged them or decided not to talk to, just because I had already decided that they wouldn’t accept our message.  You see some pretty interesting people in the Philippines, but it was just a good reminder to me that everyone needs the message that we carry.

My companion and I also had some time to get out and visit some members.  We’ve been taking little reading charts to the members that say, “BINASA KO ANG AKLAT NI MORMON” (I read The Book of Mormon), that they can color in for every day or section that they read.  At first I thought it was a little silly, and I was a little shy to give it to them.  Then I was surprised as we went back to their homes and we saw the charts pinned on the wall with little sections colored in.  It’s pretty funny, but the parents are actually telling us that it is now their children who are pushing them to read the scriptures so they can keep coloring in the sheet.  One Brother even admitted that sometimes he starts making excuses to his children because he’s tired or busy, but always ends up reading the scriptures with his family.  It’s been really fun to see the progression in their families.

Everything else is going well and we’re definitely very busy.  Elder Costales and I get along great and are finding ways to make all the office work more fun and entertaining.  We’ll even divide the pouch into two piles and then race to see who can get their pile sorted the fastest.  We’re also finding more time to get out and to visit members since this cycle is eight weeks long.

Thanks for all of the support that you continue to show and of the counsel that you give!

-Elder English

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