Elder Peper

My Mission Experience

Mission Conference

I received a little bit of information from Riley today.  As usual, he is in very good spirits and said that things are going very well.  He was quite pleased to share that they have 5 new investigators found through tracting the area last week.  He also shared that he is getting along very well with his new companion and likes him very much.  I am hoping they will be able to remain together for a few months, but one never knows about these things.

His mission was privileged to have their first ever all-mission conference yesterday in Moore, OK with Elder Bednar.  For those who may not know who Elder Bednar is, he is a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.  Riley said it was an awesome conference and promised to write more about it later this week.  I will share what Riley has to say when I receive that letter.  In the meantime, please enjoy Sister Gee’s letter to the Missionaries’ families regarding that conference:

Dear Parents and Families,

We had a wonderful day today as we had our first ever all-mission conference with each missionary in attendance at the same meeting.  So here is what happened:  President Gee and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with Elder Bednar.  We visited about how things are progressing in the world with the spread of the gospel.  It is more than exciting to get the big picture from one who travels all over the world.  It is assuring to know that the leaders are confident that as long as we keep the commandments things will turn out all right.  While we were chatting missionaries were traveling from all over the mission to be ready and in their seats when Elder Bednar arrived.  Some of them had a very early start on this cloudy and cold day.  (At least there was no snow or ice.)

When we arrived there was complete order.  Elder Olsen was playing the prelude music.  Everyone was quietly studying.  They were dressed perfectly, down to their dark conservative ties.  The sisters are always appropriate.  I walked into the chapel with a big smile on my face and saw all the missionaries look up, but without big smiles.  I think they were too uptight to smile, but they were excited, nonetheless.  Most of the Stake Presidents and their wives were in attendance.  Elder Searle conducted with dignity. After the a rousing rendition of “Called to Serve” and an invocation Elder Bednar began to speak.  It took a few minutes for him to get the missionaries loosened up.  He told a little story or two and then got down to business.  Today was going to be a participating day.  He would invite their responses and questions.  The principle he wanted them to learn is that they are better off if they learn to use their agency to act, meaning participate, rather than to be acted upon, meaning sit and listen to him talk.  He explained what makes a good question to ask an apostle and what kind would be a waste of time.  With the rules set, we were off for three hours of interaction.  He started with asking them what stood out to them as they read the talks which were assigned.  (You had the chance to print them off last week.)  Hands popped up everywhere.  There were no empty minutes in this day.  One after another they shared things they learned about more meaningful prayer and more powerful faith.  Gradually it shifted to evaluation of this format for learning.  How could they incorporate this kind of interaction as they teach investigators?  Then he opened it up to ask any question they wanted.  We ended with his testimony and a blessing for the missionaries.

I know what it means when the scriptures say “it cannot be written the things that were said.”  It is because the Holy Ghost was the teacher and it is hard to capture that on an e-mail.  However a few of the ideas that were discussed are:  connecting the dots between being strictly obedient to seemingly trivial rules such as getting up at 6:30 and becoming a covenant people prepared to live Celestial Law; action precedes the power, not power and answers first and then action; listen to the investigators and address their needs, rather than just talking at them; listening carefully for the Holy Ghost to teach them things that were neither asked nor talked about today.  (Several testified that their questions had been answered privately while the discussion was going on.)  Elder Bednar also taught what it means to be a prophet, a seer, and a revelator.  He explained the calling of being a “special witness of Christ to the world.”  During all this I believe most of us had a renewed confirmation of the authority of an apostle of the Lord.  What an unforgettable opportunity we had today to be gathered all in one body to be taught by a prophet, seer, and revelator.

After the meeting ended we took zone pictures with Elder Bednar and then had lunch.  Now the missionaries are safely back in their areas and hopefully have a renewed understanding of what it takes to exercise faith and to be guided in this missionary work.  I hope you get some details from your missionary when he/she e-mails you today.  I hope you will get a few of their personal insights.  Have a great week.          Love,  Sister Gee (and President Gee)

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February 23, 2010 - Posted by | Letters from Mission President/Wife, Uncategorized

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