This is the look of a stake president at the end of a successful conference -- pure joy!
Sister Stevenson and I enjoyed meeting with the Saints of the Assin Foso Stake. We were both invited to speak in the meetings on Saturday and Sunday.
We had nice involvement from the missionaries in the stake choir. There are 36 missionaries serving in this stake.
Sister Sobakin, one of our returned missionaries.
We celebrated the end of the conference with President Fokuo and fufu.
On our way to conference this morning, we were stopped by the police so they could inspect my license (this happens all the time). I was excited to show him my new Ghanaian license. My international license had fulfilled it's useful life.
While the police were talking to me on one side of the road, the police on the other side of the road had stopped a trotro with a member of the Church inside. He called out to my officer to "Let President go!" My policeman said, "Your people want me to let you go. Drive on."
In addition to the stake conference, we held the last two zone conferences for this quarter, a Mission Leadership Council and conducted New Trainer Orientation.
For the zone conferences this quarter, I led a discussion on establishing a Zion mission. Together, we studied several accounts in the scriptures when the blessings of the Lord had been poured out upon the people in astonishing ways and we developed a list of Attributes of Astonishment.
Once we had the list, we discovered that in order to establish Zion, we would need to:
- Exercise mighty faith
- Establish peace (no contention)
- Focus on the Doctrine of Christ
- Take care of each other, and
- Be humble
Since these attributes are critical to our success, we practiced a little.
How do you respond when someone offers correction to you?
Sometimes the correction is inappropriate, like this example where I tell the missionary his tie does not meet missionary dress standards. You can (1) find another tie and remove a stumbling block from your companion; (2) calmly help the other missionary understand that your tie is fine. The third option, righteous indignation, is not helpful in establishing Zion.
We talked about how important it is to understand the situation before offering correction:
Sister Stevenson and I demonstrated the options available to a dad when his 16 year old daughter comes home an hour after curfew.
You can let the emotion of your worry cause you to immediately launch into chastisement, typically saying things that you shouldn't say and can never un-say.
Or, you can express love and gratitude that she is home safe and calmly find out what happened. There may be a good explanation for the situation, but even if discipline is necessary, it can be given in a positive way.
We also referred to the experience of Pahoran in the Book of Mormon as an example of how to respond if you are wrongly chastised before all of the information is known. Still trying to establish peace.
We also practiced how to stop gossip very fast and turn it into a positive discussion.
We all agreed that we wanted a Zion mission. To memorialize the occasion, we followed the example of the People of Ammon from the Book of Mormon:
"For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren."
We gathered up the weapons of our rebellion, the things that we needed to change individually,
and we burned them.
We had nice music.
The Zone Leaders led demonstrations on how to help investigators understand common doctrinal objections.
The Assistants taught us about finding people to teach.
We restocked the first aid kits for each apartment.
I really enjoyed each of these conferences. I hope to be astonished.
Wednesday was MLC:
Mission Leadership Council - September 2016
We discussed how leaders can lift those they serve.
We reviewed the Standards of Excellence for any needed adjustments and discussed ways that we could assist the church units in developing effective Ward Mission Plans.
Using mission resources wisely.
Accounting for petty cash. Since Ghana is largely a cash economy, zone leaders and district leaders have petty cash accounts to take care of medical expenses and other exceptional costs for their missionaries.
Friday was Train the Trainers:
Trainers - September 2016
The transfer next week is going to be a little complicated. We have new missionaries coming on two days from two different MTCs and we have returning missionaries flying out on three different days -- all overlapping in the same week. The Ghana MTC was at its occupancy maximum, so nine of our 16 new missionaries will come directly from the United States to us. It will be an adventure.
The Transfer News and Transportation Planning meeting on Saturday began with cookies and ice cream. Sister Durrant is becoming very popular.