Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Day Two

The conference was definitely photo worthy!!

 The gift exchange . ..

 These elders wrote a super cute song called, First Christmas in the Mission. I loved it!!

 Anything that leaves Elder W scratching his head has to be VERY perplexing!

 One of the nastier little clean up jobs! The cooler that held the tamales.

Not quite sure about this one . . . :-)
 Helping someone get the holiday spirit!

 A cute rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas Mission Style!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Important Notice to Parents about Christmas Calls

Dear Parents of our Beloved Missionaries,

With Christmas just around the corner, we are sure you and your missionaries are looking forward to being able to visit. All missionaries are allowed one (1) hour to visit with their families. If parents do not live together, the missionaries will need to divide their time. The visit can be on the phone or on skype, whichever is more convenient, and your son or daughter's companion needs to be in the room at all times.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE encourage your missionary to share positive experiences. And please be positive with your missionary. Although all the missionaries look forward to these calls, for most it also ends up being very difficult emotionally afterward. If you talk about all the fun things you are doing, how much you miss your child, what they are missing out on, problems at home etc., your missionary will struggle for awhile after the call.

If you focus on missionary experiences, how proud you are of them, share uplifting stories of faith, and express gratitude for the their service, it will be much, much easier for your missionary after your visit. This is particularly important for those missionaries who have only a few months in the mission field.

We love your sons and daughters and are so thankful for them!! And we appreciate all your love and support. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Con Amor,
Presidente y Hermana Wagner

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Spiritual Feast and a Very Sweet Christmas Gift!!

We had a wonderful day today!! It was so wonderful that I am having a hard time finding the words to tell about it. So right now I will just post a few pictures and then later tonight or tomorrow I will write about it in more detail.

All of our missionaries and all of the missionaries in the Guadalajara East Mission met together this morning to hear counsel from--our area authority, Elder Lester Johnson; our Area President, Elder Benjamin De Hoyos; one of the presidents of the Seventy, Elder Donald Hallstrom; and (as Elder Nelson put it) "1/12 of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles," Elder Russell M. Nelson!

Yes it was probably a once in a lifetime experience!! And it was amazing!

Everyone had to be at the building by 8:30 a.m. so that meant that some of the missionaries started their travels around 3 in the morning. By the time they arrived they were all just a little bit tired, but also so happy to see each other and to hear the words of an Apostle.

First things first!! Having all the missionaries together was a great opportunity to give them all their flu shots!!  Line up!! And try to be brave!!
 A super big thanks go Hermana Kingsford and Elder Kingsford!! This could not have happened without them!! They helped get the nurses to give the shots and then kept everyone orderly and things moving quickly!! Thank you, thank you!!

 Sure they are smiling now . . . .:-)

With the shots over, everyone took a seat and waited for our special guests to arrive. Isn't this the most amazing sight??? I love seeing all 450 missionaries from both missions together!! 

Once they arrived, they then greeted every single missionary personally! Now all of our missionaries can claim to have shaken hands with an apostle!

We were also privileged to hear a special musical number sung by four sisters and four elders (2 from each mission). They sang More Holiness Give Me and did a BEAUTIFUL JOB!!  It was truly amazing!! Since they came from 8 different cities and two missions, they didn't have any time to practice before this morning. We were a little worried if they would be able to pull it off with so little practice time, but they NAILED it!! Truly it was beautiful!! And our pianist was amazing as well! Everyone just sang the song from the hymn book but he made up his accompaniment and did a fantastic job. I really do think they all had assistance from above. It was just that beautiful.

Here they are during their one and only--and short--practice.

So later I will write about the instruction we were given. Loved it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mission Council

Yesterday we held mission council here in the city. We have 20 zone leaders (2 in each of the ten zones) 9 sister leader trainers, two assistants, President Wagner, myself and at this particular mission council we also had my daughter, recently returned from he own mission in Honduras.

The two main focuses of the council were Preach My Gospel, Chapter 4, Recognizing the Spirit, and the Church's Christmas initiative, He is the Gift. The assistants did a great job training on how to invite people to Discover, Accept and Share the first gift of Christmas, the Christ child, and on how to teach and recognize the Spirit.

I then taught on Charity, and the relationship between God's love for us, our love for God and our love for others and discovering, accepting, and sharing the gospel.

And in the end President Wagner went through Chapter 4 and taught the material there. It was great.
Then we ate baked chicken with ham, funeral potatoes, green salad, rolls and mint brownies!

All in all it was a great meeting. Here are some pictures of the missionaries who attended.

The assistants . . .

Our sister leader trainers . . .
The sister on the left is new
 The sister on the left and on the right are both new.
 The sister on the right is new

 The elder on the right is new
 The elder on the right is new

 The elder on the right is new
 The elder on the left is sort of new.:-) He was a zone leader before, then served as an assistant and is now serving again as a zone leader.
All that is missing in this picture is the brownie! Thank you Michelle for making them and for all your help!
A big welcome to all the new members of our mission council. We look forward to working with all of you!