The purpose of this blog is to highlight the beautiful city of Guadalajara; the faithful members, the valiant missionaries who serve here, as well as the people, culture, and food.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September Leadership Training Begins!

What a great day we had today (9-9-16) as we gathered our 3 Guadalajara zones together for leadership training.  These 17 zone leaders, district leaders and sister training leaders arrived ready to learn, and ready to share their experiences with us.  

We continued with our theme from mission council - The Power of Prayer in Our Roles as Leaders.
What a solid topic this is.  We basked in the truths we learned as President Clayton began by presenting the doctrine of the Godhead again as a basis and foundation for our understanding of prayer.

Here are a few highlights from our day together.

President -
The Privilege and Power of Prayer
* We worship and pray to God the Father, God the First.
* Our prayers go directly to the Father.
* We can call upon our Father in prayer for help,
for gratitude, for worship.

Prayer is -
* One of the many ways we can learn about our Father.
* A doctrine we must understand and teach as missionaries.

1. The doctrine teaches us why we pray.  
* We pray to the Father because we love Him, and He loves us.
* He desires to hear from us
* It is a commandment to pray

2. The principle helps us understand what prayer is,
and how we pray.
* We are actually speaking with God, our Father
* We must pray with confidence
* We must pray with the intent to do whatever God reveals to us

3. Applying prayer in our life help us understand
that our Father is there, that He is available
to us, that He is willing to help us. How?
* As we humbly and worthily approach Him in prayer.
* As we pray earnestly and sincerely.
* As we pray in faith.

Discussion -
Moses 1:10-22 What Moses learned as he prayed.

How do answers come?

1. Peace and tranquility

2  Confusion or stupor of thought

3. It may not matter, either way.
In that case, we must make our decision,
move forward.

"If in trust, we begin something which is not right,
He will let us know before we have gone too far.
We sense that help, by recognizing troubled or
uneasy feelings".
Richard G. Scott

Sister Clayton

Primary song Heavenly Father, Are you Really There?

1. What did Joseph Smith do to prepare to pray?
*Joseph found a grove of trees, a quiet place, a familiar place.
* Finding a quiet place of our own.
* How can we make it sacred?  
-We make it sacred by what happens there.
-Quieting ourselves, stilling our minds, picturing our Father in Heaven.
* It was Joseph's first attempt to pray vocally- what happens when we pray vocally?
*Humbly Kneeling, Sweet Appealing
*song and video - Oh How Lovely Was the Morning
*Did you get a feeling of reverence, watching Joseph as he walked to the place he had chosen?
*Do we understand that as we prepare to pray, we are approaching the throne of God.
We are approaching the throne of mercy.

2. Listening - key
*After we pray in faith, any thought, idea, and impression that comes into our minds is revelation.
*Listen. Listen carefully.
*Stay quiet, incline your ear to heaven -  WAIT.
*Stay on your knees until you feel a good warm feeling ensuring that the Lord has heard your prayer, and you know His spirit is there with you.

* Joseph Smith wrote in his history that Moroni first appeared to him as a young boy

of 14 as he was praying. Joseph said that when he first looked upon him, he was afraid,   

but he said, the fear soon left me.  He said, the angel Moroni called him by name.  He said

that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God, and that God had a work for me

to do.  
*What marvelous things God might tell us if we are humble, uncluttered, and if we listen.

“Answers from the Lord come quietly, ever so quietly.
In fact, few hear his answers audibly with their ears.
Most answers from the Lord are felt in our heart as a
warm comfortable expression, or they may come as
thoughts to our mind. They come to those who are
prepared and who are patient.” Notice that often before
revelation will come we need to study the questions
out in our mind, make a decision, and  then  ask our
Heavenly Father if it is right”.   Bishop H Burke Peterson

“When I was a little child, my parents taught me
by example to pray. I began with a picture in my
mind of Heavenly Father being far away. As I
have matured, my experience with prayer has
changed. The picture in my mind has become
one of a Heavenly Father who is close by, who
is bathed in a bright light, and who knows
me perfectly” . Henry B. Eyring

3. Align ourselves to obey and follow

* Praying sincerely, with real intent means we are committed to act on the answers that we receive.

How focused are we in this work ?

President's 3 Games !
**These 3 games remind us of the importance of staying focused.
**How do our disciplined focused efforts yield blessings?  
**Remaining focused here in the mission will help us be happy in the work,
and will help us resist the temptation for distractions.

                                                                      Game #1   Two Teams

1. President showed a picture to the first person in line from each team.  That person described the picture to the next team member, then that person repeated the description of the picture to the next person, down the line, until the last person in line had to draw the picture that was described to them.

quizzing each other on what they heard
and what they said..

oh, the anticipation...

the 'drawer'

Which team came closest, describing on paper
(drawing) the actual picture?

checking each team's drawings...

We played 3 rounds.  Here are the 3 pictures
they had to describe, and then have their team 
member draw.

next game

2. Each team must work together to undo the string of knots,
with each person on the team using only one of their hands.

last game

3.The person standing in the center of the circle is focused
and looking intently for the coin as it is passed carefully and
discretely around the circle.

Our sister training leaders shared their testimonies
and the mission miracles they are seeing.

our assistants teaching

Group discussions

Assistants object lesson
If someone were to set a glass of water before you and ask, "What do you see?" What would you say? Would you respond without thinking, "A glass of water!" or would you stop yourself in your supposed knowledge, and consider that maybe there are unknown fact that exists, a clear truth that is present but unperceived?
Like a glass of water, the leaves on a tree can also appear to be very simple. But what makes a leaf worth considering? What gives it value?

A leaf on its own is as chaff, and alone, it is sifted. But when it is part of the tree; when it is one with its "fountain of life," it is indispensable. It is the only way "beauty" can be truly divine.

But, let's consider something more significant: a standard--the Standard of our mission. Whole, it stands for more than what is written on it.  If we tear a piece of cloth from it, that piece of cloth loses its value, the value that it had, from being part of something greater, something more.
What makes something great?  What gives something value, is that it is a part of something great.   Something as simple as a piece of cloth torn from a banner or a leaf from a tree, at first, can seem insignificant, but really is so profound. So, what would you say if someone set a glass of water before you and asked, "What do you see?"  
Conversion occurs when one's vision is genuinely changed (Alma 36:22-23). And the vision that will convert unto salvation is the one no mortal eye can grant (2 Cor. 4:17-18). Prayer is the privilege and power granted to man to find that which exists but can't be seen; to obtain the vision that is hidden from the world.
Only God can reveal, and only prayer can connect us to God. This is the role of prayer in conversion.
Elder Manriquez and Elder Uribe

The beautiful thing about the gospel is how simple it is.

with our two outstanding STL's
Hermana Anderson and Hermana Dominguez

President Clayton - final words
This is our time.  This is our mission.
We are seeing miracles! We can move mountains!
We will not fear, we will not shrink, because
God Is In The Storm!

Manzanillo, Guzman and Colima Leadership Training

What committed and earnest leaders we have serving with us at this time, in this place.

The Privilege and Power of Prayer

Preparing to Pray

Our assistants teaching

Elder Manriquez and Elder Uribe
our assistants during the break :)

Game #1
team 1

team 2   

This group was very focused and animated as 
they whispered what they heard down the line.

the 'drawers'

round 2


round 3

Elder Bradley and Sister Ruiz focusing
on what they need to describe.

I love it.

such concentration.

Game #2

I loved watching them focus intently on 
undoing those knots.

Game #3

Where is that coin?

Our sister training leaders sharing 
their testimonies and tender experiences.

Group discussions

with our fabulous STL's

and finally we traveled to Tepic to meet with the Tepic, Santiago and  Vallarta  leadership.

*note - we did not decorate for our training... these festive
decorations were left over from the ward party in this building 
celebrating the Mexican Independence holiday
 the night before.  :)

President introducing our theme -
The Privileged and Power of Prayer

*Preparing to pray
*Receiving answers to our prayers
*Aligning ourselves correctly 
as we receive inspiration and direction
from our Father in Heaven.

How focused are we in this work ?

President's 3 Games !

**These 3 games remind us of the importance of staying focused.
**How do our disciplined focused efforts yield blessings?  
**Remaining focused here in the mission will help us be happy in the work,
and will help us resist the temptation for distractions.

Game #1
team 1

team 2

These teams were quite animated as well 
describing the picture from person to person.

actually, everyone agreed that both of the teams 
pictures were just ridiculous. 

Game #2

Game #3

the assistants teaching

President Clayton's final testimony.
This is our time.  This is our mission.
We are seeing miracles! We can move mountains!
We will not fear, we will not shrink, because
God Is In The Storm!

with our dedicated STL's