Sunday, November 8, 2015

October Mission Conference 2015

A few facts about our mission. The name is unique: The Family and Church History Headquarters Mission. Our mission choir also has a unique name, "The Elijah Choir". This whole mission is about family search, ancestral work, and genealogy. Many stories are told throughout the history and some are recorded and stored in the Family Search program. All people throughout the world are invited to participate in doing family search by finding names and stories of their ancestors. You can also build your family pedigree chart as a family tree and attach pictures, stories and documents in the Memory spot. We work in one of the areas called The Family Search Center. We help guests find their ancestor's public records from the past by searching many kinds of records: census rolls, marriage certificates, christening records, immigration records, ship passenger lists and many more types of records on Family Search. It is fun but it take time and effort. We also take souvenir pictures of our guests with our Ellis Island backdrop.

Pictured at the top is our missionary group.
The picture at the bottom has Elder Hunt working as a camera man taking an Ellis Island picture of our dear friends the Richards from Vernal, Utah.

Once again our October mission conference was great and inspiring. The speakers from the mission presidency were President Oliver (First Counselor) and Sister Oliver, and President Tate, our mission president was the concluding speaker.

Sister Oliver spoke first. She talked on how the Gospel teaches to love one another.  She told a story about herself as a young girl and how her desire was to get married and have lots of children.  She loves children.  But a few years after her marriage there were still no children.  So they adopted a one-month old boy.  Eighteen months later he was sealed to them in the temple.  Then she saw another boy three days later and then completed the adoption process for him too. After that her own children started coming the natural way.  First was a daughter and then a son.  Then they adopted a whole family of three children who had lost their parents.  By now they had 7 children.  Then child number 8 came through the natural pregnancy.  This took a lot of love and patience and caused a lot of stress but they all bonded together.

She then told the poem entitled, THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER'S HAND. It tells of an old violin that was up for auction.  It was about to be sold for just three dollars when an old violinist came forward and picked up the violin, prepared it to be played, and then played it.  As he played it brought forth the most beautiful music.  After he sat it back down the auctioneer, knowing of its increased value, then started the action a thousand dollars and it sold for three thousand dollars. What changed the value of the old violin?  It was the touch of a master's hand.

Her testimony was that her children that she and her husband adopted were given to them through the master's touch.  She recognized the worth of each soul and she wanted to give them a home where they would have a chance to return to our Heavenly Father.

Her advice to us as missionaries was that we must be aware of each other's needs and love each other, have patience, help one another and that charity never faileth like the scriptures instruct us.

President Oliver, Second Counselor to the Mission President then spoke.  He praised his wife for being an angel and that she is the product of the Master's hand.

In Doctrine and Covenants 59 the Lord tells us what we need to be doing to become a true follower of Christ and practice charity which is the pure love of Christ.  In verses 5 and 6 it says to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him" and to "love thy neighbor as thyself."  Then in John 14:15 the Lord says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Are we willing to do what the Lord wants us to do?  Do we shine forth with the brightness of the pure love of Christ?  Look around you, is there someone needing a little encouragement, a kind word or two, or just a smile?  We can all do something to be a light for Christ. Be of service and touch the lives of others.  Be enthusiastic in your service because attitude makes a difference.

He told a story about an interview for a farm hand. The man that was hired said that he can sleep through a storm."  ?When asked about that his answer was, "I do my job and duties as if there will be a storm every night.  I tie things down that need to be tied down so I can sleep through a storm."

Our work is accomplished with the help of our Lord.  President Tate said that it has been a wonderful gift to have read the Book of Mormon three times in 90 days. Reading it has helped us prepare each day for the the storm ahead.
Picture: President Tate and his wife Sister Tate

Like always it was President Tate that gave the concluding remarks. First, he stated that the presidency is united and are one. They are all working for the good of  the Lord and the welfare of the missionaries.  Then he expressed his love for all the missionaries under his care and direction. He told the story of Jesus healing the blind man while in Jerusalem.  The blind man was born blind and Jesus put clay over his eyes and told him to wash it off in the pool of Siloam.  The blind man obeyed and his sight was restored.  The lesson in the story is that we sometimes are blinded by unrighteous things represented by the clay. The scripture tells us that Jesus is the light of the world.  Seeing brings light to our senses.  Reading the Book of Mormon has removed the blindness from our eyes.  It has helped us become more righteous.  Now we must continue to acknowledge Christ in all our doings.

He introduced the mission's next reading challenge: Studying the October 2015 General Conference Talks with a "purpose".  All the talks will be bound in a spiral book form with all the talks in columns without pictures.  There will be blank pages in the back to make notes and impressions about the talks that we read.  This reading challenge will further disperse the darkness from our minds and will strengthen us to give heed to the words of our Savior Jesus Christ.  The books will be given out in the zones by the zone leaders and the reading will begin on the first of November 2015.

October mission conference was great and informative.  We love our mission.

We have been told that our visas have been approved but they have not yet been received.  We are learning a lot of wonderful and great things in Family Search that we can use and teach in Finland.

We will have more news and pictures next time.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support in every way.  We love you all very much.

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