After our morning session (and a BBQ hamburger lunch at the mission home) where we discussed the role of a zone leader and district leader and talked about our recent output and results as a mission, I took the leaders up on the mountain behind the mission home. The mission home is up on the bench and at the base of three large mountains. A short walk from the mission home is a cable car and rope way tram that takes you to the top of one of the big mountains. From the top, you can see a large part of the Kobe Mission. The view is spectacular and inspiring.So after lunch we had a 10 minute hike and a 15 minute trek up the mountain and within 30 minutes it seemed we were out of the world looking down on our mission. At the top there is a park and a nice pavilion we gathered in and read scriptures after singing High on a Mountain Top. We studied about the great prophets that the Lord took up into high mountains and taught them and showed them His vision and the work he had prepared for them. We talked about our work and our vision of the work in our mission and our roles as leaders in realizing that vision. We also discussed how the mount of the Lord in the scriptures often refers to the temple. We talked about the need we have to climb our own mountains each day (go up to the mountain often) to commune with the Lord and get guidance in our lives. I think the missionaries enjoyed it and were inspired by the experience. Views from the tram on the way up.Upon returning and having dinner, we had a short family home evening with the boys and then continued our meetings until about 9pm in the mission home. The next morning at 6:30, we had a short service project and cleaned up all the weeds and gutters around the mission home. After showers and breakfast, we had group scripture study time and then finished the morning in our final meeting with testimonies and wrap up training. The missionaries then enjoyed the rest of their preparation day and returned to their areas. I think an extended training session like this could be held a few times a year especially when we change over a lot of the leadership. I believe this will be something they will remember long after their mission's end. The danger is we probably spoiled them with three big meals prepared by Sister McIntyre. I heard comments like, "I have not had a breakfast like that since coming to Japan." Don't worry though, none of these missionaries are underfed. I think they just miss a good meal prepared by mom.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
High on a Mountain Top - Zone leader Council October 2008
Immediately after transfer week, we held Zone Leader Council and training. This time we had the zone leaders come into the mission home and spend a little extra time with us in training. Normally ZLC is held from 10am to 4pm on one day. This time I had the leaders come in and start as usual at 10 am, but stay over night and wrap up the next day at noon. The second day was preparation day so it did not intrude much on their proselyting time. A mission president is a trainer all the time. Since missionaries come and go every several weeks and leaders change just as often, the need to continually train in all aspects of missionary work and leadership in general is essential. Inspiring young men and women and keeping them motivated with a strong desire to serve and work hard can be challenging. But I have found these young missionaries to be so obedient and faithful. They have a desire to learn and grow and please their Father in Heaven. That makes teaching and training them much easier and very enjoyable. At ZLC we discuss the direction of the mission and what we need to focus on to further the work and support all the missionaries in their zones. We set up our training plans and learn our duty as leaders. This transfer we had 3 new zone leaders and 1 new assistant to the president called. That represents almost half our leaders in the mission, excluding district leaders. We called several new district leaders as well.