Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week of May 18 spiritual experiences

Mark Owen Vickers

May 16 (2 days ago)
to me
Sweet! "Quick story for you. So my trainer, Elder Roper, and I were out Tracting one night in my first area and were passing by this trailer home. These two people were in front of the house smoking and drinking. We went up to talk to them. Their names are Jamie and Joshua. We gave them a copy of the Book of Mormon and exchanged numbers. 

2 months later.....Sister missionaries are teaching them now and they are going to be baptized! They received a church tour and since that day have come to church every week since. Such a testimony builder to me of the power of talking to everyone we come in contact with. "


Monday, May 16, 2016

Zone Conference!

To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,

We are looking forward to spend time with each of you this week in studying those things that will deepen our understanding and improve our teaching of the Plan of Salvation.
In preparation for this conference, we would like to assign you two topics to prepare for 5 minute talks at this conference. Each companionship will have the companion who has been serving longest prepare a talk on Topic #1 and the other companion to prepare a talk on Topic #2. Here are the topics:
Topic #1: In Moses 6:62, Enoch concludes his teaching (that has been lost from the Bible) by saying these words: "And now behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men..." In your own words, after reviewing vs 48-61, 63-68 please teach what you understand the Plan of Salvation to be and how understanding Enoch's teaching can improve the way you teach the Plan of Salvation to others.
Topic #2: Read Judges 6-7. What are the parallels we see in Gideon's experience trying to save Israel and our own? What was the qualifications to serve with Gideon in freeing Israel? What parallels do we see in our day. What may be some of the ways that we get on our "knees to drink" that may disqualify us from participating in freeing captive Israel?

We love you and look forward to being taught by you!
President and Sister Mortensen

We attended District Meeting last Friday in the Spring District. We were inspired by Elder Myers leadership, preparation, and training. We remembered the Alamo and committed ourselves to join the Lord's army and serve until the end.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Making the Sabbath a "Delight"

To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,

First and foremost, we hope you all enjoyed Mother's day and were able to call home and visit with those you love. 

Because of your collective faith, prayers and efforts, we experienced almost a 30% increase in the number of our investigators attending church yesterday than we had the previous week making this Sabbath day truly a "delight" for more reasons than one :). We would like to specifically recognize the College Station zone (30 investigators at church), the Spring zone (27) and the Houston North Spanish zone (23) for leading the way in making this possible! We know many of you also made great efforts and congratulate you for it.

As we have pondered recently over those things that would be of most significance to better strengthen and establish the church in this area, we have reflected on the recent emphasis of the Sabbath day. In the Bible Dictionary we read:

"The importance of a sacred day for man to rest from his temporal labors, contemplate the word of the Lord and assemble for public worship is a major item in a person's spiritual development." 

How many of us realize that getting our investigators to come to church is a MAJOR item in their spiritual development rather than simply another commitment that needs to be kept prior to them being baptized? Do you think that the Adversary is aware that this is a major item. We testify to you that he is very aware. Our own experience in this mission shows that once an investigator comes to church they are at least 5 times more likely to be baptized than any other investigator we find. The Adversary also knows this. There is no other single action on their part that creates that kind of increase in probability of progression. 

Think about why that is:

1. We teach from Matt 14 frequently to show Peter's experience of stepping out of the boat. We can't think of any other singular action on the part of new investigators that more closely approximates Peter's act of faith than does stepping out of their "boat" of cultural norms, habits, family traditions or faith traditions than does attending our church. 

2. This is such a major step because it is the first time that a person's "private" religious exploration transitions to a more "public" statement of true desire. This is significant enough to make even the purest desires vulnerable to fear and doubt (like the wind did to Peter).

3. Church attendance also marks the point in which those who have been set apart (Bishops, ward council members, teachers and neighbors) can meet, embrace and rally around ("encircle") those we bring in such a way that will strengthen our new investigators and "lift" their spirits and their faith even as the Savior did with Peter.

We remind each of you that we have many tools that we have been trained on to help us help those we teach in their come to church to receive the blessings they desire:

1. Member touches
2. Teaching the "Why" of church attendance (Luke 22)
3. Church tours
4. Saturday visits and reminders

Now that we recognize the significance of the need to get our investigators to church, please spare no effort each week to help them take this MAJOR step in their spiritual development. If we do, we will see many, many more souls come unto Christ and we will more fully fulfill our purpose and reap the fruits of our labors.

We are proud of the faith you continue to demonstrate on your efforts to humbly serve Him in this great work!


President and Sister Mortensen

We held an expanded Mission Leadership Council, with all the District Leaders included,  last Tuesday. Here are some pictures taken that day.

We held the 8 week follow-up training (It was really 9 weeks) for the missionaries who arrived here last March. They came prepared and ready to role play and we were impressed with the great spirit they bring with them. 

We decided to role play outdoors. It was a beautiful day! The air conditioning was overpowering us so it was much more comfortable outside.

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