Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 23, 2017

On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 4:24 PM Mark Owen Vickers <mark.vickers@myldsmail.net> wrote:
(Hey mom! Could you share this with everyone? For some reason my normal list is missing.....) 

We had a great week here in Spring Texas. We are now teaching Jean Paul and Brittany. We were able to teach them about the answers to two of life's great questions; where did we come from and why is it that we are here? 

The significance of really knowing we are a son or daughter of God changes everything. The adversary is the one who would have us feel weak and powerless. Each and every one of us has more potential than we can imagine. We are here to learn and to grow. There are some things we can only appreciate by experience. This does not make our trials any easier but it does give them a framework and place in our growth. I love the perspective of one woman who lost all of her family to battles with cancer. 'Sometimes we don't go through trials because there's something that we need to change or something about us that needs to change. Sometimes we go through trials so that we can be there for others who similarly suffer.' 

Jean Paul has accepted the invitation to be baptized and we hope to extend the same invitation to Brittany this week. We had an amazing experience with them as we knelt in prayer at the close of our lesson. Brittany offered the prayer after some reassurance and the encouragement to think about God as her Father. As she prayed she could not keep back the tears. I am so thankful for this knowledge; that we have a Father in Heaven who cares about us and the details of our lives. We also had the opportunity to participate in another 'Why I Believe' fireside. At this event there is a missionary choir and our mission president and his wife speak. I love being around so many other missionaries and feeling of their conviction. The experiences of the last year are something I would not trade for anything. I feel my Savior's love. He know me and He knows my potential. Because of what He did there is no such thing as too late. 

I love you all,

-- Elder Mark Vickers


We held a Mission President's "Why I Believe" Fireside, in Spring tonight and were blessed to hear beautiful music from our missionaries and touching testimonies. A spiritual night! The following are the pictures I took.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Our interaction with Ward Councils

To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,

We have been inspired by the work that is being sustained throughout the mission. Last week almost every area in the mission had 6 days or more of 15 ITLs. The faith to find is yielding wonderful results. We are seeing February shaping up as a month as good or better than January. We are seeing greater shepherding of those with dates and greater retention of those who are baptized. It is exciting to see the results of continued growth of collective faith and obedience.

We have realized that it has been some time since we trained the mission on our role in ward councils and in ward missionary coordination meetings. Understanding our role in these meetings will continue the positive things we are seeing. We want to remind you of three things:

1. If you have any updates in ward council on those you are teaching, they need to be given prior to the meeting throughout the week. Ward Council is a council to discuss those issues that require counciling (typically things we can't resolve on our own).

2. Too many of you get frustrated by the lack of "time" you get in ward council. If you need time, you need to work with your WML to add things to the agenda prior to the meeting. Otherwise your job is to participate (that means speak :)) on any topic the council is discussing.

3. We review reports with stake leadership that the zone leadership puts together every month. Many of you are reporting that your wards don't address the 9 key indicators or use the new and returning member progress records. The thing that is hard to understand is why you aren't "causing" this to happen. If you are trying to raise these issues and not having the success you would like, we understand. Please let your zone leadership know so they can address it in their weekly meetings with the High Councilor over missionary work. If you aren't addressing them, please start.

We attended Elder Byrd's district meeting this week and were edified by his instruction about how we effectively work with wards to shepherd our investigators. He read us the experience of Alma and his brethren and their desire to lead the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's to safety to protect them from the Lamanites. We read in Alma 27:

"20 And now it came to pass that Alma conducted his brethren back to the land of Zarahemla; even to his own house. And they went and told the chief judge (Bishop) all the things that had happened unto them in the land of Nephi, among their brethren, the Lamanites.

21 And it came to pass that the chief judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land, desiring the voice of the people (Ward council) concerning the admitting their brethren (investigators), who were the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.

22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people (ward council) came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance.

23 And behold, we will set our armies (ward members) between the land Jershon and the land Nephi, that we may protect our brethren in the land Jershon; and this we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren lest they should commit sin; and this their great fear came because of their sore repentance which they had, on account of their many murders and their awful wickedness.

24 And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land Jershon (be baptized); and we will guard them from their enemies with our armies, on condition that they will give us a portion of their substance (receive a calling) to assist us that we may maintain our armies (to "strengthen the church").

25 Now, it came to pass that when Ammon had heard this, he returned to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, and also Alma with him, into the wilderness, where they had pitched their tents, and made known unto them all these things. And Alma also related unto them his conversion, with Ammon and Aaron, and his brethren.

26 And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And they went down into the land of Jershon, and took possession of the land of Jershon (were baptized); and they were called by the Nephites (Mormons/Latter-Day Saints) the people of Ammon; therefore they were distinguished by that name ever after."

If we will similarly work with our Bishops and wards to shepherd our people first to church and then to the water, we will see even greater miracles than we are currently seeing!

We love you and are looking forward to seeing you this week!


President and Sister Mortensen

We had the 8 week Follow-Up Training for the missionaries who arrived last November. It was so good to see them altogether again. They are doing great and becoming master teachers!

No comments:

Post a Comment