November 1, 2015
As I left the meeting with Elder Brent Nielsen last week, a missionary walked up to me and asked who would be the next General Authority to visit us. After all, we had Elder Christofferson of the 12 apostles last month, and this month we had the Executive Director of the Missionary Department! I guess this missionary thought this might be an ongoing pleasure! I told him it would not, but it would have been fun. I think we have had our share of visitors from Salt Lake for some time to come.
When we heard that Elder Nielson would be visiting us just weeks after Elder Christofferson, Keith and I joked that we were either “really good”, or “really bad.” We didn’t dare guess which!
Elder Nielson and his sweet wife Marcia stayed with us for 5+ days. He spent 2 days just visiting our missionaries and giving them instruction. They all were on spiritual highs as he answered any question asked, and gave great guidance on how to make this mission even better. A few of his hints that will be started ASAP:
- Less active members are a goldmine. We are using 18% of our time with them, and they are providing 48% of our baptisms. We need to use time more wisely.
- Leaders (Zone and Assistants) need to be the hardest working missionaries in the mission. We never take them out of their area. Missionaries come to “their laboratory” to see how it is done. Divisions will be changed – we do it just opposite of this as do most missions.
- Alma 23:13: “lay down the weapons of your rebellion.” He taught us that we all have these weapons – the little things that keep us away from completely enjoying the blessings of the gospel. After this teaching, several missionaries handed over electronic devices that were against mission rules.
The missionaries absorbed his sweet spirit, mild manner, and 4 hours of help. He visited apartments to see how they are here. He interviewed some Elders and Sisters. He encouraged, he loved, he shook every hand, and he motivated. It was the best Zone Conference ever!
As we put them on the plane on Thursday, we took a deep breath of relief! We had maneuvered the roadways, got people to places on time, fed the guests, and felt “filled” our selves. Good times in Mexico City!
Added side note: Mexico left an impression on Elder Nielson also. He missed the last stair while at the airport and ended up with a sprained ankle. He will remember us for a while! (Add him in your prayers!)