Sunday, January 17, 2010

San Bernardino Stake Conference: Saturday Evening Adult Session

Sister Sanchez (Mission President's Wife):

Develop a desire to be a missionary.

What is the purpose of a missionary? This is found in Preach My Gospel.

1: INVITE others to come unto Christ
(Not coerce, trick, or force.)
We can invite people to our homes, to parties, weddings, and to dinner.
The word "inviting" means that we will be doing something good with them. We will be there
with them. We will be including them in our joy.
Jesus is our Exemplar in all things. He showed love to all. He invited everyone to come unto
2: By HELPING them receive the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
The restored Church has prophets, the Book of Mormon (which is our greatest tool in
helping others receive the gospel), and the Priesthood of God given to men to act in His name.
3: Through
a. FAITH in Jesus Christ and His Atonement
(Teach them what the atonement means in our lives),
This constitutes a change--the atonement provides a way for us to come back to Him,
c. BAPTISM by immersion for the remission of sins (with this ordinance being performed by
one who has the Priesthood authority to do so),
d. Receiving the GIFT of the HOLY GHOST,
(We are not cleansed merely by baptism, but through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance,
baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost),
e. And ENDURING to the end.
We need to perserver; we need to move forward.

Refocus--look past the list and focus on the purpose: bringing souls to Christ. We can learn more about this by studying Preach My Gospel, which some have renamed Living My Gospel. We will find joy in our missionary labors. The principles found in the Book or Mormon will strenthen us--we will not go astray.

President Sanchez (Mission President):

In each stake, there is a more actively participating half and a less actively participating half. If we want to bring about positive change in our stake, we need to begin with the Primary and Young Men and Young Women's programs.

We need to increase our efforts in reaching out to part member families. One-sixth of the baptisms this past year in the San Bernardino mission were among part member families.

President Sanchez and his wife were presented for a mission by Elder Wirthlin and Elder Cook. They were issued an ivitation to serve as mission president and wife by President Faust, and then they had to wait for their call to come in the mail.

President Sanchez had a confirming witness about their call to serve in the San Bernardino mission. He saw an image of a green field. In the southwest corner there was a great mulotitude of people. He was called to find these people and bring them into the church.

This year is San Bernardino's 200th anniversary.

We are here to build and establish the church in San Bernardino.

When church membership dropped in Southern California, and some buildings only had one ward meeting in them, President Hinckley did not want to sell these properties. Instead, he resolved to send more missionaries to California and to fill those buildings.

There are new converts to be found; there are lost church members to be found. We need to grow the church here in San Bernardino. To do this, there must be increased help from the members. If we continue to do what we have been doing, we will continue to get what we have been getting.

We need to help fulfill President Hinckley's vision. The Savior wants us to find His lambs, to find His sheep. Our convert baptisms need to double.

Jeremiah 16:16 :
Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt for them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

Even though we have 7,000 less missionaries serving in the world than we did 10 years ago, we still need to double convert baptisms. We need the help of the members in order to accomplish this.

D&C 20;59:
[We] are, however, to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ. There were 500 lost members in the San Bernardino Mission that were found last year. President Sanchez has never before seen things happen as they are happening now; he has never seen so many have dreams and visions.
(See Joel 2)

Missionary work is expanding. This church is properly organized according to the order of heaven. We need to exhort and invite. See what the Lord has done for you and what he is doing for others. Become involved in missionary work.

President Ewell:

Show of sharing the gospel
Alma 29:1-2:
O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of my heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

The three Nephites and John the Beloved preferred sharing the gospel to anything else.

Missionaries each have a different style and unique talents. Missionaries find talents on their missions that were not developed prior to their missions.
"Go out and do the work."
When President Ewell was on his mission, sharing the gospel became as natural as talking to his best friends.
Weigh missionary work: joy verses fear and trepidation.
We have all experienced akward moments, but we need to figure out how to share the gospel now, not just when we are called as full-time missionaries.

President Ewell is in counseling and therapy. When he first began seeing patients, he had awkward moments as he tried to do and say everything he learned in the books. He had to learn to develop his own style, trust his own instincts and relax. There is a similar dimension for us in sharing the gospel. By being yourself, you will help others to be comfortable. Your natural gifts will lend themselves to your sharing the gospel

When you hear messages about missionary work and sharing the gospel, do you cringe? Do you feel guilty? Sharing the gospel should be a joy.

President Ewell's family has become good friends with another family on their street. They have shared the gospel more naturally. They have served them, gone to their parties, and invited them to their son's baptism.

How cna we share the gospel? President Ewell's family has prayed about this; they have served their neighbors; they have asked the missionaries for help.

Once President Ewell's friend asked for some help when President Ewell wasn't available to help. He had to be to a conference meeting. But the Spirit told him to call the missionaries. The elders helped this man, and since then, this family has had the elders in their home many times. They have come to know many sets of missionaries. They feed them often and have bought them new clothes. They are learning the gospel.

Do not become so hooked on what doesn't work and on guilty feelings, that you stop doing what does work. (Here I made a list of things I can do presently. This list involves how I can help members in our ward and get to know neighbors on my street.)

President Ewell says:

Follow promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Use your gifts.
Be yourself.
Some good tools are pass-a-long cards, the Book of Mormon, and welcome baskets.
Learn how to use the right tool for the right job.

We can invite our friends to all of our church activities. Use non-threatening ways to include our friends in the gospel. There is much more to sharing the gospel than being a good example. We each have some talents that help us in sharing the gospel. Here are some of these talents:
Being a good listener
Being out-going
Being a mechanic
Being a hard worker.
How can these talents help us share the gospel?

When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22: 31-32)
Be a missionary

Alma was converted through the teachings of Abinidi. Alma and his descendants included 6 generations of missionaries as recorded in the Book of Mormon. Many thousands were brought to the truth and to the waters of baptism as a direct result of Alma's conversion.

How's your family doing in sharing the gospel?

President Poulson was absent because of the death of his brother-in-law. President Avarell shared these words from President Poulson:

1. Remember to continue to have morning devotionals.
2. Read the talk (given as a handout) by President Packer. It is entitled "Prayer and
3. Each adult member to pray and ask Heavenly Father to receive His promptings to better live
the gospel and to be able to bless the lives of his or her spouse and children.

President Avarell:

The redeeming power of the atonement works minute by minute, not just at the judgment day.

Heavenly Father is easy to please, but hard to satisfy.

Christ comes to the bottom of the hill and brings us living water.

Our growth and change and progress are gifts of the atonment.

God is more concerned with our growth than with geography. (Our progression is more important than our present location.)

Jesus said, "Follow me, and I will make your fishers of men." (Matt 4:19)
The words in the children's song were changed from, "Teach me all that I must know" to "Teach me all that I must do."

Some people think that they can just worship in their own homes without going to church. If you don't go to church, how do you know who needs your service? Service is the fiber of an exalted life in the celestial kingdom. Charity is not an act, but a condition, a state of being. Individual acts help to build charity within us.

President Avarell shared a touching story of a young man who lost his footing and fell over a cliff. His drop was stopped by a plateau, but then a boulder also fell, hitting him in the head, and his fall resumed. His father witnessed his fall and made his way down the hill as quickly as he could to find that his son's fall was caught by one lone branch on the mountainside. His son was doubled over this branch unconscious.

After getting help for the son, the father and the son were transported to the hospital. The son was in a coma for many days. The doctor told his mother that he was physically progressing, but the doctor wasn't very hopeful about his mental progression, and he wanted him to be transferred to a permanent care unit.

The father was home with the other children, and the expectant mother was alone with her son. In deperation, she found an empty room in which she could pray. As she prayed she heard an audible Man's voice reassuring her that she should not fear. These are the words that she heard: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27) And then she hear these words, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you." She shared the experience with her husband. Their anxiety was over and their faith was restored that all would be all right.

A few days later, the son awakened and spoke with his mother. Ten days after that, he returned home. Although he has some scars, he fully recovered and has no lasting implications from his accident.

Jesus is the One Lone Branch that catches us. We need our Savior's grace always (before, during, and after).

(I hope that you find these notes helpful in your life. This conference was held 16 January 2010. I will post my notes from the Sunday session soon.)

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