Monday, September 12, 2016

Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy

Mother and Father,

   Last week was a wild one. For the beginning, there are malevolent forces that are trying to get the zoo shut down, so we came in and helped them get ready for the accreditation analysis this week. (I hope they pass!) Then, Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy came to do a mission tour on Friday. I have had a lot of meetings with general authorities before, but this one was quite near earth-breaking. (Wow, earth-breaking...not sure what that even means!!)
   The meeting began with Elder Grow having four missionaries come up and give five-minute talks that we had been instructed to prepare. Elder Campbell was the last one and he did an excellent job. (I wish he'd told us what he spoke about.) Elder Grow commented on how great of a missionary he was going to be. Then we had an excellent lunch. (What did they eat? Hmmm....the things I wish he'd tell us.) After lunch, the great rebuking came. It was not a rebuking of "you are all bad missionaries and need to shape up", it was more of "you're all pretty good missionaries but you are doing this completely wrong." What he explained to us, in a nutshell, was that most missionaries focus first on finding new investigators and trying to teach them, and preparing them for baptism when they are ready. He said this is contrary to the instructions we receive in Preach My Gospel that state, "Prayerfully set goals that are in harmony with the Savior’s command to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19)." The first key indicator we report on is baptism, and it is the least reported key indicator. When we plan with only a week in mind, we are setting ourselves up to not teach repentance unto baptism. He presented an alternate plan.
    What we were instructed to do is begin a planning session by prayerfully setting goals for how many people will be baptized in a month. The next week you plan for the week after that, etc. He then shared with us the mission averages for key indicators. One in three investigators with a baptismal date gets baptized and one in five investigators who attend sacrament meeting get baptized. He said following mission statistics, we have the capability of predicting our key indicators based on our baptismal goal. So, if you have a goal of four baptisms and you are an average missionary, it is going to take 12 baptismal dates and 20 investigators at sacrament meeting. So, if the Lord has revealed to us how many baptisms are going to take place in our area, we can know, on average, how much work that will take.
   Elder Campbell and I put this into practice the next day and it is frightening. (HA! This boy makes me laugh so much!) We received the goal of 8 baptisms on October 8th. I will show you our key indicator goals for his week, based on that. I will attach it as a picture. Show it to your missionaries and ask how insane we are.
   Finally, Elder Grow interviewed six missionaries at the end of the meeting. I was chosen as one of those. At the end, he told me that he had had an interview with my soul as a general authority. He asked me to write this message to my parents, "You have a great son who loves the Lord. I know that because I stared into his soul and know. You should be proud to have him as a son." (We are extremely proud of our son!!)
   Okay, question answering time. We do get tornados here. We can go to the church basement if one appears. (So how far away is the church? Just wondering!!)  I did read the article about wrestling! I had no idea it was about Colin. He is a hero to me. (In one of our church magazines called The New ra (it's for youth), there's an article about Colin Anderson and his experience as a wrestler and a team captain. It's a great article and Colin is a great young man. He's serving on a mission right now!) The Hamiltons are out of town for a week or so. (Nooooo! They are supposed to help me figure out how to pay for the iPad Andrew is using so he can keep it and use it at college.) We do not have a washer or dryer. We go to our old place and do it. (Last week he sent pictures of the yummy steak nachos he had on his birthday. I wondered how much they cost since a missionary's budget is pretty limited.) The owner of the restaurant actually gave us the nachos and cheesecake on the house. I just got the email asking which airport I want to fly home to. Is Sacramento what we want? (Yes! When did it say you were flying home??? I want that email??) You are all the best. I will work on pictures!


Elder Andrew Campbell

(I'll attach a picture of his goals. A pretty sunset picture. And a picture of him playing disc golf. I will not attach pictures of people I don't know who are playing disc golf. I might attach the video he sent just because it's so silly and I love hearing his laughter in the background.)

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