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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mega Zone Conference

The New York South Mission is divided into 9 proselyting zones. For example, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens have five zones, Flushing, Jamaica and Central Long Island have two zones, and the eastern part of Long Island has two zones.  The Missionary department discourages “all mission” conferences because of the time and expense of bringing all the missionaries together, but every three months we have what are called “Mega Zone” conferences in which the missionaries in two or three zones meet in a centrally located chapel to receive training and instruction for a day.  Typically, each conference will consist of 50 to 60 young missionaries, several senior missionary couples, and President and Sister Reynolds.

On Thursday and Friday of this past week, two of four Mega Zone Conferences were held. The other two are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. We attend each conference because we have been asked to assist with the preparation and serving of a morning snack and noon meal for everyone, and we also make a presentation on housing issues and concerns.  The conferences are always so rewarding and fulfilling because of the spirit and enthusiasm of the young missionaries.  It is so amazing to be in a room with 60 plus young men and women, most of whom are barely out of high school, dressed in dark suits, white shirts, ties, and modest dresses, bursting with love and enthusiasm to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They are truly latter-day armies of Helaman who do not doubt God and strive to be the best they can be. We feel their spirits so strong and are strengthened by them. 

Our role as housing coordinators means that we spend a lot of time teaching the missionaries life skills about cleaning and maintaining their apartments.   For example, our presentation at the Mega Conferences included instruction on the anatomy of a vacuum cleaner, and how to take it apart and clean the filters, the importance of cleaning up and washing the dishes after every meal, keeping the apartment neat and tidy on a daily basis, how to deal with roaches and bed bugs, and how to clean the filters of window air conditioners.  Doesn’t sound very spiritual, but time after time, we hear missionaries tell us how much better they feel about themselves when they come home to a neat and clean apartment, and how it improves their spirituality.

We have never talked about our mission president and his wife, President and Sister Reynolds.  They are such wonderful people and we feel such love and respect for them.  They left a very successful real estate development business and high-end car dealership business in Salt Lake City to serve as president of the mission.  They show so much love and concern for the missionaries, and use every opportunity to teach and encourage them to be urgent and consecrated missionaries.  We love serving with them. 

Here are some pictures:
Getting ready to prepare lunch.  Elder and Sister Martino, Sister Williams, Sister Peterson, and us.

At the begining of our presentation, Elder Johnson tells a funny joke, that always gets a big laugh (Thanks, Lynn. The one about the 16 year old boy driving and the hair cut)  I laugh ever time.

I always tell a "parable"  with a "lesson learned" to illustrate the value of having a clean apartment.

Elder Johnson is explaining about the importance of having a clean vacuum  (our mission is very spiritual).

There is always clean up and the missionaries are always ready to help.
Love them.

There is always time after lunch to just visit.  These are two of the AP's  Elder Young and Elder Voorhees,

President Reynolds always has time to councel a young missionary.