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missioneccles011220 (January 2020)

Ecclesiastical Training — Provo Missionary Training Center — January 12, 2020


1/  President and Sister Alexander

  • Here at the Missionary Training Center, the ecclesiastical, administrative, and training arms must all work in harmony.
  • We as ecclesiastical leaders must be focused on the ‘heart’ of our missionaries, stressing increased faith, increased conversion, and increased understanding of the doctrine of the gospel.
  • We must also stress to the missionaries the importance of abiding by the missionary standards.  The standards are vital to a missionary’s success.  We need to be aware of the standards also, and it might be wise to review sections of the Standards in our Branch Presidency meetings weekly.
  • How can we help our missionaries become more faithful disciples of Christ?
    • We must learn more of Him, study His life more thoroughly, and emulate His behavior.
    • We must keep His commandments.
    • We must learn and grow and improve, as He did.
    • We must correct mistakes promptly.
  • How can we help the missionaries embrace obedience more fully?
    • Talk more about obedience, and study the Savior’s obedient life.
    • Teach the missionaries to obey because they love God (John 14:15).
  • The Standards related directly to discipleship
    • Hold a discipleship minute in every Priesthood and Relief Society meeting.
    • Discover sections of the Missionary Standards with your missionaries.
    • Recognize and compliment POSITIVE behavior, and focus less on bad or negative behavior.
    • We tend to emphasize the negative and downplay the positive.  Let’s reverse that.
  • How should we conduct our discipleship minute?
    • Stress section 2.2 in the Missionary Standards.
    • Talk more about healthy companion relationships and how to attain them.
    • Have the companions ask each other the following question: “What areas of faithful missionary service do you think I could work on and improve?”
  • Dress and grooming standards
    • Help the missionaries understand the principles behind the dress standards and then to ‘connect the dots’.
    • Be quick to give compliments to those who are compliant.

2/ President and Sister Moon

  • A review of the new Sunday schedule for newly arrived (first week) missionaries:
    • Come Follow Me for 25 or 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon, with a branch presidency member and his wife leading the discussion
    • Adjusting To Missionary Life discussion for 10 to 15 minutes
    • Discipleship meeting at 2:30 pm
  • Adjusting To Missionary Life training for new missionaries
    • Just a brief 5 minute introduction on Thursday night meeting
    • Sunday afternoon – go over the Assessment form in detail
    • For struggling missionaries (homesick, distracted, etc.) go over the manual in greater detail
  • Come Follow Me (not including the first Sunday):
    • Zone Leader and Sister Training Leaders make the assignments one week ahead
    • 25-35 minutes in length
    • Use the ‘Individual and Family’ section found in the Gospel Library in lesson preparation
    • The participation of branch presidency members and their wives would be similar to our involvement in Priesthood and Relief Society meetings
  • Basic Principles:
    • Stress the importance of taking great advantage of individual study times.  Make wise choices.
    • In our Sunday afternoon training, stress strengthening of faith and commitment
    • Make the Sabbath a ‘delight’
    • There is a beta test portal for MTC leaders.  Explore it and give us your input.
    • There is no longer set interview times, nor mandatory interviews.  It is up to the discretion of branch presidents.  Let the Spirit guide.

3/ Sister LeSueur

  • Our goal should be to build life-long disciples of Christ, not just good missionaries.  They should be motivated from within, not from without.
  • They should feel strongly about temple service, living gospel principles, and setting personal goals.
  • You have a great impact on these young missionaries.  You can motivate them in ways they are not familiar with.
  • How can you influence them the most?  By building ‘loving’ relationships with them.
  • The way you communicate with them helps them develop trust in you.
  • Help them grow spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
  • Help them to grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God, as did Jesus.
  • Your love for them with pay great dividends.  Love your missionaries.

4/ President LeSueur

  • First let me tell you that we recently spent time with the Titensors.  She is doing well.  She has completed her radiation therapy and will begin her chemotherapy this coming week.  They send their love.
  • I want to review some basic points with you today, many of them dealing with priesthood ordinances.
    • When we perform an ordinance, it is inappropriate to talk to Heavenly Father as if you are giving a prayer.  When giving a blessing or performing an ordinance, you speak directly to the recipient of the blessing or ordinance.  Prayer language is not appropriate in blessings.
    • Ordinances can begin or end with the phrase ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’, but NOT BOTH!
    • Remind your missionaries of the ‘patterns’ that they see in the scriptures, and admonish them to follow the patterns.
    • When performing a blessing or other ordinance, we do not say, “…by the power of the Priesthood…”.  We must use the word ‘authority’.  Power is a personal matter between the priesthood holder and the Lord, and is based upon worthiness.  Authority is bequeathed by priesthood ordination.
    • We do not say to the person being confirmed, “…receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…”.  We should say “…receive the Holy Ghost…”.
  • We need to prepare, comment, testify, and invite, without overdoing any of the steps.  Shorter is better.
  • For more effective teaching:
    • Present in shorter intervals (30 minutes maximum)
    • Divide into smaller groups
    • Involve everyone, giving everyone opportunity to comment

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