Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our LAST Zone Leader Council

We held our last ZONE LEADER COUNCIL today.

This is one of the most amazing meetings of the whole mission. 
20 young men assembled together being taught how to lead a mission, 
They share ideas, worries and concerns, and discuss solutions to problems.
  President Albright is a master at helping them discover for themselves how to fix problems, 
how to motivate, what needs work, etc.  And because they are able to have input into this process, they 
own it and really feel motivated to implement the things determined at the meeting.

I wish all the parents of these young men could be a fly on the wall and witness 
this process.  I had no idea of the leadership training that takes place in a mission.
I wish every elder had the opportunity to participate in this meeting.  
I know that every Elders calling is important and they all lift whereever they serve

ZL Council is also a unifying time for the mission leaders. 
They begin the day at 6:00.  They play ball together for an hour and a half in the morning. 
They all arrive at the mission home between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. and head to the showers. 
We then have a big breakfast.  Today was home-cooked Egg McMuffins and 
fresh strawberries, blackberries and bananas, and juice.

Then it's down stairs for the Council to begin. 
We go until noon. 
Then head upstairs for lunch. 
Today we had pulled-pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, chips, salad.
And home-made raspberry icecream. 
We (Pres. helped me) stayed up until 1:00 a.m. making this old family recipe
And it was delicious.
Then it's downstairs for more council time. 
We ended around 3:00, took pictures, and sent them off to work.

Of all the meetings I will miss, this is perhaps the one most.

President and Sister Albright, Elders Walker, Freeman, Liew, White, Jensen, Wright, Harper, Edgington, Slade, Parker, Barney, Mckwenkwe, Westover, Kneeling:  Elders Johnson and Hanson, On Swing Set:  Elders Norris, Carnline and Dakota Anderson

Having Fun

Elders Hanson and Liew- Oakton Zone

Elders Harper and McKwenkwe - Annandale Zone

Elders Barney and West- Ashburn Zone

Elders Slade and Edgington- Centreville Zone

Elders Freeman and White- Fredericksburg Zone

Elders Norris and Carnline- McLean Zone

Elders Anderson and Westover - Mt  Vernon Zone

Elders Jensen and Walker - 

Assistants Chance Johnson and Parker

Elder Wright-  Spanish Traveling Assistant
Elder Westover gave the opening thought on the purpose-
He said "We must have the Spirit to lead" 

The basement where we meet

Councilling together

Lunch time

Elders Harper, Edgington and Slade

Elders Carnline, Norris, McKwenkwe and Harper

Elders White and Jensen

Elders Liew, Hanson, Walker and Freeman

Elders Wright, Anderson, West

Elders Anderson, West, Westover, Barney

We had the three departing missionaries share their testimonies. 
First was Elder Jensen who shared a deep love for the mission and for his Savior
who he has come to love and know better.

2nd was Elder Liew from Malysia.
He shared such beautiful thoughts.  He reminded us of 2Nephi 1:5 where it 
says that "no man is brought to this land save brought by the hand of God" 
He testified that he was brought by God to this land. 
He said he has a close relationship to the Book of Mormon and from it learned to 
many things. 1st to read and write English, and to know and love the Gospel and the Savior.
He expressed a desire to bring the spirit of Liberty to his country. 
he said, "I want it so badly for my country" 
My country needs the Book of Mormon.
These were very moving words to hear from this wonderful foreign missionary 
We will miss him.

Last Elder West shared his testimony.  
One of the things he said he learned on his mission was that Prayer works. 
He has learned this because of his mother (who has cancer and has 
been in the prayers of many missionaries)
And that fasting works.  He has witness countless people change when
they pray and fast. 

President Albright shared some letters from different people and community groups expresssing thanks for the many hours of service given by our missionaries.  
We receive letters regularly expressing this appreciation for the service our missionaries 
render and for how hard they work when they are performing service. 
This makes us very proud and is a beautiful reflection on the church.


I love these missionaries and shared with them some thoughts about heroes. 
First, I asked them to share with me who and why some of their heroes were. 
They spoke of parents, grandparents, coaches, bishops, teachers, brothers,neighbors, etc. 
What I love was that they spoke of ordinary people. 
Not stars, famous athletes, politicians, etc. But people who had touched them in important ways.
What had they done to deserve the title of hero? 
listened, served, been great examples, always happy, persevered through trials, inspired to do 
things and seen the good in them, been kind, disciplined with love, showed patience

I then told them that they are the Heroes of the DC South mission. 
The other missionaries look up to them and want to be like them. 
What should they do to deserve that title? 
The same things they see in their heroes. 
And that is exactly what kind of young men they are.
Wonderful super heroes of the DC South mission.

I had a little handout with a superman wearing a missionary name tag. 

in fact, all missionaries are heroes to me. 

"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. 
It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,
but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."
Aurthur Ashe

Heroes are people who transform compassion into heroic action.  In doing so, they
put their best selves forward in service to humanity.  A hero is as an individual or a network of people (a mission) that take action on behalf of others in need, or in defense of integrity or a moral cause.

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