The reason there were 4 zones attending was because Elder Perkins, a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, is here with his wife from Salt Lake. He'll meet with the other zones tomorrow in New Orleans. Briefly, he served a mission in Taiwan as a young man. After receiving a variety of degrees he worked for a management firm that sent him to Beijing, where his family lived for 8 years. He was later called to preside over the Taiwan Taipei Mission. Since then he's been a General Authority.
One thing he talked about was how missionaries receive their calls--a similar message to Elder Rasband's talk in the Priesthood session of General Conference a few years ago. His experience was similar, working with Elder Hales, a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. There's no time to read the background information. They needed to assign 300 missionaries in 4 hours. No surprise that this particular responsibility is the most time consuming for the Quorum of the 12. The missionary's picture, ward & stake appear on a computer screen and, through inspiration & revelation, the assignment is made.
I could continue writing for another hour or two but will just try to give a brief synopsis of a very spiritually uplifting day.
Sister Wall's message was about finding joy in the mission field. Don't wait for the "good" times but look for the good in all situations. This is a time of consecration, obedience, growth & tender mercies. "Tender mercies are like a hug from heaven."
The missionaries were asked to each prepare a 3-5 minute talk on commitments and covenants. 4 were chosen to present them. The main idea was that commitments lead to conversion through repentance which takes us to covenant making--baptism & confirmation, then, later, temple covenants.
Pres Wall's talk was inspiring, explaining that it's difficult to overcome obstacles without having a vision of what could be. We were asked to ask ourselves "What is my vision as a missionary?"
Sister Perkins spoke about successful missionaries. She used Preach My Gospel pg 31 as the basis for her remarks--"Learn, Live & Love" and ways to do each.
Elder Perkins next presentation was on who you are, what you teach & how do we work. Without all the visuals this won't make much sense so I'll leave it at that.
We spent some time doing a variety of role playing and evaluating the results followed by a testimony meeting.
That's an extremely short summary on a power packed 8 hour day that I'm anxious to do again!
The good sisters in a local ward fed us a delicious lunch, but the recipe I just had to have follows:
Pecan Praline Sauce (Yum!!!)
1 1/2 C dark Karo syrup
1 1/2 C light Karo syrup
1 1/2 C chopped, toasted pecans
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla
Stir together & that's it! It'll keep a few weeks in the fridge but is best served at room temperature.