Senior Missions

Elder Dale G. Renlund in Zambia
(Image via louthansinafrica.blogspot.com)

Elder Dale G. Renlund

Here are some AWESOME excerpts and quotes about missionary work, featuring our newest Apostle, Elder Dale G. Renlund.

Story from ’Doctor’s Orders: A Blessing’ on africase.lds.org

When serving as the Africa South East Area President, Elder Renlund learned that one of the incoming senior missionaries was also a patriarch.

President Renlund, well aware that there were many leaders, missionaries, and members who had never received their patriarchal blessings, got things in motion. Permission was granted by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who oversees the work of the patriarchs in the Church.

Throughout the approval process, the Hoffmans continued to deal with missionary medical issues, until Jan 26, 2013, when Elder Hoffman began to give patriarchal blessings. By the time the Hoffmans completed their mission in April of 2014, he had given 179 blessings. Elder Hoffman recalls, “Those blessings were given solely to members who generally did not have access to Stake patriarchs. Our medical travel allowed us to have contact with members from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to the cities along the southern coast of South Africa to give [members] their blessings. Many other members, who came to the temple for their temple blessings, were able to receive their patriarchal blessings at the same time.”

Sister Hoffman remembers the event that changed the way they conducted the blessings. One day, Elder Hoffman was prepared to give a blessing to a man who had ridden his bike many kilometres to receive it. To his surprise, the member asked Elder Hoffman if he could delay the blessing a bit longer, because his wife was on her way and he wanted her to be present. While they waited, Sister Hoffman started chatting with the man about his conversion to the gospel. His story was simply amazing. He had nine children, and when asked what he did for a living to support them, he replied, “I dig.” Puzzled, Sister Hoffman asked for more information. He explained that he went out every day with a pick and a shovel, and if somebody needed a hole dug, he offered his services. Sister Hoffman then turned her IPad tablet onto some Mormon Tabernacle Choir music, to help pass the time and invite the spirit.

This good brother cradled the tablet carefully in his hands, listening to the music with reverence. He asked Sister Hoffman, “Do you think I might ever hear this choir sing in person? That would be so wonderful.”

Then his wife arrived. She had paid for someone else to give her a ride on the back of a bike. Not only that, she had their eight-week-old baby with her. Sister Hoffman remarks, “Sometimes we forget the sacrifices people must make to simply get a blessing. We never wanted to forget these amazing people.”

October 2015 General Conference

Something wonderful happens in a missionary’s service when he or she realizes that the calling is not about him or her; rather, it is about the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father’s children. I feel the same is true for an Apostle. This calling is not about me. It’s about the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father’s children. No matter what the assignment or calling is in the Church, to serve capably, one must serve knowing that everyone we serve “is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, … has a divine nature and destiny.”

April 2015 General Conference

Some years ago a wonderful young man named Curtis was called to serve a mission. He was the kind of missionary every mission president prays for. He was focused and worked hard. At one point he was assigned a missionary companion who was immature, socially awkward, and not particularly enthusiastic about getting the work done.

One day, while they were riding their bicycles, Curtis looked back and saw that his companion had inexplicably gotten off his bike and was walking. Silently, Curtis expressed his frustration to God; what a chore it was to be saddled with a companion he had to drag around in order to accomplish anything. Moments later, Curtis had a profound impression, as if God were saying to him, “You know, Curtis, compared to me, the two of you aren’t all that different.” Curtis learned that he needed to be patient with an imperfect companion who nonetheless was trying in his own way.

Story from ‘Louthans in Africa’

Story from the mission blog ‘Louthans in Africa’ about meeting the new area president and his wife:
“District Conference with Southeast Africa Area President Renlund and his wife Ruth was wonderful to attend. We also stayed in the same lodge so we were able to visit with them. What great people….we listened and are still contemplating things that we learned.

“When asked if it was hard to give up their practices (President Renlund was a heart surgeon doing transplants, and Sister Renlund an attorney) they said no, they had already made that decision. The decision to always do what was asked of them. When called by a prophet there was no vacillation, no regrets, they just said yes and started to prepare to leave. We are blessed to have them here!”

Excerpts from ‘Hastening the Work of Salvation‘ on africase.lds.org

No injunction is as frequently associated with the forgiveness of sins and personal salvation as is missionary work. Doing so in the right way allows us to have our sins forgiven (D&C 31:5; 36:1; 60:7; 62:3; 84:61), stand blameless before God at the last day, bring salvation to our souls (D&C 4:2, 4), and to be made holy (D&C 60:7). Think of it! By joining the Savior in His work, the power of the Atonement is brought to bear on us individually in a focused and magnified way.

Many come up with gimmicks or standard patterns or approaches to create a missionary opportunity or react to it when it presents itself. The specific approach one uses is one of those things about which the Lord would say, “it mattereth not unto me,” so long as we do it (See, for instance, D&C 61:22; D&C 62:5; and D&C 80:3).

           Here are three simple approaches to consider:

1.  Accurately report your activities to co-workers and friends. When you go to work or other activities on Monday morning, how often do you respond to the question, “how was your weekend?” with the statement, “Oh, fine,” and leave it at that? What would happen if you instead accurately reported on what you experienced? For instance, what would happen if you said, “We had an amazing meeting in our Church where all of the congregations came together for a conference. Two young women were called on extemporaneously to share their thoughts. They were outstanding!” Or, “it was great. We had a new missionary from Ghana who is giving his full-time for two years to work in our congregation. He shared his humble circumstances and thoughts and it made a big impression on me.” Or, “we had a great activity in our Church where we used a pamphlet to record the names and stories of our ancestors. It helped me understand the sacrifices my distant relatives made so that I could be well-born.”

Responses such as these will act as filters for co-workers and friends. Some will respond with no interest. Others will inquire further. As they do, the dialogue will be natural.

2.  Offer an invitation to “come and see.” If someone asks anything about the Church, even if it is negative, respond, “come and see” John 1:39. If there is a baby blessing, baptism or confirmation, ordination, or any such event occurring in your life or in the life of one of your family members, invite a friend or co-worker to “come and see.” If someone asks how you are able to raise your children to be so respectful, invite them to “come and see.”

3.  Carry Church materials with you. Be observant. Be ready to obtain contact information for those you meet. Many are the successes of those who carry copies of the Book of Mormon, pass-along cards, and For the Strength of Youth pamphlets to share. Take down names and contact details of those who express an interest to give to the full-time missionaries.

 

39 Questions you NEED to understand about a Photography Church Service Mission

(Source: lds.org)

Editor’s Note: Whether you’re ready now, or you’d just love to do it someday, you need to know what a Church Service Mission as a photographer/videographer would entail. It’s not for everyone who has a point and shoot camera! While you don’t have to be a professional photographer with an art school degree, you do need to be highly skilled. Here are some questions and answers from “Church-Service Missionary Photographers and Videographers” at LDS.org.

Are these Church-service missions available worldwide?

Yes. Any professional or highly skilled amateur photographers or videographers anywhere in the world may serve from their home and submit photos or video clips.

How long do Church-service missionary photographers or videographers serve?

You can choose to serve 6, 12, 18, or 24 months.

If I am only able to work the minimum 8 hours per week, does that need to be on one day?

No, feel free to spread your hours around as you need to. Some will be serving full-time, but even those hours can be spread through the days, evenings, or weekends as you need to fit your schedule. If there are specific questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Can I still work while being a Church-service missionary?

Yes. Contact us at [email protected] to work through any issues.

What are the most needed photos?

Photos of temples and members are most needed. Photos of members of all nations and ethnicities are needed because of the need for all Church projects to include photos of members worldwide. The Photo Needs List shows needed photos in priority order.

Are there photos that aren’t needed?

Yes. Unless they are exceptional, photos of the Salt Lake Temple, flowers, pets, and typical wedding reception shots are not needed.

Are there restrictions that limit the types of photos I can take?

You can take photos of pretty much anything. Please use the Photo Needs List as you decide what to shoot so that you know what is needed. Photos of members living the gospel are always needed for nearly every Church project.

Can we set up photo walks with other photographers or videographers and then get them to submit their photos taken on the walk?

Yes, feel free to gather photographers or videographers and go on photo walks as a way to get photos to submit. You can also get volunteers from your ward or stake to act as models for the photographers. If you do get models from your ward, remind the photographers or videographers that the photos and video clips should not to be used for other purposes.

Who owns the copyright to the photos I submit to the Church?

You own the copyright to all the photos you submit. You give the Church an unlimited license to use the photos and to share them with members of the Church to use for non-commercial, sharing-the-gospel purposes.

Can I use the pictures I submit on personal projects or even sell them?

Yes, since you own the copyright, you are free to use them however you would like. The only restriction is that you cannot sell them to someone and give that person exclusive rights that would limit the rights you have already given the Church.

Read the rest of this article at LDS.org

 

There is such an incredible amount of opportunities for Seniors considering a mission, to take into account their unique desires and talents.

There is a HUGE need for Senior Couples throughout the world right now!

*Watch more videos about the Ogdens’ mission in North Carolina (part of the Knoxville, Tennessee Mission)

*Watch another senior missionary couple share their experiences in Swaziland, Africa.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet greet members of the Church who came to participate in the dedication of the Trujillo Peru Temple. (Image via www.mormonnewsroom.org)

Note from LDS Missionaries: Today was the dedication of the 147th Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the Trujillo Peru Temple dedication services, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf presided and gave the dedicatory prayer.

During the Temple open house, a missionary couple witnessed many miracles occurring within their mission, and shared these experiences on their blog, ‘Mark and Dianna-Peru Chiclayo Mission’:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This is a Work of Miracles

A few months ago, I participated in teaching a young man named Francisco. His girlfriend is a member of the church and referred him to the missionaries. He had spoken to missionaries of another faith on many occasions and in the beginning, he was trying to convince the Mormon missionaries of their error in believing in their faith. When the missionaries taught him, he always had lots of questions based on his beliefs in this other religion. Over time he began to believe some of the things the missionaries were teaching him, but still had doubts and questions and was unwilling to pray about what the missionaries were teaching him or to read the Book of Mormon. The Elders teaching him were the Assistants to the President and were out of town for two weeks in a row while they helped to carry out 4 Zone Conferences. They had not seen Francisco for three weeks. The Sunday they were back, Francisco walked up to them at church and said, “I want to be baptized.” The Elders were shocked and did not understand what had happened! What made the difference? He had attended the Trujillo Temple Open House the day before and was touched by the Spirit in the Temple. I had the opportunity to witness the baptism of Francisco earlier this month, June 6, 2015.

Missionary Miracles during the Trujillo Peru Temple Open House
Francisco! He had a special tunic made so he could be like Jesus when he was baptized. (Image via http://markndianna.blogspot.com)

We are seeing many miracles in the work because of the Open House of the Trujillo Temple. It was held from May 8 to May 30, 2015. They had more than 90,000 visitors and 3,000 references.  We were not able to attend the Open House since it is not in our mission! The Temple will be dedicated on June 21, 2015. All of the Saints in the Chiclayo Area are extremely excited about the dedication of this temple. Instead of a 12 hour bus ride to Lima, they will be 3 hours from the Trujillo Temple. We feel that it will make a huge difference in the strength of the Saints in this area to be able to attend the temple on a more regular basis.

The other day, two sister missionaries told me about a woman that they are teaching. Her husband, Guillermo, was baptized last month and his wife had not been very interested in the church. She reluctantly started listening to the sisters. She has had a recurring dream for several years, where she wakes up in a strange place and other people inform her that she is in a graveyard. She is always confused and cannot understand why she is in a graveyard. Then she has always seen a huge lighted building in the distance. This dream has haunted her a little bit, unable to understand what it was about. Then she attended the Temple Open House with her husband. When they got to the temple, she realized that the Trujillo Temple is built right next to a large graveyard and she recognized this as the place in her dream. She exclaimed to her husband, “Guillermo, this is my dream! This is what I saw in my dream! We are supposed to be here!” She felt the Spirit very strongly and especially loved being in the Celestial Room. She has now accepted June 27, 2015 as a date for baptism.

The family that was baptized in March was struggling and having to work on Sunday and felt that they could not attend church any more. The sister missionaries were very worried about them and afraid that their fragile new testimonies were going to be tested. Then they went to the Temple Open House. When they came home, their whole attitude had changed and they were at peace and told the missionaries, “We will do or sacrifice whatever we need to in order to keep attending church. We want to be able to go the temple.” This has always been my experience in attending the temple. Things can seem so confusing and hard to know what to do at times, but then when I attend the temple and everything becomes so clear again. I remember the covenants I have made and my priorities are always put right back in order. What a blessing it is to have temples on the face of the earth and to have the ordinances restored in this day.

Read More of this post at Mark and Dianna-Peru Chiclayo Mission

Read about the Temple Dedication at Mormon Newsroom

 

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LDS senior missionary serving in Ghana builds pulpit for paralyzed branch president
President Ike Joseph Azumah uses the stand Elder Gary Parke built. (Image retrieved from deseretnews.com)

(Source: Deseret News; By Sarah Petersen)

Elder Gary Parke and his wife, Helen, sat before an LDS congregation in Tema, Ghana, waiting to speak about temple preparation, when several men entered the building wearing suit coats. The uncommon attire for the tropical climate suggested this was no ordinary sacrament service.

One of the men, the stake president, walked to the pulpit and announced the names of three new branch presidency members.

“Two brethren stood up, and I thought, ‘OK, so maybe the counselor didn’t make it today,’ ” Elder Parke said. “From where we were sitting, we could not see President Azumah. … The next thing I saw was him coming around the corner, around the podium.”

 LDS senior missionary serving in Ghana builds pulpit for paralyzed branch president
President Ike Joseph Azumah, center, and Sister Godslove Azumah, back right, and their children. (Image retrieved from deseretnews.com)

Ike Joseph Azumah, the new branch president, approached the stand on his hands, using one knee for balance and flip-flops to protect his palms. President Azumah took his place on the stand, and using a wireless microphone, bore his testimony.

“I just went up and shook his hand, and when I shook his hand, I knew that there was something special about this guy,” Elder Parke said. “I got the impression that I needed to figure out how he could conduct the meeting from the pulpit just like any other branch president would do.”

 LDS senior missionary serving in Ghana builds pulpit for paralyzed branch president
Elder Gary Parke and Sister Helen Parke were called to serve as missionaries in the Accra Ghana Temple in October 2013. (Image retrieved from deseretnews.com)
Read more at Deseret News