Friday, October 4, 2019

Mission Training Days 4 & 5: Go Forth!

Our Group of Senior Service Missionaries with the Mission Presidency front, seated.
Yesterday went well. I was just to tired to blog after a day of training then an evening at the local Family History Library.

It's funny (or not) how they tell you only parts of what is happening when you come to it. They did say there would be a week of training to start. And now we hear that we will need a week of training in our assigned areas. Basic retirement was a lot easier. But this is good. And I'm still done by 4:00 so I can come home and take a nap.

The trainers did really well on "Merging," of all things. No crying or general break-downs. It went a bit slow and steady so I found one of my own to merge thanking the Heavens for good Dutch records. Someone had put in an individual as a female reading "Cornilus" as "Cornilia." I could easily check Dutch sources wonderfully laid out on-line recently by the Dutch government to confirm it was a male. We learned some good search techniques too (surprising me a bit with FamilySearch as I usually search with Ancestry).

One-on-one training.
In the afternoon we played some of the games linked to FamilySearch which I guess are good for family entertainment. One was a "Jeopardy"-style game timed for four minutes each with 4-generations of our own family. At the end, the presenter asked who had 1,000 points. I raised my hand and with the disadvantage of sitting in front, I couldn't really see any others. Then they said to keep your hand up if you had 2,000. Then 3,000. "4?" My hand was still up as the presenter said, "Well, clearly Elder Vaughn wins the prize! What was your total?"

I had put my head in my hands. A class member said, "He's embarrassed."

Another oddly, "He's crying!"

I was very red in the face as I quietly said, "five thousand eight hundred and fifty." Yeah. Big time.

It was a very nice prize of cinnamon bears, some chocolate covered, and I shared them up and down the our first row.

There was a bit of anxiety through the room (certainly through me) as they explained how it would work this morning meeting for a devotional and then a talk by Pres. Fenn at the end of which, he would give our assignments.

It is quite different not being an idealistic 19-year-old excited and not the least bit anxious about where I would be sent on my first assignment. I knew little about the world and nothing about the Brazilian cities in my mission (or potential companions). At Senior-Missionary-age, I am I bit more cynical and jaded by my life experiences (main reason for retirement). So, yes, I was a bit anxious.

When I got home, I mostly shrugged it off. I felt good about the possibilities and thought I would get a good assignment that suited me.

In the Church employees' cafeteria in the basement of the COB, a couple of my friends from my local ward had found me and joined me for lunch yesterday. (Church tapioca!) They have good Senior Missionary assignments I would like to have. They had also gone on our Scotland/Wales tour with us this past Summer. So, they get me. I asked them to put in a good word for me with the leaders.

This morning, we met at the Salt Lake Stake Center which is the one back and west of the Conference Center. It has the great stained glass window that I had seen pictures of so often but didn't know where it was. Now I know!

Joseph's First Vision
We assembled and sang, "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go." Yeah. They were pulling out all the stops.

But I'm growing to like President Fenn a lot more. He was going along explaining his difficulties with a home security system when he launched into his "Go Forth with Faith" discourse. And the Spirit snatched me.

He told us how we would be blessed for our service and we had signed up to serve. Hmm. Maybe I can't quit.

"When thou vowest a vow defer not to pay it." Ecclesiastes 5:4

President Souza's scripture for our goal setting.

Pierced to the core.

Water fills my eyes.

(Now, Pres. Souza's scripture was not without controversy in our mission 40-some years ago. Some Elders said they wouldn't set any goals because they didn't want to go to heck if they didn't make it. Also, we had one elder with royal SLC family connections who shall go nameless who wrote a letter home complaining about having to swear oaths. SLC apparently didn't have a problem with Pres. Souza but he raised the issue and the SLC approval in a mission conference. Yeah, we all knew who had the royal SLC family name. The "vows" worked for the zone I was in and we made amazing progress and helped change the whole mission as we were preparing for the São Paul Temple.)

Then Pres. Fenn made it better. "The Holy Ghost operates in a way unique and customized for you." D&C 9 is not the only way.
D&C 6
Enlarges soul
Enlightens mind
Begins to be delicious Alma 32:28
Mosiah 4:3 - Peace, joy, forgiveness, faith grows
D&C 8 The Holy Ghost will speak peace- mind had pure intelligence - feelings of peace and joy
We are entitled in our assignments to be guided by the Holy Ghost
I will go before you and be on your right and left and angels have charge over you D&C 84:88
The Spirit helps us to be who we really are - (our personalities are valid)

Then he ended with the assignments. He had us stand along with our zone leader couples in the rear so we could meet up and set schedules, etc. I think I was first. All of it is sort of a blank to me now. And I was assigned to the Church History Special Projects Zone. Our Zone leader guy wasn't there, but his wife was. And the Assistant Zone Leader who had a Welsh name so I thought that was a good sign.

We dismissed to attend a Temple of our choice. I'm back at it on Monday to find out what my specific assignment will be.
Next mission post here.


  1. "We dismissed to attend a Temple of our choice."
    That will never not seem bizarre to me!

    1. Sorry. I went to Salt Lake. I mean, it was right there and all. Crowded for conference, but right there. And I have a conference center parking pass now (don't tell anybody!)


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