These past couple weeks have been pretty extraordinary. We had a Mission Conference last Thursday where all the missionaries in the mission(nearly 250 of us) get together and have some fun and then receive some training. We had a service project at the beginning of the conference to help us learn to be charitable and loving like our Savior. We were sent to some assisted living homes where we would interact with some old peoples. We took them on walks and chatted with them and even played the most intense game of bingo I've ever experienced. Those old ladies play no games when it comes to bingo(haha, get it?). After that we went into a big field next to our mission home and played some games and then ate lunch. We were then herded in the chapel so we could hear from our honored guest. We were very honored to hear from Tad R. Callister of the Seventy. He gave an amazing training on the atonement and how we can apply it in our teaching. It gave me some great insights on how I can improve and we've already been able to apply this training.
Another awesome opportunity we had was that this past Sunday there was a huge broadcast on missionary work titled, "The Work of Salvation." We got to hear from the Prophet and apostles about how missionary work is going to be changing. First of all, missionaries are now going to be able to proselyte through the internet via Facebook, blogs and other means. In the near future we are all going to have to make Facebook accounts and we'll be able to teach lessons, follow up on commitments and make invitations through it. It's super cool that we are finally able to utilize the world of technology we live in. Our mission should be getting iPads and iPhones later this year or early next year in order to assist in this. Missionary work is changing. They said that missionaries should not be tracting anymore. They said that members need to be filling our planners with lessons. Missionaries are there to teach and to assist the ward/stake/branch with their missionary efforts but as it was it seemed that us missionaries were kind of leading the efforts. I'm excited to see how it turns out.
We also had a baptism this last Saturday. It was a 17 year old young man, named Melvin. He invited tons of his friends to the baptism, a lot of which were not members. I had the opportunity to share the message of the Restoration while he was changing. It was a super spiritual experience. His parents were sitting next to our landlords and after the baptism they turned to our landlords and said, "Well, I guess we're next." It is wonderful to see how the Spirit touched their lives and testified that what their son was doing was right. We have another baptism this next Saturday and I'm stoked to see how it turns out.