Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arizona Phoenix Mission Gospel Scholar Award

Taken from President and Sister Becks Arizona Phoenix Mission Blog

When our missionaries reach Level Five of Gospel Study, which is diligent performance of memorization of scriptures, reading, Studying of Preach my Gospel and missionary work, then they are awarded the Level Five Certificate. With this comes the opportunity to have a companionship study with the President and also Elder Matsen, who was a previous Executive Secretary in the mission. They come to his house and in his extensive library to study together gospel subjects.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pretty Eyes

Chen Smith is back now huh - so was she planning on staying in China? or just visiting? Anyway - sounds like a crazy house with all those kids. Last time I saw the 2 yr old was when she was just a baby - cause I went away for school for 6 months, then a year on mission - so that is wierd that she's that old.

Good luck with that family - a strong fellowshipper makes all the difference in the conversion process. Usually the social conversion brings on the spiritual conversion.
Here is my week:
March 21, 2011 - Zone activity today - we set up volleyball nets - pretty fun. Only 2 missionaries in the whole zone (22 total) are getting transferred - it was the smallest transfers since Pres. Beck been here (only 27% of companionships will be affected - when he got here it was way up - one even in the 90%'s. All of this district - Deer Valley-stayed the same which was awesome. Got haircuts today, took a nap. Starting to get a cold or something. Had lesson with the Toledo's and asked again to teach the 18yr old and she said yes.

22 March 2011 - Had breakfast with President Weathersby again at 6am - 4 of the ward mission leaders came out. The french toast was really good. Feeling a bit sick - voice is all different - not throw up sick, just tired, stuffy, cough, headache, etc. Leadership Training at 2pm - was long. Then the transfer meeting was at 4:30 - they did it differently this time. They had the zone leaders move into different parts of the chapel and then when they read the new assignments, the missionaries came to you and became part of the zone - I liked it. Transfers is my favorite meeting with all the new missionaries pumped up. Had a lesson with a part-member family - the Battles - go over there with Pres. Winters in Stake Presidency.

23 March 2011 - went over and went on a 3hr exchange with our new district leader Elder Trussell - he used to be in this zone a long time ago - happy he is back - I really liked him and now he is one of our district leaders. Went to fill him in - give some mini training. Picked up a bike for the ap's and had to deliver it.

24 March 2011 - I went out to Elder Trussell's District Meeting. Right after that I went to Elder Beeston's area - new to zone - and we began an exchange so we can gage where he's at. Contacted most of the day. Some teenage girls told me I had pretty eyes. Helped someone move couches. Went to one of their Bishopric members house to follow up on the family missionary work.
(Side note) Elder Bednar said not to look at meetings as another meeting, but another opportunity to have a spiritual experience).

25 March 2011 - Exchanged back at Burger King. Put reports together most of the day actually - have both Stake Meetings this Sunday instead of just one. Swung by President Weathersby to talk (Stake President).

27 March 2011 - Church and had our 2 stake meeting with Stake Presidencies and Mission Presidency member - this time it was Elder Eagar (cousin of member we live with) at both of them. They went really good. We wanted the stake to host a ward mission leader training in the Glendale North Stake because a lot of them don't know what to do/what's going on and we got that accomplished - will be one in middle of May - would have liked to have it sooner, but that will work. In Deer Valley the stake is going to send a letter addressing the policies of coordination, focus names, etc for everyone to get on board with. I love those meetings and working with the leaders - fun stuff. It's fun to have a meeting with good discussion/ideas and then pray after and then stand shake hands, smile and say, "Isn't this fun work." I love it.
Anyway - things have been great for me. I'm staying here with Elder Hall and Brother Eagar another transfer - that will make it 6 months here. I got my package from mom today - fun stuff - thanks so much. Hope your trip was fun.
Living the dream, having a blast, reaching for the stars, staying fresh, enjoying not just enduring, smiling, having a jolly ole time, happy as ever.

Elder Perkins

Friday, March 25, 2011

You Must Read and Pray about the Book of Mormon

We hear all about this Jimmer phenomena. He sounds really good, wish I could watch.

15 March 2011 - Taco Bell for lunch, tracted all day. Getting into the 80's now - starting to warm up. Nice being on bike again today.

16 March 2011 - Went to the start of Elder Bird's District Meeting so I could play a musical number. I played an arrangement of Come Thou Fount and 2 sister missionaries (Moody and Zollinger) sang the words of O My Father to it - sounded really nice. Then right after opening announcements, I took off with another missionary to another district meeting. Had dinner with the Wilde's. Elder Hall had a baptism interview tonight. Got home late.

17 March 2011 - Bro. Eagar took us out to Paradise Bakery for lunch. I got a soup and sandwich. Weekly planned. Rode bikes around. Stopped by the Reddings - all is good for their baptism tomorrow. Then we drove out to the Glendale North Stake - they were holding a training for all ward missionaries on how to do their calling. Elder Hall and I gave about a 15 min talk on how to be effective in the work. Funny part was after the meeting we were walking down the hallway and 2 girls walk around the corner, saw us, and then hopped back around the corner - I though it was just some giggly laurels or something. But then they came back and it was Sister Pehrson and Sister Williams, now known as Melanie and Samantha. They were in my district for like 9 and 6 months and they both had gone home about 3 months ago and came back to visit the mission. So it was very weird seeing them not in skirts and not as missionaries. So that was cool to talk with them for a few minutes.

18 March 2011 - Checked on a potential investigator who let us in. We planned on teaching the first lesson, but her Methodist grandma came in and bombarded us with anti stuff and it was tough. But we threw down some powerful testimonies and I looked at her in the eyes and told her there was nothing she could ever say that would rattle my testimony, then turned to her granddaughter and told her she must read and pray about the Book of Mormon, then we left. Then we had Austin and Aria's baptism that night and went over the first vision again. Actually got a little chocked up reciting the first vision which usually never happens. Didn't cry though, just was a little tough to speak. Baptism was awesome though. We got to confirm them right there - poolside. The stake president showed up to the baptism about 10 min. before it began and we had him pull the kids dad into a room and do a quick interview and then the dad was able to stand in the circle for the confirmation - great stuff. Then we went out to dinner with Bishop and his wife to PF Changs - I really like that restaurant - a lot. Calamari is pretty good. Began exchanges with Elder Nieman.

19 March 2011 - Tracted all day. Went to a baptism at 2 - very nice. Had Jack-N-The-Box for lunch. Got a sandwich and the two tacos of course. Had spaghetti and stuffing for dinner.

20 March 2011 - Church was good. Tracted. Dinner at Roques home.

Today we got transfer news and I will be staying here with Elder Hall again. This will make Elder Hall my longest companion. Looks like it will rain today. Hope all continues to go well. Talk to ya next week

Elder Perkins

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An Unexpected Blessing in the Mail

Dear Perkins Family,

Thank you so much for raising a great young man and sharing him with us for his mission. I live in Anthem Arizona and had the privilege of working with your son on multiple occasions. Our ward has had success in missionary work that I haven't seen in 7 years. Elder Perkins always had a great attitude and was always so kind to my family. You deserve to be proud of him!

Darren Wright
and Family

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ultimate Frisbee= Sprained Ankle

Well hello family. E-mailing somewhat late today. We had to end take an hour out of P-day to begin an exchange and we are finishing up our last hour of p-day now. I have forgotten my journal however - so this will be just recollection.

Sister Beck keeps a book logging doctors and who does free work, who is bad, etc - so she referred us to the dentist who did it for free.

I asked the sister missionary and she was not related to the person who Uncle Joe thought. But I am doing a musical number with her and her companion this week in district meeting. I'm playing the tune of Come Thou Fount and those 2 will be singing the words of O My Father - should be sweet - we ran through it today and it was good.

My thoughts towards teaching our friends - my thought is that it is crucial for missionaries to extend a baptism invitation in the first lesson. It is so critical for missionaries to 1) Find out the expectations of the investigators and then 2) Explain that our purpose is to help others come unto Christ by helping them make changes in their lives to life his teachings (keeping commandments, praying, BAPTISM). My thought is that you don't need to commit her to baptism at every lesson - As long as she is keeping commitments and knows where this is all going (aka - baptism).

When we are on - we look for profiles that match our investigators and then go tell them to look it up. Or become familiar with it so as we are out tracting, we can reference people to specific places on it.

Galen is doing fine. He's come to church once, he reads and prays - we told him we expect him to get baptized and that is why we are teaching him. So we'll see if he does it.

Alexxis got baptized this week which was great. I got to confirm her which was fun. We have another baptism this Friday which is really cool - Austin Squire.

I'll be fine for a camera - companion takes pictures and I copy them. The one I have works fine, but the screen is broken so you can't see what your taking pictures off. But it'll work cause I get good ones from Elder Hall.

For a Care Package: Cheeze - its, an investigator, a yo yo maybe, not really sure. I have every music cd in the mission - so none of those. Maybe a giftcard. Whatever will make me happy.

This week in quick review:
3-7-11: Taught Galen this morning - went fine. Played some ultimate frisbee and I sprained my ankle. It swelled up about twice the size. Next day had big black bruise - hurts to walk on it. Still do work. (it's been a week later and black bruise has gone down, it hurts only when i hit it and make sudden moves on it - shouldn't play bball in next 3 weeks - it'll be fine).

3-8-11: Taught Austin Squire and his family - active grandparents came which was sweet. They are doing great. Then went to a WML training for Deer Valley Stake - invited the zone leaders for our input - which I love to throw in there.

3-9-11: Had Interviews today. Mine with President Beck was short and to the point as always. I asked how I can help certain missionaries, so we spent most of time talking about them. Elder Hall and I held a 2 hr. portion of the meeting which included a skills training - Sister Beck sat in and watched mine and she really liked it. I was an investigator and had other companionships teach me to practice resolving concerns- it is fun being a missiony. After I began an exchange with Elder Tripp- an AP who is really cool. I love talking with him, but we got carried away and were up till about 1 or so.

3-10-11: Taught Galen again. Went to Elder Mendenhall's District Meeting. Had a lesson with Alexxis - put together baptism program.

3-11-11: Went to Elder Bird's District Meeting. Went by Alexxis Toledo's and met her Navajo grandparents who came in for the baptism - they are cool.

3-12-11: We had Alexxis baptism which was awesome - she was in tears the whole time - only 13 and it was great for her family. Had a quick meeting with the AP's after the baptism and talked about how to improve the zone. Then attended another baptism which was very stressful for the Sister Missionaries - about one-hour before the baptism - they found out that they had not gotten the mom's permission to baptize 2 children - and the mom was in Mexico, they didn't baptize the two children and Elder Hall and I helped them through the whole thing - so they sent us a nice message saying how much they appreciate us and how it must not be fun having emotional sisters in district. But I think It's fun - don't like to see other sad or down.

3-13-11: Church. Dinner with the Roques.

3-14-11: I finished my Arizona Phoenix Mission Study Guide - Level 6 Scholar - So I got to have a personal study with about 4 other misisonaries with President Beck and Elder Matsen - which was just great - they know a lot of things and so we got to ask any questions we wanted on almost anything (pertinant to our salvation) and they would answer them for about 2 hours. So that was really neat. Also went golfing which was fun. I did pretty good. I bogeyed on 4 holes, 3 were double bogeys, 1 was terrible over, 1 par, 1 birdie. So not bad for only my 3 or 4 time golfing. Also practiced song with Sisters - it will be good. Began exchanges with Elder Cecil who I am with now.
Something for the ward: Next week. Sorry - just tell them I'll write to them when someone writes to me. : )

Elder Perkins

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Love Being A Missionary

21 Feb 2011 - Bought some new gym shorts at Ross today - like them below the knee - got them for like $13. Picked up my 2 new suits. Took a nap. Played bball with 2 18yr olds in our ward who are getting ready for mission. Living the dream - no complaints.

22 Feb 2011 - Had dentist appointments today. They said nothing looked bad - free cleaning from an LDS Dentist. Being a missionary rocks - free perks and all members love you. Went out on splits with our WML - our Stake President says he is the best WML he has ever seen in the church. He's a really cool guy. Found a new investigator named Galen who looks promising. Began exchanges with Elder Oesterle.

23 Feb 2011 - I really like Elder Oesterle - he is a real say-it-how it is guy. Isn't afraid to chastise his district members - is real bold. We did our 1 hr of time. Went to a steakburger place with Elders Kennington and Baldree - really cool elders. Then since Elder Oesterle helps in the office a lot, we had to drive and deliver a bicycle. Taught a 9 yr old - Jaden - really good kid. Taught an 18 yr old who has addiction problems so we had a lesson on that. We set up chairs on her drive-way and taught her there since no man was home. Then went to Avalos family - gave a blessing.

24 Feb 2011 - Elder Bird brought 5 members to his district meeting for the missionaries to teach. Pete was there and it was really good to catch up with him. It was fun watching 2 sets of missiionaries teach him and work through his past concerns. Fun times. Had another lesson with Austin - taught L3 and re-commited to baptism again.

25 Feb 2011 - Went back to Galen's for a lesson with Bro. Adair. Taught L1. It went really well and he commited to church too. Finished our weekly planning and contacted. Began exchanges with DL #2 Elder Mendenhall.

26 Feb 2011 - This morning we drove over to some elders house and sat them down and asked them about some misbehavior issues. Got it sorted out and then we contacted most the rest of the day. He was asking how it is easy for me to yell at people (or really to correct in loving ways). So we talked about how I had to learn it and it really is all about confidence I feel. I know I'm right (teaching true doctrine) and so there is no need to fear what they think - they will be transfered out eventually - and the mission sets the course for life - so you better learn how to fix things quickly and efficiently. Got Taco bell. They have a new crunchy burrito for 99 cents that is really good and big. So 2 of those did it for me. I also enjoy their potato burrito. Then we attended his adult session of Stake Conference - first one I have ever been too. Was really good. Exchanges back and finished stake reports. Talked with President Morris about our meeting tomorrow.

27 Feb 2011 - Had our Deer Valley Stake coordination meeting. President Morris came and it was fun. I really enjoy working with leaders and seeing how they handle bishops. Fun times. Galen came to church today and stayed the block. He brought his 2 yr old too which was cool.

28 Feb 2011 - Went on a district hike this morning. Really cool. There was a faster and slower group so I stuck in the very back - don't like it when people feel they are holding others back. So I just stayed back with Elder Bird or Giles or Hall and took pictures along the way. I bought a hunters hat for the hike which was cool. On the top of the mountain I dropped Elder Giles camera and it broke. So I gave him my camera. So I have his. It works perfectly - except the digital screen is broken. So I took lots more pictures (just can't see what it's taking) and uploaded them and sent some to family. Preped for meetings tomorrow.

1 March 2011 - MARCH!!! Had zone leader council today at 9am this morning. Went really good - had good discussion on how to improve baptism efficiency. Mission Presidency discussed how to work with member better. We had a skills training on being facilitators when we watch other missionaries teach so we can get in and help them become better teachers. Had lunch with Elders: Tripp, Brase, Geren, Farnsworth and President Morris - great group. I love the missionaries I work with - really solid and just great people. Then we drove over to the transfer building and all the district leaders met us there and we had a leadership training from 1-4. The overall message was working with members. We had a skills training on sitting down with auxilary leaders and helping them see the missionary process. They let me close the meeting with a talk on the baptism interview and walking through Preach My Gospel on it. I'll attach it for you to see. They made me type it up and gave a copy to all the leaders in mission. That is cool - makes me feel good. Elder Juchau came back home with us for the night. Had a lesson with the Wildes and we talked with them on church attendance. Elder Juchau is really bold like me, so we just fed off of each other and it was great.

2 March 2011 - Had specialized training with President and Sister Beck spoke on the Book of Mormon. As mission we have been reading the Book of Mormon in 60 days and we just all finished it (the amount of time it took Joseph Smith to translate the plates). I really enjoyed my experience with it. President Becks big thought was that we have to BELIEVE we can baptize/have succes - as a mission we don't believe we can really do it. Taught Galen again. Went pretty well, we'll see how he comes along. Interview with Nathan went good too - sharp kid. Good day. I love being a missionary and having the best time ever. Do work!

3 March 2011 - Had a lot of planning. Taught the Toledo's and set a date for a week and a half out - ha - talk about a sense of urgency. It was really good though. her 9 yr old sister, Brooke, was just baptized and she was on fire with the questions today while her non-member sister, Alexxis (that's right, with two x's - pretty sweet), struggled a bit. Do you want to know why her 9 yr old sister is amazing? Because she has the Holy Ghost and it was so cool to see. North Canyon correlation again, now when they ask us for a spiritual thought (which they do every week) I say, "Well for our spiritual thought, we thought we would teach on the purpose of coordination, or the purpose of the focus names. Things will get better hopefully. Then taught the Reddings. They are awesome. Have an 8 and 13 yr old that are not baptized and they are on fire, especially the 8 yr old. They eat it up. Its cool to see a family get into it. Also had coordination in Pinnacle Vista.

4 March 2011 - went out to Elder Oesterle's district metting. Interviewed a couple of missionaries just to see how they were doing in preparation for President Becks interviews (we asses some situations and then give a report to him so he can focus his efforts when he interviews them). Stayed for a bit, then went back to Elder Bird's district meeting. We got to facilitate on a couple of practice rounds. Then interviewed a missionary. Went to the Toledo's and reviewed for Alexxis' baptism interview. Had dinner with the Gladdens - LA Family. Made stuffed peppers that were decent. Took the last hr to plan for our stake meeting. I interviewed the sisters over the phone (Moody, Zollinger, Fleener, Pilimai)

5 March 2011 - went down to the stk center at 9am for Alexxis' baptism interview - of course she passed - she's awesome! Then helped Elder Bird with a couple other interviews. Got McDonald's. Yummy. tracted into a lady who was good friends with Yvonne Ogburn who iIworked with last summer - so that was cool. Loving life and being a misisonary rocks.

6 March 2011 - So in a ward council, the primary president was saying how the stake wants to put a missionary fireside on Easter night with a primary choir and how she thinks no one will come, blah blah blah. So i said, "Well of course people will come, and they will bring all their friends too." Everyone laughed a bit and then Bishop told her to continue to work on it. We had 2 members of the high council in there (one for the ward, the other over missionary work) - so we talked about it after. The mission has taught me so much about how to 1) Listen to leaders 2) Believe they know what they are doing/inspired and 3)FOLLOW them. So many peole second guess and think they can come up with a better way - no you can't. We had a Stake Meeting and Bishops think they know a better way that will work with their ward that goes against what Stake is saying and President Beck went off on obedience - law irrovocably decreed in heaven, followed by - by the voice of my servants, or myself, it's the same. Fun times. I love it. Love being a missionary and being involved and seeing how things work. It's so fun - I laugh and smile all the time.

My talk- The Baptism Interview

The Baptism Interview

To create solid baptism dates, we must clearly explain the Baptism Interview and events leading up to it. We then prepare them by teaching the doctrine and inviting them to keep commitments to live in accordance with the gospel standards found in the Baptism Interview Questions.

  1. Background
    1. We lose half of the baptism dates we set. Why?
    2. We set baptism dates and we see the path to that date, but our investigators don’t.
      1. They don’t understand what the standards are, what needs to occur, what is expected of them, the events that lead to baptism, etc.
      2. This causes dates to fall through because they feel: Not Ready, Need to Learn More, Can’t Keep All the “Rules”, Canceled Apts, Not Keeping Commitments, etc.
    3. We must set the expectations immediately for those with baptism dates or else they will continue to be pushed back or dropped.
      1. Where do we find those expectations? Baptism Interview Questions
      2. We are preparing them for their interview date, not their baptism date.

  1. Preach My Gospel Doctrine - Notice Ch. 12 is all about Preparing People for Baptism and Confirmation and all it talks about up until the baptism service is the Baptism Interview.
    1. Pg 203 – “The Baptism Interview is the way established by the Church to ensure that each candidate meets the Lord’s standards for baptism and is prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…As you teach investigators and prepare them for baptism and confirmation, make sure that they meet the qualifications for baptism.”
      1. The Baptism Interview Questions should be involved in all aspects of our teaching.
      2. Studying and Preparing to Teach – The Baptism Interview Questions are just as important as the commitments and the doctrine in lessons.
        1. Pg 19 – “The lessons contain the Baptism Interview Questions, commitments, and doctrines that you are to teach.”
        2. Pg 20 – “Focus on commitments and baptismal interview questions. Understand the baptismal interview questions and commitments.”
        3. Pg 20 – “Organize and summarize what to teach. Focus on the doctrine, baptismal interview questions, and commitments of the lessons.”
      3. What Do I Study and Teach – Chapter 3
        1. Pg 30 – “Each lesson outlines the baptismal interview questions, commitments, and doctrines that you are to teach…Use the baptismal interview questions to prepare those you teach for baptism and confirmation.
        2. Pg 31, 47, 60- “As you teach, prepare your investigators to meet the qualifications for baptism taught in D&C 31 and in the baptismal interview questions. This is best accomplished by inviting your investigators to make and keep the commitments listed below. Baptismal Interview Questions…Commitments…”
        3. Pg 74 - 79 – “Baptismal Interview Questions That Apply”
    2. Pg 204 – Third Paragraph –Clearly and simply explain the Baptism Interview
    3. Pg 204 – “When an investigator has set a firm baptismal date, schedule when you will complete all the events that lead to baptism and confirmation” (All found on teaching record – in a specific order for a reason). “Review this schedule with the person in your next meeting. If possible, the person should attend a baptismal service prior to his or her own baptism” (This is a definite possibility in this mission).
      1. Help Investigators Keep Commitments – Pg 200, bullet point 1 – “Have them write their commitment on something you leave with them” (This would be the schedule you have created for them – a calendar with events leading to their baptism date).
      2. Review this schedule often to help investigators see the path to baptism.