August 23, 2011
I heard about the earthquake today at Vons from the cashier when I told her I was from Virginia. That's so bizarre. How is it that I have been in Cali for over a year, just waiting for an earthquake, and all of a sudden Virginia decides to get in on it?
Oh, I completely forgot to talk about zone conference! It was so great. Elder Gibbons is an amazing teacher.... [He] taught us about how to work with members, and he taught us something very interesting. So we talked about the phases of missionary work, and who has the priesthood keys to direct each phase of the work. Teaching, baptizing, and confirming non-members is obviously directed by the mission president. Retention, activation, and preparing for the temple is directed by the bishop and stake president. The temple ordinances are directed by the keys that the temple president holds. Then he asked us if we knew who had the keys for finding new investigators.
Surprise: it's the bishop! The bishops are responsible for preparing and finding new investigators for full-time missionaries to teach. It was really interesting. That is another reason why finding through members is so effective. It's not just a statistical phenomenon that we as missionaries can take advantage of. It is a direct blessing of finding new investigators in the Lord's way--through those with the priesthood keys (D&C 128:11, D&C 104:16). God blesses us when we work with the ward council and members to find because that is how He designed it.