Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mission Tour By Elder Zwick of The Seventy

"We love you trusted friends!  ROLL TIDE!" - Elder Zwick

On Sunday evening, September 7, 2014 Elder W. Craig Zwick of the First Quorum of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Jan Zwick arrived in Birmingham at the start of a five day Mission Tour.  He also serves as a Counsellor in the Southeast Area Presidency and our Mission is one of 18 in the Area.  Furthermore, they had recently completed an emergency 2.5 month assignment presiding over missionary work in the Caribbean and we anticipated their arrival with great enthusiasm.  We remembered Elder Zwick’s “target of opportunity” visit to the Alabama Birmingham Mission last January as filled with spiritual energy, enthusiasm and instruction and we weren’t disappointed this time either. 

Just to give you an idea of how much General Authorities put into everyday of their consecrated and sacrificial service, here’s a review of the Tour, characterized throughout by excitement, energy, enthusiasm and enlightment:

Sunday evening arrival, dinner and discussion about the objectives of the Tour and the vision for the mission, planning the actual parts of the tour, and other conversations at the Mission Home.

Monday, visits and interviews with individual missionaries and companionships, visits to missionary apartments, tour and inspection of the operations of the Mission Office and overnight at the Mission Home.

Tuesday morning, with an early departure from Birmingham, drove north to Huntsville where a multi-zone conference – including Tupelo, Madison and Huntsville Zones – was held at the Huntsville Stake Center from 1000 to 1600.  The Zone Conference included a delightful luncheon prepared by a Missionary Mothers Group, with each Missionary Mom identify her missionary and where they were serving.  Naturally, there was much “I have a cousin/brother/sister/friend serving in the same mission as your son/daughter” small-world Church conversation that continued after the traditional thank-you singing of “We’ll bring the World His Truth.”  It seemed even more meaningful when it was being sung to all the Missionary Mothers.

Tuesday evening, began with an early dinner with each of the three Stake Presidents and their wives, followed by a two hour devotional with members drawn from all three stakes in the northern tier of the Mission.

Wednesday morning, started with another early morning departure, this time going south to Birmingham for the Mission Leadership Council and luncheon.  Then, departing for Bessemer, AL for an early dinner with each of the three southern tier Stake Presidents and their wives followed by yet another adult member devotional that evening and return to Birmingham.

Thursday morning, another early start with another multi-zone conference representing Birmingham, Bessemer and Montgomery, lunch sandwiched in between sessions of this conference, followed by a quick trip to the Birmingham airport for the Zwick’s return flight to Salt Lake City in time to perform a sealing Friday morning at the Salt Lake Temple and preparations for the next week. 

All this against the backdrop of the “regular” labors, Elder Zwick is also of currently serving as an Assistant Executive Director of both the Missionary Department and the Correlation Department of The Church in addition to his service in our Area Presidency. 

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