Sunday, December 6, 2015

Visit to the Mission from Elder Dube of the First Quorum of the Seventy!

Each year, at least one General Authority – and almost always his wife – visit each of the 418 Missions of The Church for a “Mission Tour.”  The Mission Tour lasts several days and involves a variety of meetings both with full-time serving missionaries as well as with members and local leaders.  This year, our visiting General Authority was Elder Edward Dube of the First Quorum of the Seventy and his wife.  (His biographic sketch is included in the beginning of the two multi-zone conferences photo albums.)

Elder and Sister arrived quite late Tuesday night the 17th of November and started early the next morning with a group picture and introductions to individual missionaries from the three southern zones of the Mission (Montgomery, Birmingham and Bessemer).  Since the pictures and introductions had to be over in time to start the actual conference itself at 9:00 a.m., one can easily imagine what time missionaries had to leave their apartments from their distant areas of labor.   Additionally, they had all dedicated  themselves with study and preparation to get the most out of the meetings.

For all that such an early hour might mean for the usual 18-21 year old, there was no sleepiness throughout the day!   And, to that point, Elder Dube emphasized his deep belief in rising early to do the work we’re assigned:  “If you want to raise your area, you’ve got to raise yourself first (with meanings on several levels) and leave your area better than you found it.”  Further, Elder and Sister Dube’s enthusiasm, along with their topics and presentation styles were complemented – as usual – by President and Sister Hanks. 

Thus the pattern was set for what followed the next day in Huntsville.  Training from both couples filled the morning, a great lunch was provided by Sisters from the Stake Relief Society, and the afternoon recommenced with additional training through 4:00 p.m.  Selected missionaries were then interviewed by Elder Dube, and the day ended for the missionaries to return to their respective areas. 

Elder and Sister Dube, accompanied by President and Sister Hanks, then travelled from Inverness to Bessemer to enjoy a dinner with leadership of the Bessemer Stake, followed by attend a Stake Adult fireside that evening presided over by Elder Dube. 

Early Thursday, the Dubes and Hanks left Birmingham for the Huntsville Stake Center for the conference of the three northern zones of the Mission: Huntsville, Madison and Tupelo (Mississippi).  Following the interviews of selected missionaries, the couples returned that evening to Birmingham and began to prepare for the Special Mission Leadership Council (MLC) meeting the next morning.

At the MLC meeting, once again in Inverness, Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders were provided exceptional training that was designed to help them become better leaders, trainers, and especially, Disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ.  Following a short lunch, additional training was provided, after which there were more interviews of selected Mission Leaders.  President and Sister Hanks then escorted the Dubes to the Birmingham airport, where Elder Dube flew off in one direction on another assignment over the weekend and Sister Dube returned to their home in Salt Lake City.

 Of the hundreds of influential points made during these activities, one of the most meaningful was the amount of dedicated and consecrated effort put forth – as an example to young missionaries – by General Authorities of The Church.  The intensity of the schedule described above doesn’t even begin to describe the amount of planning, organization, preparation, travel across multiple time zones that goes into such a Mission Tour – and that’s only one of a General Authority’s many responsibilities.

We were truly blessed!

- President Nolan

Elder Dube Visit: Special Mission Leadership Council 20 November 2015

Elder Dube Visit: Northern Multizone (Huntsville, Madison and Tupelo zones) 19 November 2015

Elder Dube Visit: Southern Multizone (Birmingham, Bessemer and Montgomery zones) 18 November 2015