Today we did training for the young elders and sister missionaries in training at the New Zealand Missionary Training Center. It went great! We felt the spirit so strong as we talked about how they can teach the people they meet about the importance of family history and get them pointed toward the blessings of the temple even before they are baptized.
We know that when new converts go to the temple for their deceased family members within the first few months after their own baptism, they are far more likely to stay strong and active in the church. Making major changes in life is hard for anyone. There is a saying that the only people who like change are babies with dirty diapers. All the rest resist it, resent it, or run from it. When someone shifts to new religious commitment, even though entirely sincere, it is all to easy to relapse back to the familiar when the change begins to feel hard.
But the powerful spiritual feelings we can experience in the temple help keep brand new testimonies strong. Beyond that, commitment to being temple worthy helps people live in such a way that they will have strong families and develop a closeness to Heavenly Father that will bless them in many ways. So having the missionaries teaching about Family History and temple ordinances right from the start is a great thing.
We did three 50 minute sessions with different groups. The first group were all French speaking, or in the process of learning French, as they would be going to Tahiti (also known as French Polynesia). Most were fluent enough in English to understand what we were saying, but a few wore headsets to listen to interpreters who translated as we spoke.
The second group were all English speakers so we were able to have great interaction with them. Then the third group were learning English for the first time, with some being more advanced than others. We had no interpreters with them so we did some juggling in how we explained things to keep it simple but still be sure we covered all our main points.
I love the way Larry and I work together when we are teaching. We've learned a lot over the course of this mission about following each other's cues. I am so grateful for these experiences. I hope I will remember these days all of my life.