Tonight we taught a lesson for a "Cottage Meeting" in Auckland Ward. This was a meeting where members of the ward were encouraged to bring non-member friends or family members and the missionaries would bring anyone they were working with to explain the basic teachings of the church.
So we began a with a very basic message on our belief in God as the creator of the universe and how He wants all of us to be happy. We showed a video that has astronomer Dr. John Lewis talking about his faith against a backdrop of images from space taken by the Hubble Telescope. It the video he makes a statement about how science and religion are not in conflict, but how they are two different witnesses to the existence of God and His role in creation.
From there we went on to talk about how we believe we lived as a family in the pre-existance with God as our Heavenly Father. We showed another video to reinforce that point.
After that we spoke about how our faith teaches us that families are God's plan for His children and gave a very basic introduction to what family history is and why we do it.
Then we talked about making family history fun by adding pictures and stories. We showed the video about preserving family photographs, which people always seem to like.
At first people giggled a lot and some were quite shy to get up in front of the group. But once we got going, people relaxed and then got enthusiastic about it, eager to hear what each next person would commit to doing. Not everyone took a turn, but many did. It was as if we were empowering each other to stretch ourselves to do something bigger and bolder than we ordinarily would. It felt really inspiring.
At the end of the game Brother Peihopa gave me the T shirt which I thought was fabulous because I had really liked it - and also knew I would use it again to do this same sort of exercise with other groups.
After the game there were refreshments and more casual visiting. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening. Auckland Ward has some very special people and we feel so blessed to be a part of their group.