Monday, June 28, 2010

The 2010 Mission Presidents' Seminar and the M. Russell Ballard Connection

This coming week in the Church News will be the account of the addresses received by the mission presidents and their wives at the 2010 Mission Presidents' Seminar. 

We entered the MTC on June 23, 2010 for the New Mission Presidents' Seminar (Photograph taken in front of the Wilford Woodruff Administration Building at 9:00 am on June 23). Some 114 new presidents and their wives gathered in Provo for the five day training. They came from across the world, including Europe, Pacific Islands and Pacific Rim, North, Central, and South America. The Missionary Department announced changes in dress for sister missionaries, interview and zone conference schedules, and a new simplified teaching/training plan. It has been a wonderful experience!
M. Russell Ballard has a great influence on the missionary work in the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century.  He has been involved with missionary work full-time going back to 1974 when he was called as mission president in the Canada Toronto Mission.  A few of his missionaries have followed in his footsteps. All of them were mission leaders in the CTM being former zone leaders and mission assistants.

The CTM Connection--The Three Presidents and their Wives

A couple of fellow Canada Toronto Missionaries Bradford (Brad) Brower (Canada Toronto West Mission and son-in-law M. Russell Ballard) and Leonard (Len) Greer (Washington Kennewick Mission) who served with me under Elder M. Russell Ballard back in the mid1970s were called as mission presidents and attended the 2010 Mission Presidents' Seminar. Elder Ballard met up with the group on Saturday, 26 June 2010 as you can see from the picture above.  Here he is above with his two boys who are bit greyer and older now.  There have been seven missionaries serve as mission presidents (Elder Michael Glauser (2000), Elder David Harding, Elder Tom Mullen (2003), Elder Darrell Simmons (2004)  Elder Gary L. Hutchings (2008)   Elder Brad Brower (2010), and Elder Leonard (Len) Greer (2010).

President Len Greer (Washington Kennewick Mission) said in his blog on Sunday, 27 June 2010:

We've had a wonderful, fabulous, uplifting, motivating and exhausting experience. On Sunday our final session will be with Elder Holland and then we will be privileged to have Sacrament Meeting with President Monson. After lunch we jump in the car and head for Washington!
The previous day Saturday, 26 June 2010 President Greer shared with us:
We had another great day in the MTC. Things are happening fast and furious. We were introduced to a whole new missionary program. It will really change our entire calendar and our whole experience in the mission field. Kind of fun and scary and exciting at the same time. Every mission in the world will change and we are the first to start. Wow!

Top excitement of the day, we had lunch with Elder and Sister Nelson! We walked into the lunch room and Elder Nelson waved us over and said, "Would you please join us for lunch?" I sat right next to Elder Nelson. It was awesome! He was delightful and regaled us with many interesting stories about his travels. Our opening session this morning included Pres. Eyring, Elder Holland, Elder Nelson, Elder Scott, Elder Oakes, and Elder Cook as well as many other general authorities. You have to pinch yourself to believe they are so close. The days are really long. We must be in our seats by 7:30a and do not leave until after 8:00p. We are tired but loving it.

It is great to see the CTM missionaries become mission presidents.  I remember many years ago on our missions when Elder Ballard told us we would be the future leaders of 2010. I wish I could have the same experience but unfortunately I was only a junior companion on my mission.  I will have to vicariously find out about it like many of the thousands of others who didn't rise up and become stake presidents or stake president counselors.  Congratulations you lucky dogs.

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