Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel Camp

In an effort to help improve the teaching skills of our missionaries, Sister Berrett and I decided to follow a recommendation from a member of the Area Presidency and conduct a three day Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel "camp." We planned to teach and practice with the missionaries from 8:30 am to about 4:30 pm, and then send them out in the evening to do missionary work using what we discussed.

We divided the missionaries into two groups (northern and southern). Our first week (21-24 July) was in Hyderabad, where we worked with those serving in Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, and Visakhapatnam. We had about 33 missionaries in the Hyderabad group.
Hyderabad Camp

The second week (28-31 July) we were in Bangalore, with those serving in Bangalore, Chennai, and Coimbatore.We had about 45 missionaries in this group.
Bangalore Camp
 Before the first day of the Camp, we met with the zone leaders to be sure they were prepared to lead the practice sessions.
Meeting with zone leaders in Hyderabad
Two Zone Leaders get ready to teach
On our first day, we discussed how to teach inspired lessons and how to be a more effective teacher. On the second day we discussed the Doctrine of Christ and the role of the Spirit in the conversion process. We also discussed how prayer, Church attendance, and the Book of Mormon assist in conversion. Some of this carried over to the third day. Our concluding session was on increasing faith to be more effective in finding new people to teach.

Each of our segments was about 1.5 hours in length. The first part of the segment was instruction from the scriptures and from Preach My Gospel.
Studying the Doctrine of Christ

The second half of each session was practicing what had been learned.
Practicing with Companions
At the end of each day, we gave the missionaries two or three specific assignments and  sent them out to work with less active Church members and friends of Church members.
Companionship Study on the Fundamentals
Reviewing the Scriptures on the importance of the Holy Ghost
Two zone Leaders study with a companionship
Getting ready to go out for the evening

Overall the preliminary results are quite encouraging. The missionaries seemed to enjoy the camp. Many of them have written that it was a great learning experience. We will continue our follow up and working with them to improve.
Table tennis during one of the breaks