Saturday, February 17, 2007

From Paradise: July 27, 2005 least let's call it that. It makes me happier.
Dear Family,
My decision to be happy has been tried a few times here in Ladispoli. It seems that many of the people do not make time for us, and we don't seem to have a ton of progress. We spoke with the Branch President to begin a huge Branch plan that stretches into every program of the Branch - I'll outline it a bit later - but he told us that he was more focused on solving the personal and family problems of the Branch first. He gave us a few families and individuals he wanted to work with, his ultimate goals, and now we have a bit more direction in our member and reactivation work. But, let me outline the plan for you so you can know what our original design was.
Branch/Ward/Family/Personal/Anything Mission Plan!!!
A successful mission plan has three main parts:
1: A big vision or visions. For the Branch, it is the 3-fold mission of the Church. Visions should be defined exteriorly - the 3-fold mission of the Church is not something the Branch has to figure out; the goal of Eternal life is not either... Visions are chosen, not designed.
2: Multiple Initiatives (Short and Medium Term Goals) that cover all points of the vision and are easily changeable and measurable. For example, for Redeem the Dead we could have everyone with a 5-generation chart (could One Branch Family)
3: Everything done in the unit must focus on completing an initiative. This makes sure that no work is done twice, and that everything that is done is worthwhile to the cause, not just something good that is thrown into the works. (This means that everything needs to be planned in advance)
In a perfect world, the Branch President would choose the initiatives, then meet with the Branch Council to plan every activity, fireside, lesson, etc.. in advance (not fully, only which initiative it will focus on and how - the details are left up to the organizers, teachers, and speakers). We thought it would work best to have a planning meeting once every quarter that planned for the next 2 quarters (to ensure that activities are being done, to give assignments, follow up, and to revise activities if there are problems). The Branch President would need to periodically revise short-term initiatives as they became fulfilled, and the Branch would be able to see progress. Wow!
The best way to plan would be to simply make a huge list. For the Branch President, have a list of initiatives that cover all the categories and are graded in commitment. Example: 4-generation charts for all members as opposed to One Branch Family (all the genealogy for the Branch done until everyone is linked into One Branch Family). As the Branch fulfills its goals, it is easy to determine what the next step will be. Amazing!
Example. - It's like a triangle.
Proclaim Gospel, Perfect Saints, Redeem Dead
A new member for each member every year (did you know that President McKay said that this should be our goal?),
Every family with a year's supply + emergency kit, Every family out of debt,
One Branch Family
Activities, Firesides, Sacrament Meeting Themes, Lessons, everything!!!! works toward fulfilling the initiatives. (Obviously, there need to be a few more to guide all work, but it is amazing!)
A successful mission plan does a few things:
Guides ALL work toward the end vision
Makes planning activities simpler
Ensures that everything has a purpose
Makes it possible for more people to be involved in the process
The vision is given, the initiatives are chosen by the Branch President, and the activities and lessons, etc... are planned out all in advance by the Branch Council. This way, everything works together. Everything makes sense.
I have yet to find a Branch in which this plan will work. I'm sure I'll be able to someday.
I learned how truly blessed we are to have families that obey the law of chastity this week. We saw the effects that breaking this law can have on the lives of people... and I truly fear for the whole world, because it hit me just a few days ago how much evil there really is. It's not that the people don't understand. Many of them do. And still, they flagrantly violate commandments of God. Something has to change here... but I'm not sure what it will be.
I learn every day how different I am from my companion. Even though at first we seemed very alike, it seems that we have each made very different choices throughout our lives. I'm not talking about choices like careers, whether or not to do something bad, or things like that, but choices like... how we approach situations, how we process information. The little things that most of the time you don't know how to explain to others. In many of the little things we are different, and again I realized the importance of love in a relationship. Even if I do not agree with some of the logic in his decisions, I support him. He has made the decisions and there are some that really don't seem to have a right or wrong answer (at least given). For example - practicing teaching. He and almost all other missionaries feel it is important to practice teaching even when there is no one to teach... I personally feel that it is a waste of time because the teaching situation is made from interaction. You cannot recite a lesson and call it a practiced teaching situation. You need to talk with someone or else it is just a recital. We talked about it and he obviously doesn't see my point of view and I certainly don't understand his. It will take time to understand the little things that mean a lot to us.
Well, it's time to go back to work. I'll work on trying to get pictures off this camera. Then I'll send you some. It will work. I promise, if I need to use mail and....... It will work. Va Bene.
Thought for the week - being perfectly 100% obedient means that you need to know 100% of the rules. We should strive to be obedient first by learning and understanding the rules. When we understand them well enough, they should naturally become a part of our being. Hence, "Have you received His image in your countenances?"
I love you all! I love your packages as well - tell the Achievement Day Girls I liked the letters, and the magnets look great on our refrigerator.
Anziano David Peterson

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