Monday, September 7, 2015

STL (September 7, 2015)

Note: We didn't get a "regular" e-mail from Lisa this week -- I don't know why. But she did write a really long answer to a question about what it means to be a "Sister Training Leader," so I'll post that.

Mom, I got your letter asking about being an STL, so I'll describe my responsibilities real quick.

You're basically right, STL is kind of like being the girl version of a Zone Leader. The most frequent responsibility is that I check every night to make sure that all the sisters in my zone are safe. I usually text them right after daily planning, at about 9:35, and if they haven't texted back safe by about 10:00, I call them. This new zone I'm in has sisters who respond really early, which is nice. Last transfer I had a few companionships who always forgot, so there was one time I had to call the Zone Leaders who then got in touch with their District Leader, and if they hadn't responded after that, the District Leader would have had to go over to their apartment to make sure that they were safe. Usually District Leaders check on sisters in their District, but this mission is really strict on elder/sister relations, so that's my job.

The next most frequent responsibility is that I conduct companion exchanges. We call them splits here. I call before each split to ask each sister what she wants to work on or learning during the split. An exchange lasts 24 hours, is planned in advance, and basically, we either Dendo (do missionary work) in my area or their area while our companions work in the other area. It's regular dendo, but at the end of the split we do something called a split review. It takes about an hour. My tradition (because it's me, I need my own traditions;) is to buy the sister ice cream before we start the review, and then we eat it while we talk. We go over what we did that day, and I spend a fair amount of time doing a 良かった〜探し ("looking for things that were good"), where we find every little thing that was good about the day and list them up. We also talk about what we learned from each other, and then we set goals and plans for things we want to get better at. Also my own tradition, but the following week, I call that sister and follow up on her goals, and I ask her to follow up on mine. It's really fun, I get to know the sisters really well and learn tons. Usually two STLs are companions, so one split per companionship is sufficiently but because there aren't that many old sisters in this mission, we only have one STL companionships right now, so I conduct twice as many splits as most STLs (as do the other STLs in this mission). Hopefully in the future we'll go back, but right now, we're needed to serve as trainers and whatnot at the same time.

Oh, I also check up and make sure that everyone's doing okay stress-wise and emotionally, and I give them any advice I have and if anything is too crazy, I report problems to the President. I write a report on each split in my weekly email to the President as well, and basically I'm the go-to if any sisters have problems or questions. If I don't know, I find out and then get back to them. My last responsibility is to attend MLC, or Missionary Leadership Council. It's once a month and takes approximately forever. Preaident Smith gives a few trainings about things that are relevant to the mission right now, and we take notes. Then, we each give a five minute training about an assigned topic. This month, I'll be teaching about the Role of the Holy Ghost in receiving Revelation. Last month I taught about Harmony and Unity. Then, after MLC, we all break into groups by zone, so I meet with my Zone Leaders, and then we plan for Zone Training meeting, which always happens about three days after MLC. Usually we pick topics that were discussed in MLC as a base for ZTM, and we choose missionaries to give trainings at ZTM. I usually give a training, the ZLs usually give a training, and some District Leaders and sometimes other random missionaries give trainings. My last ZTM training was on trusting in the Lord. Basically, we pick the flow of the meeting together, and then the blessed ZLs make assignments and take care of the rest for me. At Zone 大会 (conference), I give manner or etiquette or whatever training the President feels should come from the STL, it's a little stressful but also a really good learning opportunity, I suppose. :)

I think that's about it. The good news is, I got called to be STL pretty early, so I might get released before the end of my mission. I'd never seen that before, but a STL with one transfer left got released, so she's serving as a normal trainer right now. That seems pretty nice, haha:) We've got something like twelve beans and twelve trainers right now out of maybe twenty five or seven missionaries, so we're pretty bottom heavy right now.

Yep. That was a lot, but that's what I do right now:) Love you!

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