District meetings are held on Tuesdays, and we try to attend two of the meetings. Typically the zones have two districts with one meeting at 10 am and one at 1 pm. That way the zone leaders can attend both meetings -- as can we.
Because Pres. Cusick had scheduled missionary interviews on Tuesday afternoon, the two districts in the Brandon Zone both met at 10 this morning. Since that zone was on our visiting rotation for this week, we picked one of the districts to attend. Then since the Sarasota Zone has three districts, we decided to visit the district that meets in Sebring at 1 pm. So our travel plan was to drive an hour to Brandon, attend the district meeting, drive and hour and a half to Sebring, attend the district meeting, and drive an hour and a half back to Sarasota.
The Brandon district meeting was fine. The district leader was recently appointed and this was the first meeting he had conducted. It was a good meeting. They have a standard format of first discussing the needs of progressing investigators, assessing their baptism goals, and then training. The training for this week was on personal conversion to the Book of Mormon and using the electronic pamphlets in teaching. I particularly liked how he closed the meeting by asking what the missionaries had learned. It was a nice summary.
We then raced to Sebring knowing that because of the travel time we would arrive a couple of minutes late which we did. Again, this was the first meeting conducted by the district leader. The general training topics were the same, but he conducted the training differently. It was good, but I thought the first meeting was more effective because the DL had assigned several missionaries to participate by making presentations.
The unanticipated part of the day occurred on the return trip from Sebring. There was a major accident on the primary route out of Sebring, a 6 lane highway. They closed off the three northbound lanes and created a major traffic mess. It took us 2 1/2 hours to travel from Sebring to Avon Park, an adjacent city. This is normally a 10 minute drive depending on the traffic lights. So our expected 90 minute return trip took four hours. It was 7 pm when we finally made it back to Sarasota.