We drove to Tampa to the Mission Office for the monthly Mission Leadership Council. These are good meetings that include the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders to discuss issues relative to the mission. As usual, there was some discussion of the topics for the coming month's district meetings. President Cusick asked for them to suggest topics for an upcoming meeting that Elder Kopischke, a Seventy and member of the Southeast Area Presidency will be holding with stake and ward councils regarding missionary work. He wanted to know the missionaries' perspective on what the members could/should be doing better. The missionaries generated a good list. My contribution was for the wards to assign home and visiting teachers to new members.
The most intense discussion was a continuation of last month's discussion on standards of excellence. These are the standards that the missionaries should be working toward for baptisms, investigators attending church meetings, etc. The most contentious is the number of lessons taught each week. The current standard is 20, and some missionaries believe that is too high. However, in recent weeks, some missionaries have taught over 100 lessons. Last month they talked about raising the standard to 45 per week. After much discussion, the missionaries recommended raising the standard to 60. However, it was not unanimous. Some of the missionary leaders were concerned that having a high standard will not motivate rather will depress some missionaries. So there was good discussion about how to train the missionaries to understand that the standards are there to raise the missionaries' vision and help them understand what is possible.