Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Calendar Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

This month we say goodbye to our dear friends, Elder and Sister D, as they complete their service as full-time missionaries. They return home to family, friends and loved ones; they return to their ward and stake to continue to serve others in whatever capacity in which they are needed. They have been a bright light in our mission. We have all been blessed by the warm glow of Sister D’s ever-present smile and the generosity of Elder D’s giant heart. Our sister missionaries will miss Sister D’s encouraging and loving emails and everyone who has ever come up a little short on money will miss Elder D’s willingness and desire to help. They will surely be missed.

The D’s lack of Chinese language capability made their mission call to Taiwan seem like an impossible task at the time they received it. Eighteen months later, they return home having magnified their calling, and being magnified in return. They have been daily examples of the truth that love transcends all languages. I am reminded of a quote that is often attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel always, if necessary, use words.”

Like Elder and Sister D, each of us occasionally find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, in places that we did not plan or choose to be, or in circumstances that may feel difficult and challenging. Let us be resilient, cheerful and look for ways to serve others. Remember the counsel we recently received from President Uchtdorf, “We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair…. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation” (General Conf., April, 2014).

Above all, let us trust in the Lord and in His timetable. Let us have faith in Him. As Nephi counseled near the end of his ministry, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus sayeth the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2Ne. 31: 20).

I know I can speak for the entire mission: Best wishes to the Ds, until we meet again.

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions

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