Dear Elders and Sisters,
We recently finished our interviews for this quarter. It was such a pleasure to spend a few minutes with each of you. I love having an opportunity to talk with you, to know you a little better and to guide, direct, encourage and counsel you. I am satisfied that the great majority of the missionaries in the Taiwan Taichung Mission understand who they are, what their purpose is, and are doing their absolute best to accomplish what they were sent here to do. For those who are still adjusting their focus in order to have a clear vision of one or more of those aspects, I am confident that you know the things that you need to do in order to grow and improve.
I was also grateful for the opportunity to share with you the vision that I have for our mission, and the associated goals and plans. I hope that you will ponder the things that I have shared with you and incorporate them into your vision for what you want to accomplish as you serve. My greatest desire is to help you achieve the goals that you have set for yourself and to inspire you to set your sights high. Elder Vandiford has a saying written on the wall above his desk that he looks at everyday. It reads, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.”
I recently had a missionary write in his weekly email, “I heard that you don't like [missionaries to set] a goal of how many people we want to baptize during our mission.” I will take responsibility for saying that. I think that agency is such part of someone getting baptized that it is very difficult to predict how many people you will be able to help in this way during the course of your mission.
This missionary also went on to say, “I'm trying something new that my dad encouraged me to do… you know the scripture, ‘ask and ye shall receive,’ so my dad asked me to set goals of how many people I want to baptize every month. I need to pray and write down the goals that I feel for each month until the end of my mission, and every goal needs to be at least one… if we ask for specific blessings we are most likely to receive, because we are exercising our own agency, we are setting plans and goals, and usually we receive what we ask….” I agree with this wholeheartedly. We should set goals for how many people we want to baptize each month or each move call. Then we should go to work and do everything we can to achieve our goals.
I am excited about what I see at this time in our mission. We have 20 new missionaries coming in two weeks, then 20 more the next move call. We have many experienced missionaries returning home. That means we will need 40 missionaries to train, and many more to take on additional responsibilities. It is an exciting time and I believe that, with a clear vision in place, we can really grow as we seek to accomplish our goals and carry out our plans. Bring it on.