Dear Elders and Sisters,
It was great seeing you this past week as we held zone conferences. I love the quick moment that I had with each of you as I shook your hand and looked into your eyes. I asked for the gift of discernment to know how you are doing. I loved the opportunities that we had to share our thoughts and learn together as we discussed the various topics. I always come away with a feeling of gratitude and reassurance after zone conferences. I am grateful to have so many missionaries who are faithful, dedicated, and understand their purpose. I feel reassured that so many of you are doing and learning great things as you serve the Lord and the people in your area.
As I prepared for our meetings last week, one phrase stuck with me. It was something that Elder Bednar said in his talk in this year’s seminar for new mission presidents. He said we should “interact to edify.” As I talk with you and read your letters each week, I love hearing of instances where missionaries courageously stand for what is right. It is not always necessary to “wield a sword” or do something dramatic in order to stand for truth and righteousness. Sometimes just a kind word, a dignified manner, or refusing to argue, criticize or engage in negative talk is a powerful means of inspiring others to be their best self. I am so grateful for missionaries who interact to edify others.
As I read your emails each week, I find some of your insights, experiences and comments so inspiring that I save them for future use. A paragraph or a few sentences saved each week…now the document is 21 pages! My only regret is not having started keeping this record earlier in my service. Here are two excerpts from last week’s letters:
“As I have recently started the Book of Mormon over again I just wanted to share a couple things I learned from the first chapter of Nephi about How to become a better person or moreover becoming a man of God. So what I learned from chapter one is a man of God respects and praises others and his parents, recognizes his trials and seeks the Lords help to overcome them, receives inspiration and listens, is learned, makes records of his dealings, prays unto the Lord in behalf of others, Praises God!, Follows orders from on high, does not fear men, and is chosen by the Lord. I personally want to also focus on the last one, being chosen of the Lord, after all we are all called on by the Lord to serve him, but being chosen I feel has a deeper meaning and takes more action. Just a few insights from my personal study.”
As I read these emails, I saw missionaries who are growing, learning and yearning to edify others. I hope that we can interact to edify in all that we do.
Mentor of Edifying Champions