Monday, September 22, 2014

9-22-14 President's Weekly Letter

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:

我上個禮拜所讀到的經文、利阿賀拿、宣講我的福音,都剛好談到我要如何幫助我的傳道事工,有的時候我們會看這些小小的規定可能違反一下沒什麼大不了,可是,如果這是為了幫助我們傳教士更能專注於神的事工的話,讓我們更知道服從的祝福,那這些都會是幫助我們成長的好事情。天父希望我們可以變的跟耶穌基督一樣,但是如果我們沒有努力去做,那天父會看不到我們的成長,並且我們也無法得到生活上良好的知識。  抱歉這次幾乎都是用中文寫信,因為我今天花了很多的時間在思考著要怎麼寫這封信給你,因為我真的很不希望每位來傳教的傳教士們,他們的行為跟思想還是跟傳教前是一樣的.....我真的很想要幫助他們每一位,但是我自己的能力也很有限,他們每一位其實都有很棒的部分,只是有的時候會沒什麼信心。雖然我知道可能我自己也需要做些改變,但是我知道如果這是聖靈在告訴我的事情,那我會努力地去做.”

“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.

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Edifying Champions

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