Monday, September 8, 2014

9-8-14 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

I am grateful that so many of you thoughtfully account to me each week for your stewardship as a representative of Christ. I am often deeply moved as I read your thoughts and experiences. I feel especially thankful when you share insights that allow me to gauge your personal growth, love for the Lord, and commitment to this sacred work to which you have been called. I learn much about you and from you as I read email each week.

As you know, the majority of my discretionary time each week is spent reading, and responding to, your emails. I have tried using different methods to read email during the time that I have served as your mission president, always trying to be more efficient and with the desire to spend more time proselyting. For the past few months, I have been responding to nearly all of your emails with a short reply, intended to encourage or inspire. In an effort to have more time to spend with missionaries, I have decided to try to read the emails more quickly and only reply to those with a particular question or problem. Although I love responding to each of you personally,  like you, I do not want to return home from serving and wish that I had spent my time differently. Starting next week, if you do not receive a personal reply to your email, that is my way of saying that I feel all is well with you. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you need my attention.

Last week I received some news that caused me some concern: due to changes in the process for granting visas, it appears that we will have significant delays in obtaining entry permits for foreign missionaries. Unless there is a miracle in the next three weeks, we will not have any missionaries coming from the Provo MTC in the upcoming move call at the end of September. I invite you to join with me in petitioning Heavenly Father to help us find a quick resolution to this situation. We had been expecting a very large group of missionaries with this transfer and I have anticipated the need for many trainers and other new leaders. I know that many of you are prepared to accept additional responsibility and experience the personal growth that is always associated with such experiences. I am hopeful that something can be done, as this delay will affect us not only this month but in the future, with respect to both missions in Taiwan.

We will start zone conferences on September 16. I invite you to study Elder David A. Bednar’s address, “Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary,” in preparation for the conferences. In addition please study the “Adjust Your Teaching to Meet Needs,” “Ask Questions,” and “Listen” sections of Preach My Gospel Chapter 10. Please prepare yourself through study and prayer to receive inspiration as to how to improve yourself in order to more fully understand and accomplish your missionary purpose. We look forward to seeing each of you!

Sister Blickenstaff and I will be in Hong Kong this week for the semi-annual Mission Presidents’ Seminar. I will be available by cell phone but may not be able to answer your call right away. Please try to resolve your concerns through normal priesthood channels. If you have an urgent question, you may text me.

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of PMG Missionaries 

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