Dear Elders and Sisters,
As I read your letters last week I felt abundant gratitude for each of you. I am grateful for your choice to leave behind family, friends, comforts and other pursuits to serve the Living God. I am grateful for your desire to be obedient and to repent. I am thankful to each of you who strive to follow the Master in all that you do and say, to testify of the gifts and blessings that come to those who adhere to His teachings and to exemplify in your own lives the principles and doctrines that He taught. I cannot imagine anything that would be more difficult, and yet more worthwhile, than what you are doing right now.
When Nephi saw a grand vision of the restoration of all things in the latter days, he exclaimed, “And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be” (1Ne. 13: 37). The Savior himself, speaking of you, in the latter days has said, “He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least, and the servant of all” (D&C 50:26). How great is your calling!
I am grateful to note that many of you have a renewed desire to work diligently. You are setting goals with mission standards in mind, and then striving hard to achieve your goals. I am grateful for your faith in our mission vision and know that you will be eternally blessed for your diligence. The Lord is in charge of the outcome. I hope you will always be motivated by the missionary purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ, and not get distracted from things that really don't matter. I know that as you work diligently, you will be happier and experience a greater sense of fulfillment. In my experience, missionaries who consistently achieve mission standards are also more likely to baptize regularly.
Here are some excerpts from some of your emails that I found especially relevant:
“As my companion and I talked about the [accountability] card and what areas we felt like we could improve, and then went out and worked on those areas, I feel like we really saw an improvement.”
“We have been blessed with lots of lessons these past two weeks. These two weeks I have really learned that high numbers are completely meaningless if you are not helping others come unto Christ in the process. It feels like we have lots of people to teach but by the end of the week nobody is progressing. We will be prayerfully considering which of our investigators really do have potential to be baptized.”
“This was another tough week. But fortunately I really do feel like [my companion] and I worked hard. I am proud of the work we put in. We tried very hard this week to be loving to everyone, and I really did notice a difference. People seemed to be nicer to me, and more willing to talk. Though no immediate success has come from it to my knowledge, this is a week in my mission I don’t regret because I tried my best. I am grateful for this companionship and area and the efforts we are putting into it…”
I love and appreciate you for the sacred work that you are performing. I am grateful for your desire to be pure and worthy instruments in the hands of the Lord to accomplish His purposes. I know that “when you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself” (PMG, pg. 11). Let’s have a great week this week!
P.S. Please join with me in continuous prayer for our visa waiting missionaries. We continue to wait upon the Lord for a miracle!