Dear Elders and Sisters,
This week we enjoyed a brief visit from Elder and Sister Gong, our Area President and his wife. They attended our MLC last Friday. I also attended a priesthood leadership training meeting on Saturday that involved all of the stake/district presidencies in our mission. We received instruction from Elder Gong as well as Elders Ruan and Chow, our Area Seventies for Taiwan. I always look forward to meeting with our local leaders, perhaps the way you might look forward to zone conferences. I find that my faith is strengthened and my burdens are lighter after such experiences. I know that we have a living prophet and many other inspired Church leaders called of God. I am so grateful for the organization of the Church and for continuous opportunities to learn and grow.
I know that many of you were anticipating transfers last Monday. I had actually prepared a much larger movecall, including many trainers for the new missionaries. Unfortunately, we still have not received new missionaries and really have no idea when they will arrive. The transfers last Monday were minimal and designed to accommodate the missionaries whose companions returned home. I remain hopeful that new missionaries will come within one or two weeks. Elder Gong and others will meet today with members of the Taiwan government to continue to work out the issues involved with granting visas. Please keep them in your prayers today. If it does not appear that we will be receiving new missionaries in the near future, we will conduct transfer day in two weeks.
Sister Blickenstaff and I will be in Taipei 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. We will be back in Taichung on Friday evening.
Sister Blickenstaff and I love each of you as we do our own sons and daughters. We pray daily for your health and protection. We pray that you will receive answers to your deep “questions of the soul” as you pray, ponder, study and serve others. We expect you to be worthy, obedient and diligent at all times. We know that this work involves loving others and helping to carry their burdens. There is always some stress and pressure that comes to those who fully engage in such a sacred work. I am reminded of the great composer Leonard Bernstein's quote, "To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time." Many of you can relate to this in your daily and weekly plans, and in the limited time of each day, each area, and in your 18 to 24-month service to the Lord. I am confident that you will be able to bear the burden of this great work and hope that through an understanding of the enabling power of the Atonement, you will be able to put aside any undue pressure or unrealistic expectations. We promise you great joy as you labor alongside the Master in this great harvest of souls.
Mentor of Champions