Monday, April 27, 2015

4-27-15 President's Weekly Letter

Yesterday was one of the great days of my life. I felt so privileged to attend an historic stake conference held in Taichung during which a third stake was created in Taichung. Our Area President, Elder Gerrit W. Gong, presided over the conference and his first counselor, Elder Randy D. Funk, was also in attendance. In addition to these two general authorities, three Area Seventies and the Taipei Temple President and Matron attended and shared their testimonies. During the conference, we were reminded that the Asia Area contains half of the world’s population and that Taiwan contains half of all of the stakes of Zion in the Asia area. We are so blessed to live and work in such a remarkable place. I love it here!

Last week we welcomed 30 new missionaries to our ranks, including 7 local missionaries, 13 who had been reassigned to temporary missions in the US while awaiting their visas, and 10 who came directly from the Provo MTC on their original assignment date. Our mission currently consists of many newly arrived as well as nearly finished. We have many great and experienced missionaries nearing the end of their service. We also have 54 companionships involved in various stages of training. It is an interesting and exciting time to be in the Taichung Mission. We hope to learn as much as we can from those who will soon return home. We need to continue to establish, preserve and improve our mission culture of worthy, obedient and diligent missionaries who know what to do to accomplish our purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

We currently have 212 investigators with baptismal dates. I am very pleased that you are responding to the invitation to become “Challenging and Testifying” missionaries, as per the talk by President Alvin R. Dyer that we studied during our last zone conferences. We are struggling, however, to help those with baptismal goals progress, keep their commitments, and actually receive baptism. Too many are not “rolling over” each week in order to continue to progress. I believe that we need to give greater attention to helping our investigators keep their commitments to attend church meetings. I also believe that we need to contact every investigator daily as instructed on the back-inside cover of Preach My Gospel. Please consider these two aspects of our work, and perhaps others that I have not mentioned, during personal and companionship study and planning to see what you can do to improve. I believe that as we continually study the scriptures and PMG and seek inspiration as to how we can do things better, the Lord will reveal unto us our weaknesses and instruct us as to what we need to do to become strong in His hands (see Ether 12:27 and 2Ne. 32: 3, 5).

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions

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