Sunday, August 16, 2015

8-17-15 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

I hope you were able rebound appropriately from the “typhoon week” and get busy again. I’m sure it was difficult to have a really productive week when the weather conditions were so severe.  We were blessed to have had a few baptisms during the typhoon and Sister Blickenstaff and I were able to attend one of them. It was for a young single mother and her amazing 13-year-old son. They are perfect evidence that there are some really prepared people out there just waiting to be found.

I am grateful each time one of you mentions that you are teaching a family. I believe that as we study and pray and ask the Lord to show us how to find and teach families, He will answer those prayers with opportunities. We need to be prepared to step up when presented with such an opportunity. Sister Blickenstaff and I have been blessed to be involved with several families who have been baptized or rescued. It is so exciting and rewarding to see an entire family come into the Church. I hope each of you are planning, praying and preparing so that you will be ready when this opportunity comes your way.

Last week I invited you to study one of the Lord’s parables as recorded in Matthew chapter 20, as well as a conference talk by Elder Holland from April 2012 that sheds further light on this parable. What did you learn as you studied from these sources? How will you use what you have learned as you minister to others? I look forward to reading about the thoughts and insights that have come as you have studied and pondered these teachings.

This week I have another assignment for you. Please study President Ezra Taft Benson’s great talk entitled, “Beware of Pride.” This is a landmark address that every member of the Church should study and apply. I believe that by understanding pride and its many manifestations, we can develop humility and avoid the pitfalls of this “universal sin.” Please share with me what you learned from this great talk when you email me next week.

We have now completed this last round of zone conferences. It was such a pleasure to see you and feel of your great spirit. We are doing well as a mission. Our newest missionaries are all making great progress in all areas. We are busily preparing to greet 35 new missionaries in two weeks. That’s right – 35! It is the largest group that we have received during the time Sister Blickenstaff and I have served.  We are excited for the opportunities for growth that such a large group will bring to the mission. We will need trainers and other leaders to help our new missionaries get oriented and adjusted to missionary life in Taiwan. I am so grateful to be able to say that one of the strengths of our mission continues to be obedience. Thanks to all of you for making this an important characteristic of the Taiwan Taichung Mission.

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Champions

PS. We had 11 baptisms this past week. Our total for August currently stands at 22. We have two more weekends this month, with 4 week A goals and 11 week B goals. Let’s pray for these investigators to be able to achieve their goals and be baptized. Perhaps there are a few who are ready to be dropped in for additional week A or B dates.

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