Monday, November 23, 2015

11-23-15 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

The beginning of each new transfer period is an opportunity to start anew. It is an opportunity to progress and improve, which, I might add, is best accomplished through personal change and repentance. When you receive a new assignment, do you look forward to a new start, and afford one to your companion? I hope you are learning to find out about your new companion by talking with him or her and discovering their talents and strengths. You may be pleasantly surprised! And don’t we all hope our companions will do the same?!

I assure you that, as I prepare each transfer, I carefully consider every missionary individually. I always start by asking myself, who can bless this missionary by being his or her companion? More important to me than where you serve or what is your assignment, is who will be your companion. I plead with Heavenly Father to help me assign the right companion for each missionary. I am grateful for the sacred calling to serve as your mission president. I know I can rely on the Lord to sustain me as I do my best to prepare each move call. I also know that He will sustain you as you serve in each assignment. I do not make perfect decisions, but the Lord, in sustaining both you and I, will enable each companion to be the right one for you.

Starting with this transfer we will no longer email the entire move call to each missionary. I hope this will decrease the tendency that some missionaries have to compare themselves to others and concern themselves unnecessarily with those assigned to be senior companion, district leader, etc. Please focus on your companion and those in your district. As we seek to be more consecrated missionaries, let us focus on serving others with all our hearts. Let us put aside all gossip, competition, etc., that our hearts may not be divided by envy nor pride. Let us follow the example of the Savior, who taught, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36).

Please remember that missionaries are not to give their new phone number to members, investigators, friends, etc., when moving out of an area. When you leave an area, your primary method of communication [with members, RCs and others in that area] should be through email or written letters of encouragement. Politely discourage phone calls, texts and visits from members and friends from prior areas. If people insist on calling, texting, or making visits, please let me know so I can help you stay focused on your current area. See R&C, 27.

It will be our great privilege and blessing to have a mission conference this Friday with Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. With the increasing size of the Church, such opportunities are more difficult to come by and should be cherished! I can still remember a mission conference with Elder Ezra Taft Benson when I was a young missionary. He went on to become a great prophet and president of the Church! Elder Stevenson has asked that we study 2 Nephi 2 and 9 this week in preparation for our meeting with him. He would like us to come prepared to share our insights and feelings about these two great doctrinal chapters of the Book of Mormon. Please be in your seats by 12:40pm and quietly prepare yourselves for a rich spiritual experience. Let’s show him that we are well-trained, obedient and reverent missionaries. We look forward to seeing you all!

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions

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