Monday, January 4, 2016

1-4-16 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

This week we will begin another round of interviews with each missionary. Interviews are a significant means of accounting to the Lord, through His authorized servants, for your personal progress and the progress of the work in your assigned area. They are also an opportunity for you to seek counsel and direction on personal matters and to learn how to succeed in your calling. We try to create a schedule of interviews and planner/area book checks that is efficient and minimally disruptive to your work. Please be on time for your assigned interview and other activities on the schedule. After you have completed your interviews and checks, please return quickly to your area and continue with regular proselyting activities.

Your interview will be approximately 10 minutes. I will use a timer and make every effort to adhere to the schedule that has been established. Please be courteous to other missionaries by helping me to begin and end interviews promptly. If you have a need that will require more time than has been allotted in the schedule, I will reschedule with you in the near future, as soon as can be arranged, so that you may have my undivided attention. My experience has been that interviews are most helpful if missionaries prepare ahead of time by carefully considering what they would like to discuss during the short time that we will have together. By planning and prioritizing, we can make sure to give attention to those areas that are most needful.

Although interview days are often long and tiring, I look forward to my time with each missionary. It is one of the ways in which I strive to connect with you – to know you a little better, to build your faith in the Savior and to encourage you in this most significant opportunity that is yours to represent Him. I earnestly strive to prepare myself for interviews so that I have as much energy and inspiration during the first interview as I do during the last. I love interviews!

My dear fellow servants, as you know, Sister Blickenstaff and I will complete our time as mission president and wife at the end of June. I have received permission to inform you that Elder Michael John U. and Sister Grace Teh have been called to serve as the next mission president and wife in the Taiwan Taichung Mission. Elder Teh is a member of the First Quorum of Seventy and is currently serving as the Area President in the Philippines Area of the Church. This will be a wonderful experience for you as well as our local leaders and members to work closely with one of the Lord’s especial witnesses in the work of salvation. I invite you to begin praying for Elder and Sister Teh as they prepare themselves for the challenging and rewarding experience of serving as Mission President and wife. We look forward to welcoming them and working toward a smooth transition to their leadership in the mission.

Although we know who the next mission president will be, Sister Blickenstaff and I still have six months to serve in this place and among people that we love so dearly. We will work hard to the very end and still have much to do to establish the Church and “leave our area better than we found it” (PMG, p. 137). We ask for your continued faith and prayers on our behalf as we strive to finish our assignment and hand off a well-prepared, obedient and diligent group of missionaries to Elder and Sister Teh.

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions


  1. Sister Blickenstaff, who takes your photos? Do you have a mission photographer? You and your husband seem to be in many of them. Just wondering. Sister Lewis in Yakima

    1. That would be me! I invite missionaries to send me photos to place on the blog but I don't get many emailed to me:(