Dear Elders and Sisters,
I have made some interesting observtions the last two weeks. Two Mondays ago in my weekly email I wrote about being exactly obedient. I asked each of you to report on whether you arise on time each morning, whether you start daily planning on time, and whether you get to bed on time. That day there were 35 missionaries who immediately replied with the information that was requested. Last Monday, the second time that missionaries could report this information, 78 missionaries responded as requested. Comments in your emails that ranged from “this is a bad idea” to “thank you for asking us to report on these things” and “in addition, I would also like to report on….” Although the things that you were asked to report appear somewhat arbitrary, they indicate a degree of exactness with which missionaries are willing to obey. The prophet Samuel taught Saul, “Behold, to obey is better than the sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” This counsel also applies to something as simple as reporting on a few key items. When it comes to obedience, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).
Last week I reminded the mission that we have mission standards and that I have an expectation that you to strive to achieve them. I promised you that by striving to achieve mission standards, you would find joy and satisfaction in your work. I neglected to also mention that you would be more likely to baptize! The majority of responses I received were positive. I feel that we are back on the right track, and know we will be blessed for being diligent and obedient. Heavenly Father rewards diligence and obedience with trust: He will trust us with more of His precious children to teach and baptize.
Here are a couple of my favorite emails from last week:
“There's a quote by Shakespeare President Monson quoted once that goes ‘They do not love that do not show their love.’ Yes I love Christ and God, but do I show it? Do I show it always? Do I start by getting up at 6:30 and saying a sincere prayer? Am I strict to the study schedule in the morning? Am I constantly serving my companion? Finding ways to improve all the time! But I'm never discouraged. I realize I need to do better, but I don't get down on myself. I think reading the Book of Mormon is helping me realize that even though I fall, God still loves me. He's just waiting on me sometimes to want to change, and then He's there to tell me how.”
“I'm also grateful for the re-emphasis on mission standards. I don't think my numbers have been particularly high throughout my time here but I feel like standards have always been important. They've helped me take a step back and ask what we can work on or what we can change to more effectively do the will of the Lord, rather than becoming too complacent with the work that we're doing and the methods that we're using. Obviously I find joy and satisfaction in working hard everyday, but that doesn't mean that I can't re-center my focus on ways to improve to hit certain goals that have been divinely established.”
Thanks for your faith and diligence. I look forward to your weekly obedience reports.
Mentor of Champions