Monday, April 25, 2016

4-25-16 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

We have a missionary in our mission whose grandfather is a good friend with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. President Uchtdorf recently took time to write her an encouraging letter. Among other things, he admonished her to “study Preach My Gospel every day because that will lead [you] to the Lord’s prepared children.” She went on to say that she always studies from the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel every day but, “this week I really was more 認真 [diligent] about PMG. I really saw a difference in the work and in myself. I was happier and just knew how to talk to people better this week…. I just felt nearer to the Spirit.” Thank you President Uchtdorf for your admonition in support of our mission vision, goals and plans!

I received many comments in response to my email last week regarding the importance of good morning studies. Here is one testifying how good morning studies can really help you be a successful missionary, “After the evaluation in Preach My Gospel I realized that I really gotta amp up my studies. So this week I tried really hard to take advantage of the time that we have in the morning to prepare for the day and WOW! The results were amazing. The spirit was totally there and I would say that the reason for our success this week (3 new investigators and putting one on date) was because of our studies. I think that good missionary work starts with good studies in the morning. I mean to really be able to just read the Book of Mormon and soak it all up really gives you a spiritual strength. And then read from Preach My Gospel and learn how I can improve and help the people that we are working with. It helped me and [my companion] have an amazing week!“

This past week has been an extremely busy one for Sister Blickenstaff and me. I was grateful to have interviews with four zones of missionaries while Sister Blickenstaff replenished their emergency packs, gave them new CO/Smoke detectors, and held devotionals in memory of Elder Hampton. I was also able to complete the complex process of obtaining permission to have Elder Hampton’s remains returned to his family. The Hamptons have truly been “example[s] of the believers” (1Tim. 4:12) in the manner in which they have conducted themselves during this difficult time. This has been a sacred time for them, and they have seen many tender mercies, bringing them peace and comfort. I was also grateful to read in your letters so many expressions of your faith in the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement. Here is an example from one of many emails I received, “I feel Elder Hampton will forever be a missionary in the Taiwan Taichung Mission. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the comfort that comes from this knowledge. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon which brings us this truth.” Your words, and prayers, lifted our spirits and made things easier for us. Thank you!

Throughout this busy time, I have also been working with priesthood leaders in Jiayi to interview many priesthood brethren within the district. Your prayers have helped prepare the hearts of these brethren, and I have felt the spirit direct these interviews. On Saturday, we held a Jiayi District general priesthood meeting and sustained 6 new brethren to be elders in the Melchizedek Priesthood! Last night we were able to complete the application for Jiayi to become a stake and will submit it to the Area Presidency today. Please continue to pray that the First Presidency will approve our application, enabling us to fulfill our mission goal of establishing three new stakes by 2016!

Thanks for all that you do and, more importantly, who you are becoming in the process. Be safe! Be good! Be PMG missionaries!

President Blickenstaff

Mentor of Champions

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