In less than two weeks, the Taiwan Taichung Mission will transition to President and Sister Teh’s leadership. We have been able to correspond with President and Sister Teh several times over the past few months and Skype with them on one occasion. They are very excited to come and serve with you. President Teh has been a general authority of the Church for 9 years. It will be a wonderful opportunity for you to serve under the guidance of such an experienced priesthood leader. I believe this will be a great privilege for the mission and for the Church in Taiwan. You are blessed to be able to serve during such an auspicious time.
I would like to tell you a little bit about the transition process for a new mission president. The Teh’s will arrive in the mission on Saturday, July 1. According to Church policy, he and I will have a transition meeting that will last only about 2 hours, during which we will discuss such things as the mission budget, training plan, temple attendance policies, and emergency procedures. We will show President and Sister Teh the mission home and office, introduce them to our office missionaries and some of our local Church leaders, and review the important items on the schedule for the upcoming month. Sister Blickenstaff and I will then depart.
Note that we will not specifically discuss each individual missionary. In fact, other than informing President Teh of any significant medical issues, we will not discuss anything about you! He will not have access to any of the past correspondence between you and I. You may be thinking, “That sounds crazy!” This however is a wonderful blessing and opportunity for each of you. The mission president’s handbook states, “The missionaries should feel that they have the opportunity for a fresh start with a new president” (MP Handbook, p. 77). Regardless of any past problems or mistakes, you have a new start with a mission president who will arrive with no pre-conceived ideas about your worthiness, obedience or diligence. You may use this as a perfect opportunity to start a new page in your personal mission history.
My dear elders and sisters, I want you go know that I love the gospel, I love the Lord, I love missionary work, I love Taiwan, and I love the Chinese language and culture. It has been a great honor and a privilege to serve with you. I am so grateful for your faithfulness and dedication, for your desire to serve and give and repent and improve. You are, and will forever be, a great inspiration to me. I hope you will carefully use whatever time you have left in the mission to “lose yourself” in the service of others. You will be home all too soon and left only with the memories and relationships that you have established. “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” (D&C 18:15-16). May you be blessed to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands to bring many souls unto Him is my prayer for each of you.
President BlickenstaffMentor of Champions