Wednesday, December 26, 2012

President's Weekly Letter #16

(1 Nephi 18:1)

Belgium/Netherlands Mission



On 4 August 1970, I wrote the following in my missionary journal.  I was serving as Zone Leader in Antwerpen, we had one companionship in Flemish speaking City of Brussels and the Franco-Belgium Mission had 22 missionaries serving in French speaking City of Brussels:

“Zone Leaders class today was good.  The President is pleased with Elder Free’s work.  In Brussels, he out baptized the Franco Belgium Mission - Brussels Zone (in the other mission) of 22 missionaries single handedly and they all were working in the same city!”

Elder Free was a good missionary.  He understood the faith, work and personable relationship necessary to lead people to baptism.  Under the same conditions in the same City, success was different.  What causes such disparity?  I do not know, but can only extrapolate what I see and saw.

In our mission today, we see miracles every week in every city.  The prepared people are there.  We need only to find them, and in many cases they find us, invite them, and help them as they prepare for baptism.  If we do our best the spirit will convert and the people will have a decision to make.  I am convinced every companionship could baptize each month.  This is a goal that is attainable.  This should be a mind-set for missionaries as we go through the difficult chore of finding the honest seekers of truth.

For me, the numbers are only indicators that mean nothing except to capture trends over a period of time. But, I know if a companionship doesn't keep 3-5 progressing investigators all the time, their likelihood of baptism is limited.  Some investigators will choose not to be baptized.  It sounds brutal, but so much of missionary work is about the missionary. Do your best to break out of any self limiting beliefs you may have.  Remember, you made up the beliefs in the first place.

All I ask is you do what Elder Free did, you keep your back-log full with progressing investigators.  Do your best, put a smile on your face, enjoy the work, love the people and let your optimism really believe each of those investigators are going to be baptized. 

Not to discount holding ourselves to a high standard, PMG has it exactly right on p. 10, "A Successful Missionary." 

“Your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people and to help them become faithful members of the Church…Avoid comparing yourself to other missionaries and measuring the outward results of our efforts against theirs…Your responsibility is to teach clearly and powerfully so they can make a correct choice…When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself.  You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.”

We cannot work much harder but we need to work smarter.  We presented at Zone Conference and are working on several steps to increase our success.  Distilled down, these steps determine our overall direction.

Overall Direction:
·      Gave the ball to the Stakes and told them, “The Mission plan is your show, the mission will follow and support your Plan.”
·      Trained by President Boom and Oddens in Antwerpen and Den Haag
·      Rocks – We are making a serious effort to internalize the attributes of Christ
·      President Kearon Conference increased our vision
·      Announced - Operation Build a Stake
·      Zone Leaders now do 2 Zone Trainings per quarter
·      Leadership 101 required of mission leaders, help your people succeed
·      Presentation Skills
·      Push to Work Smart

Elders and Sisters, please review your notes from the Zone Conference last week.  There was a great deal of material presented that will help us work smarter.  Prayerfully consider steps you can personally take to improve your performance and make commitments to improve.  The spirit converts.  Aside from how hard we work and our personal worthiness, we have control over only one thing: how good we are at doing what we do.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas.  This time of year is special to honor the Savior, Jesus Christ, for his offering.  Through the atonement we can return with our families to live with our Father in Heaven after this life.  We can also enjoy rich fulfillment and a blessed life while we are here.  The atonement allows us to do this by enduring to the end after we accept required saving ordinances.  When we endure to the end He will purify and perfect us.
President Robinson 

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