Sunday, October 6, 2013

President's Weekly Letter #55

The Total Mind Shift (Part1)

As missionaries laboring at this time in the Belgium Netherlands Mission, we need The Total Mind Shift, to experienced more success.  A total mind shift involves the core of your attitude about the work that you do daily.  It involves 6 important attitudes that are necessary for you to possess for the faith necessary to grow the active membership in the church here for the formation of the 5th Stake.  We have more than doubled the missionary force; it is time to more than double our baptisms.

Understand that nothing is too hard for the Lord.  This is almost a trite statement but is spot-on for your increased success.  He wants your success in growing the Church and to split off the 5th Stake in the Mission.   Speaking to Oliver Cowdery and each of you, the Lord said regarding missionary work:

“12 And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.” (DC 24:12)

Simply restated, you are on the Lord’s mission. In your call letter you committed to leaving all worldly desires behind and dedicate all your time, talents, might, mind and strength to the work.  You are to open our mouth continually and you will be given strength that is not known among men.  Nothing is too hard for the Lord.  He can give you success.

Parley P. Pratt was one of the early apostles in the church, a great missionary and martyr.  In 1835, he was called to go on a mission to Toronto, Canada when his wife was about to give birth and while he was living in poverty.  He accepted the call; his family was blessed more than their greatest anticipation and he introduce the Mormon faith to several future LDS leaders along with his brothers Orson and Rigdon.  Others included:  Frederick G. WilliamsJohn Taylor and his wife, Isaac Morley, and Joseph Fielding and his sisters.  He did not have PMG or SMF.  What he did have was fire in his bones regarding his testimony of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith.  What would Parley P. Pratt or Wilford Woodruff be doing if they were serving in our Mission today?  Your total mind shift must realize nothing is too hard for the Lord.

The silver bullet is the Holy Ghost.  Missionary work is difficult and maybe for periods of time without the desired success.  The Holy Ghost is the key to high average success.  I have sold business for years in my engineering company.  Much of what we did to manage business contacts and buyers is common sense in any sales organization.  The same principles apply for missionaries and we have trained on these principles.  But, in business we had to convert the buyer, by our own persuasion and claims, to want our services.  We helped him realize our product was the best value for his dollar.    However, as a missionary you are ordained to preach by the Spirit.  As you teach and testify, the Holy Ghost will convert.  You only have to work smart and put your investigators in a position to frequently feel the spirit.  The Lord said:      

“13 Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained?
14 To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.” (DC 50:13-14)

You have read many times the well know verses in the Doctrine and Covenants 18:14-15 where the Lord calls you to cry repentance unto this people and He points out that if you labor all your days  and bring one soul that your joy will be great and even greater if you bring many.  I find it interesting that immediately following this scripture; He gives you the key to accomplishing this:

18 Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.”  (DC 18:18)

Your total mind shift must include working with the spirit more effectively including:  praying for it, looking for it, expecting it, feeling it and following its promptings.

Stay on purpose to Find – Teach – Baptize.  Your Purpose is a statement that describes your reason for existing and is a guide for all your actions every day.  This defines what you do as a missionary and our cumulative attitudes and actions become the mission culture.  You can recite the memorized Purpose statement, but do you walk the talk?  You as a missionary should get off of your knees every day and be enthused, never drifting off purpose the whole day.  In all your activities including prayer, planning, study; everything is connected to your purpose.

My purpose:
“is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.” (PMG p. 1)

Nothing happens in missionary work until you find somebody to teach.  You invite and help by teaching but ultimately you are here to baptize.  Your purpose can be distilled down to 3 words:  Find – Teach – Baptize.  This is the reason you exist and is the guide to all your acts.

Often your first priority is to complete the rigid schedule in PMG of personal study, companionship study, language study, meals, planning, 12 week, area book, etc., etc.  The second priority is to try to crowd in some work time outside the apartment with the people during the day as well.  The Total Mind Shift must reverse the priorities changing work outside the apartment with the people as the first priority.  What needs to happen is: you wake up, immediately think of the appointments scheduled this day, the finding you must do to increase your teaching pool, contacts you need to call on, members you want to visit and serve, etc.  One hour personal study time should be held sacred but other activities should be almost a burden to do when you would rather be out working.  You should get out of the apartment by 10:30 am after a shortened companionship and language study when possible.  Enjoy some success before the 1:00 pm lunch.  Spend a short lunch so you can stay out working longer each day.  Limit your dinner appointments to 1 hour, do area book during lunch, dinner or before you go to bed, and be efficient with your time.  This is what is meant by staying on purpose.  Time spent with the people is never a variable.

This is not your mission, it is the Lord’s.  You have committed to giving your all to him as you Find – Teach – and Baptize.  Give it to him.  You cannot find people in your apartment.  We are not here to do our best or die trying.  Nobody is asking us to die.  What is asked of us is to Find – Teach – and Baptize.  An attitude of spending more time with the people will greatly enhance your chances to do this.  This attitude is included in the total mind shift.

The remaining 3 attitudes associated with The Total Mind Shift will be outlined next week.
President Robinson 

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