Sunday, October 6, 2013

President's Weekly Letter #56

The Total Mind Shift (Part 2)

In Zone Conference last week we presented the Total Mind Shift and outlined 6 important steps that will assist missionaries to realize more baptismal success as we think of doing missionary work with a different mindset.  The last 3 steps are:

 “Give me success”.  In the Book of Mormon, Alma and Amulek completed their mission in and around Zarahemla, Zeezrom was converted, the city of Ammonihah was destroyed, the sons of Mosiah returned with the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi from their 14 year mission.  Alma again put together a missionary effort; this time to the Zoramites because of the sickening wickedness that had come among the people.  He took with him 3 of the sons of Mosiah, two of his own sons, Amulek and Zeezrom.  Before they entered the land of Zoram he prayed for himself and then offered essentially the same prayer for his companions.

“30 … O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people doth pain my soul.
 31 …wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. … that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me…

 32 O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success…”(Alma 31:30-32)

In summary he stated:  I need strength to bear my infirmities because I am infirm, the wickedness of the people pains me, I need Christ’s comfort to have patience to suffer afflictions that will come and finally he asked, “give me success.”  This is an interesting prayer because we would all offer the same prayer with no difference today in Belgium and Holland. 

They then departed without purse or script (handbag and money).

“ 37 And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on.
 38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.” (Alma 31:37-38)

In a similar circumstance most of us would immediately begin wondering where our next meal would come from or where we would sleep that night.  We would have to simply trust the Lord that he would provide. That would test my faith.  But, in a larger sense, do we not all symbolically go out daily without spiritual purse or script?  We depend entirely on the Lord for our spiritual support symbolically just as manna that came every day from the Lord and it could not be stored up.  They had to depend on the Lord to receive it.  The Lord has commanded you  to teach all nations and to baptize; he also promised, “I am with you.” (Matt. 28:19-20)  Your total mind shift must include awareness of your dependency on him and your real expectation for success with comfort from him.

The field is white ready to harvest.  There are many references in the scriptures of the white field that is ready to harvest.  In John 4:35 Christ stated even though it was the spring of the year the fields are white ready to harvest as he viewed a previously “dead city”, Samaria.  In Alma 26:5 Ammon talks about the many sheaves he gathered because the field was white among a “dead city”, the Lamanites.  In DC 33:6-9, the Lord stated the field is white already to harvest, commanded us to open our mouths and they shall be filled and reap with all our strength and mind.  Notice the order of opening and filling.  If you do you will be blessed as Nephi of old.  And you are commanded to spare not, meaning never avoid sharing with people you may perceive as unapproachable.  You are promised many sheaves if you do.   There is no question what the Lord expects.  Your culture must be to find, teach and baptize by energetic work and spending our time out with the people where the field is white and ready to harvest.  This must be part of the total mind shift.

Set Spiritual Goals.  I am constantly asked why we cannot find more people to teach.  Why is it so hard? I do not know all the answers but do know that your approach to the work and attitude play a big part in your success.  Brigham Young said something to the effect, “I am grateful to be a member of a practical church because mere theory never saved anybody.”  I am convinced that through the power of goal setting you can greatly change your success trajectory.  Goals are powerful.  Without goals you are essentially, “putting a rubber band around a puff of smoke.” (Elder Maynes)  In business, I found the simple process of setting goals and writing them down provided a huge step in achieving the goals.  Elder Ballard agrees (PMG p. 146):

“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.” –Elder M. Russell Ballard

We did a simple calculation of reverse planning at Zone Conference.  To baptize once per month, we looked at how many lessons each companionship must teach and how many contacts must be made to achieve this.  This is how it shook out:
·      312 Contacts, solid people who visit with you and receive an invitation to hear Les.1
·      39 Lesson 1
·      12 Lesson 2
·        6 Lesson 3
·        3 Lesson 4
·        1 Baptism

This calculates to about 10 contacts per day per companionship (Elder Ballard asked us to do 20) and 2 lessons per day per companionship.  There you go for a basis to make intermediate goals besides the baptism goal.  Remember, zero is not a goal.

Goal setting is more complicated than this when you are talking about baptisms.  Your baptism goal should not be a personal desire based on what you want to achieve. It ought to be a spiritual goal because God knows who he has prepared for you plus someone else has a decision to make before baptism.  These are outside your control.  The question is, does God already know how many people he has prepared for you to baptize during the rest of your mission?  Should your minimum goal, of the number that you will baptize, be the same number?  Would he be able to reveal that number to you? Once you know his will, can you make that a spiritual minimum goal and commit to it with Heavenly Father?  Remember zero is not a goal.

Consider the difference in your daily work with a spiritual minimum goal of baptism that you feel is confirmed by your Father in Heaven.  You will know you are going to find someone because you know your Father in Heaven’s plan for you.  You will work with more faith and expectations.  Your optimism and excitement will increase.  Ultimately your success will increase.  This attitude is a must in the total mind shift.
President Robinson

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