Sunday, February 9, 2014


One of the great opportunities of being a mission president is reading the weekly letters from our missionaries. Though the process is time consuming and never stops as missionaries write each P-Day, it is without question a faith promoting experience.

As an aside, I have no idea how a president with 200+ missionaries keeps up with the letters. I only receive about 85-90 per week and struggle to stay up with the letters.

I have decided that from time to time I will share some of these letters. I will use the missionary's own language, except where I may need to smooth out the English for some of our Indian missionaries. To help preserve privacy, I will not use names. I think they are not necessary to feel the spirit of these wonderful servants of the Lord.

I start with a statement from the mother of one of our missionaries:

"You do not go on a mission to be the person you were when you left your hometown. You go on a mission to be the person you were when you left the presence of your Heavenly Father."

One of our missionaries recently told me of his experience with an investigator walking into our Church:

"It was amazing to see how God has been doing his work, once again. We tried our hardest to get some people to church, but none of our newer people made it. To make up for it, the Lord sent very well-prepared people to us yesterday at church. A man named Stephen showed up in the area near our building, and saw the different churches around that area. He saw "JESUS CHRIST" emblazoned on our wall, and knew that the Lord wanted him to go there. Thank heavens that a member intercepted him, and welcomed him warmly. She pulled us out of Gospel Principles to introduce us. As the story plays out, he told us he wanted us to come to his home that night. Once we got there, we met his wife Mary. We had a great visit getting to know them, and applied what you helped us practice in zone conference. Stephen was able to tell Mary what had happened to him earlier that day, and that the Lord had sent him there. We asked something like, "What is happening in your life that God would send us here?" (It wasn't that exactly, but the same point.) We learned that she has been looking for greater peace for her family. She has been a little upset that Stephen has not been involving her in their relationship a lot. She wants a peaceful happy family. Stephen loves the Bible and going to churches, but is looking for something more. Once we learned everything, we testified to Mary that God had sent her husband to our church today so that God could bless her life with the things she's been missing! Before we even taught anything, we testified that the Lord had brought us together because He knows what they need, and that we can give it to them. She felt the Spirit profoundly and said that it was a miracle!"

We see wonderful results when the missionaries listen to and feel the Spirit as they teach:

"Yesterday we were teaching a new investigator family. As we have entered into their home and as we started to speak we came to know that they are from strong christian background and they didn't show much interest in our message. A thought came into my mind to teach the plan of salvation but we were about to teach the restoration. I told to my companion that I felt like we need to teach the plan of salvation and he said he felt the same. As we were teaching the lesson when we came to purpose of the life my companion explained that while we live on this earth we need to follow the five principles of the gospel. As he started to explain about the faith repentance baptism and holy-ghost, suddenly one sister from the investigator's family asked us a question: "I have faith and I repented of my sins and I took baptism 20 years ago but till now I didn't received the holy ghost, why?" As soon as we listen, we came to know what we need to say now. We started to explain why priesthood is necessary and it really made them to think a lot. The head of the house asked us to explain more briefly about the priesthood and they understood that authority(priesthood) is really important. His next question was "how can I receive the authority?" When we see their desire we know what we need to say. Before, we do not know who they are and what they are going through. But God knows. Not only in that if we give heed unto the spirit we will know how we can find the people which God has prepared for us. All that we need to do is to be worthy to have the spirit of the Lord within us and do the things he asked us to do. I know it is true president."

I am grateful for wonderful missionaries who are obedient, and thereby are enabled to work side by side with their Heavenly Father is the work of salvation. I am thankful every day that we have the privilege and opportunity to work with these called and set apart ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

New Missionaries

Fast Sunday in January was a wonderful mission wide opportunity to seek Heaven's assistance with visas. Our prayers were soon answered, as visas were issued for 11 missionaries who have been waiting for a long time. (See my post of 19 Jan 2014.)

During the past two weeks they arrived.

First, we received back from the Philippines two of our missionaries whose visas were renewed. Elders Britton and Pehrson are wonderful missionaries. We have missed them while they served in the Philippines awainting renewal of their visas. It is great to have them back.

Then, last week we had 9 missionaries arrive from the US. Several of them have been waiting for about 18 months for their opportunity to come to India. For several reasons, their applications were delayed in filing, and then took several months for processing. I am sure that these long term waiters had about given up. I am glad that our prayers, and I think theirs also, were heard. These experienced missionaries should have an immediate impact on the work here in India.

Thank you to all of the family and friends who joined your prayers with ours to bring these great young men to join us. We are privileged to have them here. We assure their parents that we will take good care of them.