My birthday was back in September. At that time, I sent a letter to all of our missionaries. I intended to turn it into a blog post, but failed to do so. But, since repentance is an eternal principle, I will repent and undertake posting the letter written two months ago. I hope it will be of interest.
22 Sep 2014
Elders and Sisters:
Over the past weekend, I passed my birthday. Many of you sent me a text or made a phone call expressing birthday greetings. Today the Assistants presented me with a book containing birthday greetings, cards, and notes from many of you. I have been overwhelmed with love for each and every one of you as I read the letters, text messages and other notes.
During the past several months I have been reviewing Missionary Recommendation forms for new missionaries. As I do so, the Spirit whispers to me that the "noble and great ones" are being called to the India Bangalore Mission. I know by the confirmation of the Spirit that you are among the very best missionaries anywhere in the world. Each one of you has been called to serve in this mission right now because God knew that you were needed here. You are here because of direct revelation, not merely because of administrative process or because of convenience. Some of you may feel that you should not or cannot be here. Maybe you are overwhelmed because of what is being asked of you. Do not despair. Heavenly Father knows you and He sent you here at this time because this is where you are needed. Sister Berrett and I are blessed now, and will be blessed for eternity, to be able to work with you. We are humbled because of the greatness of your spirits and because of the contributions you will make to God's work now and in the future.
Under USA customs, birthdays are a time to gather families together, eat too much food, and play with grandchildren. This year on my birthday, I left Sister Berrett in the mission home, flew to Chennai, spent several hours studying, pondering, and then writing study materials for the trainers of new missionaries. Then I went out for the evening to work with a missionary companionship. I enjoyed riding on a bus, walking, meeting with members, walking some more, riding on a train, walking some more, meeting with investigators, walking some more, and then eating cake with the Chennai Zone and several Young Single Adults. I think this may have been the best birthday I have experienced in many years. I loved it.
Thank you to all of you for your dedicated service. We love you.