Monday, September 8, 2014


Mission Tour Message

Dear Sisters and Elders,

Sister Ostler and I really enjoyed our time with you this past week. It was such a spiritual feast, being with the missionaries we love and being instructed by Elder and Sister Ardern!
Elder and Sister Ardern taught many different things over the four days we were together. I thought it might be helpful to share a few of the things from my notes:
You cannot put a crust (small piece of bread) on the altar of the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.
Learn the Lessons From the Lord:
You are here to learn the lessons the Lord wants to teach you.
Every day, write down the lesson the Lord taught you that day. If we don't do that, we will go home "empty-minded." We won't notice the lessons and we won't remember the lessons. At the end of your mission you should have hundreds of lessons the Lord has taught you.
Scripture Study:
Study some of the Book of Mormon every day. When reading the Book of Mormon, he never turns the page without learning the lesson from that page. He writes down the lesson he learns.
Ponder what you read. This is very important. The fruit of pondering is understanding.
The Lord packs more into a verse of scripture than we usually unpack.
Ask yourself the question: "What is Satan's place of entrance into my life?"
Mediocrity is the tool of the Devil. You will be overtaken by temptation if you are just "getting by."
You have 18 or 24 months to serve this mission...and the rest of your life to think about how you served. Make the most of it!
Be kind to yourself. Don't pound on yourself. As you evaluate what you have done think: "What can I do better NEXT time?" not "What should I have done better LAST time?" If we constantly think about our past mistakes and what we should have done, we don't put our energy into the future. (Make sure you fully repent of any past sins, but don't dwell on them after you have.)
Don't say: "I testify that what my companion said is true." Constantly using that phrase, or using the word "testify" so often, is distracting to the investigator. Bear testimony to what your companion says in a more meaningful way. For example, if your companion talked about the atonement, you could say something like: "The atonement of Jesus Christ means so much to me because he took my sins away. It is wonderful to feel clean." This is much more meaningful than saying "I know that what my companion taught is true."
Humility is the prerequisite for fulfilling any calling.
From President Monson: "Search the scriptures diligently. Your confidence will be directly related to your knowledge of God's will."
We are not yet a Preach My Gospel Mission. In a Preach My Gospel Mission, every missionary studies Preach My Gospel every day. We need to do this.
Become a master gospel teacher. Teach the doctrine. ("Short, powerful lessons" are fine, but we cannot leave out the doctrine.)
Sister Ardern: "To be a representative of Jesus Christ is the greatest honor a person could ever have."
Match the message: in behavior, in dress, in grooming, in spirit.
Every missionary in the Manila Mission needs to care just as much about the converts and reactivated members of other missionaries as he does about his own.
ALWAYS act on the impressions of the Spirit.
These are just a few of the notes from the ten pages of notes I wrote down. But the most important notes were the ones that were private items that the spirit shared with me--things I need to change--things I need to do to become a better disciple of Christ--people I need to reach out to.
We learned just as much by HOW Elder and Sister Ardern taught as we did by WHAT they taught. They were kind, direct, loving and encouraging. They expressed love and pointed out things to change. Above all, they told us again and again "We are just ordinary people...called to do extraordinary things."
At the end of the week the Arderns met with us and gave us feedback and suggestions. They then assigned me to pray about what the Lord taught me this week, to counsel with Elders Limocon and Obray, and then to follow the promptings of the Lord on what to do in our mission. I have been fasting and praying to get the Lord's direction and am very grateful for His guidance in my life. There will be more to come!
I invite you do do what Elder Ardern asked several of the zones to do: Write down the five things that you need to change in your life. Then meet as companions and make a list of the seven things you will change as a companionship. And then ACT on your promptings.
My the Lord bless you my dear friends and fellow servants of Heavenly Father. You are in my prayers and thoughts. The Lord is aware of you and is grateful for every small act of service or sacrifice you do.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Ostler