Sunday, February 21, 2016

2016-02-21 President's Message

Dear Elders and Sisters,

I want you to know that I am very grateful for you. You bring the light of the gospel to the wonderful people in our mission. You bring hope. You bring the blessings of the Atonement of Christ. You bring His forgiveness, His peace, His love and His strength to everyone you meet. Every time you open your mouth to share His message, blessings come to the people you meet and to you.

We have just finished our interviews for this transfer. Sister Ostler and I have been deeply touched by your faith, your testimony, your many sacrifices and your hard work. We love you so much!

Church Attendance:

While we were interviewing, each of you attended a Skills Workshop on inviting people to church. I am happy to report that the number of investigators attending church has increased by 50% since the beginning of this transfer! 192 came to church 5 weeks ago and 289 came to church last week. Thank you for having the faith to make this happen.

I am also happy to report that you will be receiving the special Church Invitations and Pass-Along cards this week. Each of the invitations has a picture of your chapel and the time of the meeting. It would be best if a member of the church was the one to give the invitation to your investigators in a special way. The member can then offer to come to church with the investigator and sit with them during the meeting. This is a special invitation--not only because it is nicely printed--It is special because of the way it is presented. (It is not required that a member give the invitation but it would be best if they did so.) Of course, the church invitation pass-along cards can be given out by members or missionaries.

Remember that investigators attending church can:

-Demonstrate their faith in God's commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy.

-Feel the Spirit of the Lord and receive revelation and answers to their questions and concerns.

-Strengthen their faith by receiving revealed truth from leaders, scripture study, and gospel instruction.

-Receive blessings from keeping the Sabbath day holy.

-Establish friendships that will help renew their faith and strengthen their lives.

Let's do all we can to bring people to the blessings of attending church.

Opening Your Mouth:

Thank you also for loving God enough to talk to many more people about Jesus Christ and His church. At the end of November, the average missionary companionship was talking to 46 people per week. Last week the average companionship talked to 128 people. This is more than 2.5 times as many people as before! Soon I expect the average to reach 190 people per week. I have been watching closely. Here is what happens when you put away fear and use your faith to talk to people:

-You find more people who are interested in our message.

-Your personal faith increases.

-Members refer more of their friends because they see AND FEEL your faith and obedience.

-The Lord sends people to you. People approach you on the street or in the jeepney and ask you for information.

-Your missionary skills and abilities increase.

-You feel much happier as a missionary. You are here to share the gospel. The more you share it, the happier you will be!
I am seeing these blessings all over the mission. I am very proud of you and I am excited to see the blessings that will come as we do everything in our power to share the glorious message of the gospel.

I want you to know that our office elders are trying their best at this as well. Even though they are handling mission business all day for 5 days of the week (plus many other times), they are opening their mouths and sharing the gospel. Recently some of the elders went to the Philippines Area Office to take care of some business. Because of their goal to talk to everyone, they even talked to some one who as waiting in the lobby. Surprisingly, he was not a member of the Church, AND, he lives in their area AND agreed to receive the missionary lessons! I invite you to begin now to reach the mission standard of 190 contacts per week (except in some remote areas of Palawan that have slightly lower goals).

"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren [and sisters], let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." (DC 123:17)

May the Lord bless you. May He strengthen you when you feel weak. May He give you peace when you feel stressed.

Mahal na mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler