Sunday, November 13, 2016

2016-11-14 President's Message

Dear Sisters and Elders,

We have just finished 6 weeks of zone interviews. I want you to know that meeting with each of you is one of the greatest blessings of my life. Every day before interviews start, I pray to the Lord, thanking Him for the opportunity to meet with you and asking for His help to lift, encourage, correct and counsel you. As I greet each of you I always have three overwhelming feelings:

1. You are a precious valuable daughter or son of God--dearly loved by Him.

2. You have great potential. Much more potential than you realize.

3. Great love for you, coupled with great gratitude to Heavenly Father that I can know you and serve with you.

Sister Ostler shares exactly the same feelings.

Thank you my dear friends and fellow-servants of the Lord. Thank you for serving the Lord as a missionary and thank you for your great faith and diligent work.


In October we experienced the highest number of souls who were baptized this year so far. We are grateful for you efforts. This success has come because, as a mission, you are Opening Your Mouth and talking to about 15,000 people per week. This takes courage and faith and commitment. You are also mining the Gold Mine of part-member families and member referrals. There are also many baptisms and many Conversion Indicators in the pipeline. Thank you!

As we counseled together as a Mission Leadership Council, we felt that we could do even better if we made some changes in our Finding efforts. These changes were introduced in your zone meetings last week.

1. We are committed to opening our mouths and talking to everyone we can. We want to earn the promises in Doctrine and Covenants 31:8-10 (OYM and your mouth will know what to say and you will be "laden with sheaves"=many converts)

2. We want to increase the QUALITY of these contacts. Sometimes, in order to talk to as many people as possible, we are rushing everything too fast. We need to:

a. Make a better personal connection with the people we OYM. Build a small relationship of trust and understanding. Show more personal interest.

b. Share something from our Unique Message with each person you talk to. Giving them a pamphlet or inviting them to church rarely brings anyone to baptism. In some situations that is all we can do and that is OK. Sometimes that is the first step. But as often as possible we need to share something unique and try to set up a time to teach. What is our unique message? Eternal families, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, living prophets. Ours in not just a nice message. It is not just a true message. It is a message that will change your life!

c. Focus on finding families

d. Focus on building the number of Progressing Investigators in our teaching pool.

e. Above all, carry the Spirit of the Lord with you so that they will FEEL something, even if they reject the message at this time.

The purpose of OYMs is to increase the number of people we are teaching who will enter the waters of baptism and make covenants with Heavenly Father. It is never just to reach some goal number.

For this reason, we have adjusted the mission OYM target down to 15 people per day or 105 per week. (In some parts of Palawan the target is lower.) We have lowered it so that you will have the time to focus on quality conversations and on getting more investigators who will progress. (Asking for referrals does not count as an OYM.) This lower number seems like it will be much easier to reach, and it is, but remember, you will now be able to use the extra time to build relationships and to focus on finding people who are truly searching for the truth.

Every missionary companionship needs to have a goal for Progressing Investigators. The ideal number of Progressing Investigators is probably 10 per companionship, but very few companionships are close to this. This is only possible if you are teaching some families as well as individuals. I invite you to set specific weekly goals for Progressing Investigators. Make your goals prayerfully and realistically.  Then make your plans on how you will accomplish this. Goals first and then Plans.

I am excited to see the results from this change in focus. I am excited to see an increasing number of Progressing Investigators and baptisms.

Each week, as I look at your reports, I look at:

1. Conversion Indicators (baptisms, full activity, temple baptisms, temple prep, temple ordinances)

2. Progressing Investigators

3. OYMs

May the Lord bless you and strengthen you.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler