Sunday, February 5, 2017

2017-02-05 President's Message

Dear Elders and Sister,
Thank you for bringing a wonderful spirit of dedication, faithfulness and obedience to our zone conferences last week. You are so much better than you can imagine! You have so much more influence for good than you can imagine! I am so very proud of you.

Last week we introduced our new mission vision. It follows the training we received in January from the Missionary Executive Council of the Church. This training focused on the importance of teaching faith in Christ, repentance and baptizing true converts to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our new mission vision is simple: "TEACH REPENTANCE AND BAPTIZE MARAMING CONVERTS" or, in pure English: "Teach Repentance and Baptize Many Converts"

Our vision and goal is to help everyone we teach become truly converted, as described in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37:
"...All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church."

We will no longer spend much time on family history or temple preparation since the wards and branches will be responsible for this work. In most areas we will also spend much less time with less active members of the church (although working with less-actives will still be an important part of our work on Palawan.)

I am excited about this change. Focusing on teaching repentance means that we will really help our precious contacts develop faith in Christ and learn about His Atonement and how they can change their lives through faith in Him. Desiring to receive the power of the Atonement in their lives will naturally lead to baptism and receiving the great gift of the Holy Ghost. They will be truly converted as these truths sink deep into their hearts and as they are blessed by the Spirit of the Lord.

Now, as you do your weekly and daily planning, you will be focusing on teaching repentance and baptizing converts. Very simple. Very focused.Now is the time for you to become great, baptizing missionaries:
"...and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God." (Alma 17:2-3)

The deeper your conversion, the better you will be able to help others become converted.
"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing--unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance... (Alma 26:22)

Take courage! "Now, when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us and said: Go amongst thy brethren...and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give you success." (Alma 26:27)

Dear Sisters and Elders, go forward with renewed faith, hope and courage. The Lord will bless you and those you love. I promise He will.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler