Friday, February 20, 2009

President's Message February 2009

Dear Elders and Sisters,
Sister McIntyre and I again want to express our love and gratitude to each of you for your diligent service as missionaries in the Japan Kobe Mission. It truly is an honor and a blessing to serve with you.
We are continually striving to become a Preach My Gospel Mission. We all know what it means to be a Successful Preach My Gospel Missionary. We have studied this and will continue to do so. This transfer I want to focus on one key component of what it means to be a Preach My Gospel Missionary. It can be found in our mission theme. The Spirit is the Key.

President Benson taught that “The Spirit is the most important single element in this work. With the Spirit you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field.” The Spirit will help you draw upon the knowledge and skills you have developed to help you teach more powerfully. (See PMG p. 176)

The Spirit will give you confidence to open your mouth. A bold missionary is not rude or annoying. Rather he is not afraid to testify of Jesus Christ and the restored gospel. He is confident in, and understands his purpose, and therefore is not afraid to ask others to make and keep commitments. His power comes from his faith in Christ and he knows that the Spirit is the key. So he strives to be worthy to have the Spirit with him always.

As missionaries, the need for the spirit is two-fold. First, we must have the Spirit ourselves and second, we must help those we teach feel and recognize the Spirit as part of their conversion process. The first always precedes the second. In other words, we must first obtain the Spirit ourselves, so we can teach and testify in a manner that the Spirit can work through us to allow those we teach feel and recognize it and be converted.

“Seek not to declare my word, but first to obtain my word, then shall your tongue be loosed; then if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.” (D&C 11:21)

How can we ensure that we are worthy to have the Spirit with us so we can be successful missionaries? The first criterion for having the Spirit is personal worthiness. Obedience is the price. Obedience to all the commandments and the mission rules and guidelines is essential. Sincere repentance can bring the Spirit back if you do not feel the Spirit and need to make changes in your life or mission.

Second, we must invite the Spirit and ask for guidance and strength from our Father in Heaven. As a missionary, we invite the Spirit into our lives and daily activities when we start out the day with Prayer and Scripture Study. The missionary morning and evening schedule is designed to help you invite and keep the Spirit with you always. Obedience is the price. Obedience to the schedule (morning and nightly study and planning) qualify you for the guidance of the Spirit. Pray with faith morning and evening and throughout the day as you seek out and teach people. Effective prayer invites the Spirit and takes great effort. (see PMG p. 94)

As a missionary the Spirit will help you know where to go? What to do? What to say and how to teach more effectively. The Spirit will lead you to scriptures to help you learn and to help you teach others about the restored gospel. The Spirit is the Key.

As you teach people the gospel, testify boldly, use scriptures and share personal spiritual experiences. All these things will help you bring the Spirit which you have with you, unto the hearts of those you teach. (see 2 Nephi 33:1) As you teach with the Spirit and those you teach feel the power of that Spirit, they will be able to make and keep commitments and progress towards baptism.

I testify to each of you that this is the Lord’s work. It is only through the Spirit that we can truly be successful and move it forward. May we all live worthy and strive to have the Spirit with us always.

May the Lord bless each of you.
President and Sister McIntyre

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