Dear Elders and Sisters,
The past few months we have focused on developing Christ like attributes. Becoming more like the Savior is a lifelong process. Do not be discouraged in your quest. During your mission and throughout your life continue to work on your “Being.” Our “Doing” also plays an important part in becoming a successful missionary. I know the Lord will bless each of you in your efforts in both these areas (being and doing) as you exercise faith and diligence and continue to DO those things we have been taught to do as the Lord’s missionaries.
I love Alma 37. This chapter consists of Alma’s commandments to his son Helaman. Alma teaches us some wonderful principles in this chapter that we need to understand to become successful missionaries. In verses 6 and 7 he teaches:
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me, but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purpose; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
This principle of small and simple is key to our success as missionaries. This principle is taught in many places in the scriptures. In the book of James we read;
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Becoming a successful “Preach My Gospel” missionary is governed by this same principle. I am continually amazed at how simple the formula is to become a successful missionary. While we sometimes feel the work is hard, and it can be trying at times, what we have been commanded to do as missionaries is actually quite simple. I pray we do not forget the promises of the Lord to His servants and this principle of small and simple things. We have been taught and commanded to DO some small and simple things everyday and every week as we serve as missionaries. It is these small and simple things that lead us to success and help us feel the true joy of missionary service.
In the D&C the Lord teaches us that out of small things proceedeth a great work:
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
The Lord also taught this principle to the Nephites. The Liahona pointed the way they should travel in the wilderness and it only worked according to their faith.
…and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things. (1 Nephi 16:29)
The Lord works miracles according to our faith and diligence. However, sometimes things He asks us to do seem so simple or unimportant that we forget or neglect to do them. Alma understood this and taught it to his son Helaman in Alma 37:40-41
And it (the Liahona) did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day. Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
Elders and Sisters, let us not be slothful in DOING those things we have been commanded. Keeping the daily schedule, prayer and fasting, planning daily and weekly, opening our mouths and speaking with people wherever we go using natural conversations. These are small and simple things that will allow the Lord to do a great work through us. Diligently DOING these things shows our faith and diligence to the Lord and qualifies us to be found worthy to see the blessings of successful missionary work.
I love the words of the Lord to the Saints as recorded in D&C 123
16 You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, 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.
May we cheerfully and diligently DO in faith all those things that have been asked of us as missionaries, no matter how small or simple they may seem. As we do so, I know with the utmost assurance we will continue to witness the miracles of the Lord here in the Kobe Mission.
May the Lord Bless Each of You!
President and Sister McIntyre