This past transfer, we have been focusing on the small and simple things we should do as missionaries. We are also continually striving to become more like Christ as we serve as His missionaries. In order to become more effective Preach My Gospel Missionaries, we should look to the scriptures for examples and clues as to how to apply gospel doctrine and missionary principles. This will help us know what those small and simple things are that we should do. Once we identify, learn and understand the doctrines and principles in the scriptures, we must then liken them unto our situation and efforts here in Japan as missionaries. To “liken” means to create a mental bridge between understanding the doctrine and living the doctrine. (See PMG p. 110) President Packer taught that true doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. (See PMG p. 19) As we study the scriptures and come to understand true doctrine, we will change, our investigators will change and the members will change. This is not only applicable to doctrine, but also to principles of missionary effectiveness such as finding, teaching, building trust, etc. found in the scriptures and Preach My Gospel.
In our zone conferences this month, we will study four specific passages or stories in the scriptures so we can better understand the doctrine and liken the scriptures to our efforts here in Japan.
1. John 4 – The story of Christ and the woman at the well
2. Acts 8 – The Story of Phillip and the Eunuch
3. Acts 17- Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill
4. Alma 17 -18 – Sons of Mosiah and Ammon with King Lamoni
These passages of scripture demonstrate some wonderful principles of missionary work and they feature some of the greatest missionaries of all time. Before you study these chapters, pray for the Spirit to open up your mind to understand better the missionary principles taught in these chapters. Then, as you read, have your Preach My Gospel and study journal with you and take careful notes as to what the Spirit teaches you. Cross reference the scriptures with PMG and pay particular attention to clues that will help you become a more effective finder, teacher and missionary. Think about what these passages are teaching you about natural conversations, talking with everyone, find when you teach and teach when you find, asking for referrals, following the Spirit, teaching for understanding, preparation and planning, the importance of and the qualifications for baptism, building trust, the power of service, who will accept your message and many more wonderful principles and concepts from Preach My Gospel. Remember, Preach My Gospel is a tool to help us better understand the scriptures and apply them to our work as missionaries.
As we come to better understand these doctrines and principles in the scriptures and then begin to liken them to our service as missionaries, we will become more effective missionaries.
We are truly seeing the work move forward here in the Japan Kobe Mission and I know it is because of your great faith and diligence as missionaries. We are grateful to each of you for your hard work and sacrifice each day. May the Lord continue to bless you and this mission with great success!
Love President and Sister McIntyre