Thursday, March 26, 2015

3-26-15 Mission Leadership Council

 Our new AP conducting:
With so many new sisters coming to the mission, each of our sister trainer leaders are also trainers! Their companions were also invited to join MLC this month:
 New STLs and ZLs this month:
 Presenting the Church's Easter Initiative: Because He Lives!
Sloppy Joes for lunch:) 

 Milk and Ranger Cookies (milk-free):

 The Challenging and Testifying Missionary:
 APs train on being testifying missionaries over just teaching missionaries:
 Practicing being bold in inviting and testifying:

 Several mission leaders were invited to share how being a challenging and testifying missionary has blessed their mission:

 President ties being bold and inviting people to baptism...
 to establishing stakes in Zion:
 Closing with the mission song:

March Mission Leaders:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

3-16-15 President's Weekly Letter

Dear Elders and Sisters,

As I read your emails last week, many of you shared experiences and comments pertaining to our recent “Power Week.” I enjoyed your thoughts and insights. I am always pleased that missionaries realize how important personal and companion study is in order to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11) and go forth each day to perform the labors to which you have been called. There will be times in your life when things press upon you and make it difficult to find time for scripture study. Remember how you felt last week, as you sacrificed your preparation time in order to be obedient and diligent. We must carefully choose between good, better and best.

Many of you remarked on the difficulty of the challenges and the lessons learned as you tried your best to accomplish the “mission” of the day. Your comments reminded me of a wonderful lesson from Church history that helps us keep things in perspective. During a difficult period of the early days of the Church, the Prophet Joseph had moved from Kirtland, Ohio to Far West, Missouri and had asked the members of the Church to follow him and relocate in Missouri. Many of the saints had homes and property in Ohio that had not been sold and were therefore reluctant to follow the prophet’s entreaty. Some of the brethren that stayed behind in Kirtland were Church leaders and they were caught up in a spirit of worldliness and pride.

There was, however, one man, Oliver Granger, who was a faithful leader and a good businessman. He was entrusted with settling the debts of the First Presidency and maintaining the good name of the Church. Speaking of Oliver Granger, the Lord said, “His name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever…. And when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase” (D&C 117:12-13). How would you feel if the Lord said that your name “shall be had in sacred remembrance forever and ever?” It is notable that the Lord did not say, “if he falls, he shall rise again,” He said, “when he falls” The Lord is mindful of our weaknesses and willing to sustain and support us without expecting perfection.

Finally, it is interesting to note that the Lord cares more about our efforts and sacrifices than He does about our actual performance. Everyone who serves with all of their heart, mind and strength will receive the Lord’s appreciation and commendation. How kind and generous is our Savior! We should be as kind and generous to ourselves.

I loved this power week lesson from one of our missionaries, “Something that I was reminded of was the power from our temple covenants. On my first day here in [my new area] I started having a tiny breakdown in my mind. Like, "How am I supposed to get to know this area in only 2 weeks? How will I be able to convey all my feelings to [my new companion]? How is [this all] going to work out? Etc." But then I just said a prayer as we were walking around saying, "Heavenly Father please help me. Give me strength. Help me get a hold of the power that I get from the temple, from the covenants that I've made with Thee." And it worked! I seriously felt so much better, less overwhelmed…. I know Heavenly Father is always there to help us and I have experienced the power of the covenants I have made with Him! It was so cool!”

I am so grateful for the sacrifices that you make and for your best efforts. I appreciate these so much more than your numbers. Your name shall be had in my sacred remembrance for all eternity.

President Blickenstaff
Mentor of Champions

PS. Last week 100% of our week A goals rolled over to baptism! We now have 23 baptisms for March. We have two more weekends and 40 week A and B goals. Let’s pray and exercise our faith to roll over these goals! We can do it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3-18-15 New Arrivals

They're finally here, safe and sound! Nine new missionaries plus one elder returning after an injury…
hurrah for Israel!
Bus ride to Taichung, missionaries get an introduction by Pres. & Sis. Blickenstaff and the APs, as well as an opportunity to introduce themselves and share their expectations for their mission.
 APs sharing miracle stories:
 After a very short night, up for a traditional Taiwanese breakfast with seasonal fruit:
President starts the day sharing mission vision, goals and plans:
 Followed by a full day of orientation and training:
 Developing contacting skills:
 Practice, evaluate, re-practice:

Welcome dinner: 
 Brave duck brain takers: 
He said it wasn't bad!
 That leaves the fish eyes:
 Here it goes!
 After an evening of contacting, reviewing their experience of overcoming fears:
Headed for a good night's rest!

3-18-15 Temple Trip

 Temple Day for Zhongxing and Taichung Zones:
 Blessings of being a full-time temple worker: 
getting to see your missionary daughter, with an assignment from the president to give her a hug!
 ALWAYS love to see our returned missionaries!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3-18-15 Departing Missionaries

 Last Supper at the mission home:

 Farewell Fireside:

 Getting ready to sing the mission song together for the last time:

 We will miss you all SO much!
 Bus ride to Taipei:
 Together at the Taipei Temple:

Love seeing our released missionaries returning to the temple!
Off to the airport early Wednesday morning:
 All except for this last elder, departing late the same night and headed for Argentina where his parents are presiding over the Argentina Rosario Mission!
You will always be a part of our family forever!