President's Pen 7-27-15 (Full Purpose Missionaries)

As missionaries in the Texas Houston South Mission, we know our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We do this through our constant efforts to find, teach, invite, retain, and activate God’s children; we love it, we live it, and we do it! We begin with the “End in Mind”, and see God’s children as he does. We are Disciples of Jesus Christ and the best missionaries in the world!

Beloved Elders & Sisters, we love you! I have now had the opportunity to interview each of you and we truly do have the best missionaries in the world. Each of you have been blessed with talents and spiritual gifts that are needed in our mission. You all desire to bring many unto Christ and we will truly see miracles as we put our faith and good works in action.

Thanks to each of you as you made a focused effort this week to love and serve your bishops, branch presidents, and mission leaders. I sent them all an email this week to let them know how important they are to our work. I let them know that as missionaries in Texas Houston South we desire to bless them, serve them, and come together as one to hasten the work. We need their trust; we can earn this by being prepared with investigator progress reports, following up on their requests, and strengthening them. Here’s something to consider… How many bishop’s or mission leaders will remember your name when you leave? They see lots of missionaries, but will you be one that they say, “That Elder/Sister (Last Name Here :) was one of the best missionaries we’ve worked with.” Be known for your good works, you’ll leave a positive and memorable impression.

When I arrived a short time ago I emphasized the need for us all to be full-purpose missionaries. We need to become the best at finding, teaching, inviting, retaining, and activating. Many of you have been energized by this opportunity and have taken the time to set goals and make plans to do all of the Lord’s work all the time.

For the month of August we will focus our study and efforts on finding and teaching. If we are to bring many souls unto Christ, we have to be better at finding and we must teach with power and authority (Alma 17:3). Many of you in the interviews stated that you struggle with OYM’ing, As I have listened and observed, a couple of things stand out, first, many are choosing fear over faith, and two, many limit their thinking of how and where we can OYM.

Please consider why the living prophets and apostles would dedicate an entire chapter of Preach My Gospel to finding... Missionary work begins with finding, opening our mouths, and inviting all to learn of the Savior. Chapter 9 is a goldmine of ideas that can inspire and direct you on developing the faith to find, where to find, and, how to make it a part of every lesson and interaction.

In our mission we find an average of 1.5 new investigators per companionship each week. You all know that it requires you to open your mouth many times before you have one new investigator that receives a lesson and accepts a return appointment. To find new investigators is hard work and requires constant and persistent effort.

Let me share a vision of the future with you. If our mission becomes full-purpose in finding we will see miracles! If we were able to increase our finding from 1.5, to 2, to 3, to 4, to 5 new investigators per week, per companion, we would baptize well over 100 souls each month!!! How is this possible? When we find, we teach, when we teach, we invite, and when we invite, people come unto Christ. It’s not a number, it’s an effort that takes setting a goal, making a plan, and then executing that plan.

We can find in so many ways if we put our mind to it… through our own efforts, the members, less active, investigators, former investigators, recent converts, and those that just show up to Church on Sunday seeking the truth.

You can never predict who is interested in the gospel, you are not here to judge who of God’s children will or won’t receive the truth, and you are not here to take away the agency of others by not opening your mouth!!! You will succeed when you open your mouth! Do it often (make a goal, Elder Ballard says at least 10 OYM’s a day), make it a part of every engagement you have with a human being (that’s everyone just in case that isn’t clear). You can do this, choose FAITH over fear and trust that the Lord will bless you for your efforts. Test the Lord’s promise, “seek and you shall find”. Set a goal, make a plan, go and do! GO THSM GO!!! (That’s the Sister Hall cheerleader influence over me. :)

For this week will you please report to me on the following?

1. How will you set a goal and make a plan to OYM differently from now until the end of time?

2. Where do you need to improve in your teaching? Do you use “how to begin teaching”, the pamphlets, transitions with testimony between each principle, listening skills, inspired questions, specific and direct invitations, just to name a few. Please respond specifically with the areas that need your attention.

Message from Sister Hall

To go along with President Hall’s message I would like to share an insight that has helped me “OYM” even though the first day I didn’t know what it stood for. ;) “OYM” is a life skill you will use throughout your life. Here’s what I know…… “When we invite, we succeed!” Don’t fear the asking or the response. It is ok for someone to say no. The “no” may open other doors or opportunities for a “YES”.

Weekly Mission Update

Elders and Sisters – we had 20 souls enter the waters of baptism this month for a remission of their sins. We celebrate their willingness to pass through the gate towards greater blessings. You worked hard to get them to the gate, don’t lose them! Make sure they are progressing towards the temple, a calling, the priesthood, and that they have a member friend. We must be ward and branch builders, let’s help make sure our converts stay for life. We have 5 Sundays in August; we can do better than July, exercise your faith, set a goal, make a plan and find God’s children that need his blessings. You are on your mission to invite all to come unto Christ through baptism, please do all that you can to make this your goal.

We love you, make it a great week!

President Hall