President's Pen 1-30-17 (Key Indicators)

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, receiving the 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 that teach repentance and baptize converts and the best missionaries in the world!

Elders & Sisters,

We love ya!  Thanks for being missionaries who fully understand their purpose and for your efforts to teach repentance and baptize converts.  We succeed as we open our mouths and invite all to come unto Christ.  Your effort matters today and every day.  Continue being the wonderful and profitable servants you are!

A major change was announced to the way we will report key indicators each week and I know this is an inspired direction as we focus on our effort to teach repentance and baptize converts.  As we are taught in Preach My Gospel, “Key indicators have been developed by Church leaders to help you focus on your purpose… these indicators identify events and conditions that show a person’s progress towards enduring conversion.”  Going forward we will only report the four key indicators that truly measure what we hope for and desire as we help all we invite to come unto Christ: Baptism/Confirm, Investigators with a Baptismal Date, Investigators Attending Church, and New Investigators.

I have pondered on the reasons for this change and I wanted to share my thoughts with you on why this will help us be more focused on our purpose.  The first thing we need to consider is that even though we won’t report on member present lessons, other lessons, referrals, progressing investigators, and lessons with less actives/recent converts, these activities and events are still critical to our success and you should still set goals and make plans for each as you weekly and daily plan.

Let’s take member present lessons as an example of how this leads to the desired results we want.  Lessons with a member present is about helping an investigator find common ground, a friend, someone to ask questions to, someone to sit with at church, someone who encourages them to be baptized, someone who has a similar background, someone who will love and fellowship them.  The four key indicators we report on each week are dramatically influenced by a member friend.  A wise missionary won’t worry about it as a number, and never should, they see a member friend as vital to teaching repentance and baptizing converts.  They will still make plans and set goals to have as many members out as possible as they know more people come unto Christ and stay active in the Church when a member is involved in their conversion.  You may not report it, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t vitally important!

Let’s consider what it means to have a progressing investigator and how this helps us stay focused on our purpose.  Someone progressing is keeping their commitments.  We see them reading, praying, coming to church, keeping commandments, and accepting the invitation to be baptized.  We set goals and make plans to help people progress through these commitments and we do everything we can to bless them on their road to conversion.  A wise missionary will still set goals and make plans to invite and help someone progress.  You may not report it, but it is still vitally important to your efforts.

Let’s consider what it means to work with recent converts and less active members.  We are responsible to teach the five new member lessons following baptism.  This is a great opportunity to re-teach the gospel principles they have recently learned and to establish long term patterns of gospel living.  This isn’t about a number; it’s about keeping everyone in the fold.  Our recent converts are also the most effective member missionaries and a great resource in helping us find.  Working with our less active members is a blessing as we help them rekindle the fire of faith that once burned as they lived the gospel principles more fully.  We invite them to pray, to read the Book of Mormon, and when they’re ready come back to church.  They are one of the best resources for us to find and we want them back in the fold.  A wise missionary sets goals and makes plans to work with their recent converts and less active members as it is vitally important to our efforts.

Let’s examine referrals and why they are so important to us.  A wise missionary recognizes that referrals from members lead to more success than any individual finding we do on our own.  Missionaries who are teaching members and tenaciously following up with them have more success.  Over 70 percent of baptisms in the Great Texas Houston South Mission come from working with members.  Missionaries who earn trust from their members see the fruits of their efforts and they set goals and make plans to teach as many members as they possibly can in a week.  Referrals our vitally important to our efforts and we must continue to set goals and make plans to find constantly through everyone and anyone we meet.   

I hope the few examples above allow you to see that although we only report on the indicators that matter most, it doesn’t change our goals and plans as we strive to teach repentance and baptize converts.  In the past, some may have measured success by the number of lessons they taught, or referrals received, or LARCS taught and visited.  While all of these things are good, they are all a means to an end in helping us focus on our purpose.  Some key indicators are good, some are better, and some are best. The four we will now focus on are the best! I love this inspired direction and I know you will all continue set goals and make plans to help all come unto Christ using the resources and guidelines in Preach My Gospel. 

As we were taught so well at the missionary broadcast, a successful day includes our effort and commitment to help someone increase their faith in the Savior and His Atonement, change their lives and more closely follow the Savior, prepare for baptism or partake of the sacrament, help them feel and recognize the Spirit, and help them joyfully endure life as they live gospel principles.  Everything we do is tied to our purpose and our key indicators are simply a reflection of what we are doing to accomplish that purpose.

Elders & Sisters, my invitation to you is to live the doctrine of Christ and gain a personal witness of why it matters to you.  Then do all you can each week to find!  When you find teach them powerfully and boldly by inviting them to make and keep commitments.  Invite all to be baptized and set baptismal dates with them that they look forward to and are working towards.  Do everything you can dream of to help them come to church and be relentless in helping them arrive and have a great experience.  Desire, dream, talk about, and focus on helping people repent and be baptized.  This is the only way they can return to live with God and as the Lord’s representatives you are the only people on the planet that have the authority to make this happen in your area.  Be accountable, be tenacious, be who the Lord needs you to be; an instrument in His hands.  Love ya!

President Hall

Mission Update

Please make sure you have reviewed the preparation materials for Elder Zwick’s visit next week.  Continue to focus on helping our new converts enjoy the blessings of the temple.  Our next temple night is Friday, February 17th.