The Beginning of the Good News

We met with our Mission Leadership Council this week. As always, it is my favorite day of the month. I love these leaders. We do a variety of things during our meeting. We council together about how to improve and how to better support the missionaries.

We developed a new Standard of Excellence this week. Our missionaries will be participating in five service experiences per week. The Samoan people are incredibly generous and do so much to care for our missionaries. They very seldom will allow the missionaries to perform service for them. We decided as a council to watch for spontaneous service opportunities--help someone pull weeds, help someone take their wash off of the line. These service moments don't have to be long. We decided together these kinds of service experiences will bring greater joy for the missionaries and build trust with those they serve.

In an effort to begin to spread the good news. I wrote down some comments from MLC so you can see what remarkable leaders are serving the Lord in Samoa. Each month, the zone leaders study their zone statistics, report on their strengths and weaknesses, and then choose a chapter in Preach My Gospel to focus on for the upcoming month. We asked if they thought these chapters and focusing on them for an entire month were making a difference. Their comments included:
  • "Focusing on a Preach My Gospel chapter helps our missionaries break down the work so it is manageable."
  • "We use Preach My Gospel to address a specific problem. Every missionary question is answered in Preach My Gospel. We need not turn to other sources." 
We talked about helping our missionaries who are struggling. The discussion was full of hope and help and love. Comments by our leaders included:
  • "You can look at leadership as a burden or as an opportunity to serve. When we look at it as an opportunity to serve, the Spirit helps us know exactly what our missionaries need."
  • "In order to give advice, you have to be living it!"
  • "One-hundered percent of the time we have to maintain a higher standard of love, patience and respect for our missionaries."
  • "I love how there is a chapter in Preach My Gospel just about how to become like the Savior. Studying that chapter will help us know how to help our struggling missionaries."
  • "A struggling missionary needs to know he is never alone."
  • "We have to provide the opportunity to change. We also need to allow others to change."
We also asked each zone leader companionship to talk about one missionary in their zone--what have they seen them do that they appreciate and admire? They said:
  • "We saw him and his companion riding their bikes in the rain one day. When we asked them why (because it had been raining all day), he said 'there are people to see!' He is never afraid to stand for what is right."
  • He has a great desire to be a great missionary. He is always trying to use Samoan although he is still learning."
  • "He inspires others by the way he fulfills his calling as district leader."
  • "She is very teachable."
  • "He never complains. He is always enthusiastic. He is getting a great start to his mission."
  • "He has embraced a difficult companion and is making a difference for him."
  • "We have been inspired by how prepared he was to serve a mission. He is quiet and humble, but powerful."
  • "He is positive in every situation and is eager to learn what it takes to become a good missionary."
  • "He is always asking, 'How can I help?' He takes charge as a leader."
  • "He is conscientious about his studies. His area is very hard, but he never complains."
So, you see the good news is everywhere. These leaders teach me and lift me. I am grateful for what they see and how they want to help. They love the missionaries they serve. They embody the statement made by President Uchtodorf recently, " God loves us deeply, perfectly and everlastingly." Because they see other missionaries through His eyes, they see the love that He has for them and, with that understanding, serve them the way He would serve.

Mission Leadership Council May 2015

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