Monday, April 7, 2014

Letter from President Brown to all Scotland/Ireland missionaries

I just thought I'd forward this from President so you'd know what's happening if I don't write on some Mondays:

"My Dear Elders and Sisters,
This past week I have been led to ponder more on the great sacrifice you have all made to serve as missionaries. I have thought over all the things that you give up and leave behind for the period of your service – of the things you do each and every day to search for those people who are ready for the gospel. My son Sandy recently remarked that his mission in West Africa was easy when compared to serving here – he even said he didn’t know if he could have done what you do! So basically what I’m trying to say is that I continue to stand in awe of the strength of your dedication and commitment to this work. These thoughts lift, inspire and keep me going in my futile attempt to try to match your diligence. It is much easier for me at my age and stage in life to be here because I’ve done all the other stuff and am heading for the twilight years – not only that but I have the best companion in the mission, and I get to be with her for the whole three years – not to mention the little matter of eternity! 
A wee while ago I received a letter from an investigator, and this is an extract from it;
“I want to write to express my gratitude for the work of the LDS missionaries in Scotland. In this age of secularism and materialism it is heartening to meet young people who are committed to putting spiritual priorities first in their lives.
Their lives of sacrifice and service have been a great inspiration to me and my family; even helping us with our allotment which is essential for feeding our family. Thank you for sending them to this area.”
So, you see that I am not alone is my appreciation for what you do for the Lords children in these lands amongst my countrymen.  I share below an extract from my journal dated June 12th 2012 just a couple of weeks before we left for our mission. Apologies for the pre-mission language – I learned pretty quickly under the tutelage of the Assistants, Elder Costley and Elder Bland to drop the “Awesome” “Guys” etc.!!

“We were invited to attend the Zone Leaders Council meeting in the mission training room and it was amazing – the mission leaders are just awesome – these guys are like professionally trained teachers of the highest quality – they teach, testify to and edify each other in a way which demonstrates their unity as a group, their faith and commitment as individuals to their purpose as missionaries and their great enthusiasm for their subject which is the Doctrine of Christ. I felt a great love for them and for President Griffiths. It was obvious how much they esteemed each other and President Griffiths was very emotional as he gave his closing presentation for the last time as their mission president. I felt it was a real privilege to be there and enjoyed the experience immensely.”

My admiration just grows and grows – how I love you all – no words are enough!

I’m delighted to announce details of;

Zone Development Days
Purpose: Build unity and release stress for all the missionaries.
·         Under the Zone Leader’s direction.
·         The second Monday of each transfer.
·         Have activities that will allow everyone to participate.
·         Meet together at a location that is as convenient as can be for all teams. Preferably a church building or conveniently located park. Stay away from lakes. No beaches. Page 21 MHB – Avoid large gatherings in public places – so no restaurants.
·         The zone must stay together in the same location – no branching off into groups.
·         Start at noon.
·         Teams travelling long distances may leave after personal study, but the teams that are closer will leave after companionship study.
·         Only Thurso and the islanders will travel the night before.
·         Funds will be provided for food. £3 or €4 per missionary. These funds will be used to supplement lunch and dinner (so plan wisely!). The funds will be allocated to the Zone Leader’s account. Surplus funds should be returned.
·         Drink plenty of water!
·         All teams must be back in their (not any other team’s) flats by 9pm.
·         There will be no District Meeting on the Tuesday.
·         The Tuesday will be used to email, shop, and clean. Missionaries will begin proselyting at 3pm that day.
·         Have fun!
·         Don’t get hurt!"

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