Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Letter from Santiago South Mission President Cook

In June of this year, as we began our mission, we attended the New Mission Presidents Seminar in Provo, Utah.  A record 173 new presidents and their wives received final instructions before beginning their service all over the worldAll 15 members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed the group.  Elder L. Tom Perry concluded the seminar with these comments:
“This is a most remarkable era in the history of the Church. This is something that ranks with the great events that have happened in past history, like the First Vision, like the gift of the Book of Mormon, like the Restoration of the gospel, like all of the things that built the foundation for us to go forward and teach in our Father in Heaven’s kingdom.
During the seminar the historical broadcast entitled ¨Hastening the Work of Salvation¨ was transmitted by satellite to the entire church.  President Thomas S. Monson spoke at that time and said:
¨Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work.¨
Do you sometimes wonder what it would have been like to be participants in the great events of Church History? Do you wonder what it would have been like to attend the first meeting of the organization of the Church in the Peter Whitmer cabin?Do you wonder what it would have been like to hear Joseph preach at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple and to be there during the celestial manifestations that took place that day?  Do you wonder if you could have remained faithful during the horrific persecutions of Missouri?  Could you have made the journey across the Great Plains to the Salt Lake Valley? Well if we truly believe what the prophets are saying, future generations may also look behind and wish that they might have participated in the events that will occur during our lifetimes.  This is indeed an historical time in which the Lord is hastening his work.  
What is our role?  Sometimes I fear that we just sit back as observers and say ¨OK Lord, let it roll.¨ Then we wait for the hastening to begin.  I am convinced that now more than any other time in the history of missionary work we need to do all that we can do to hasten ourselves.  We must be participants in the hastening not just observers.  We simply cannot continue to do what we have always done and expect different results.  So how can we hasten our work?
Evaluate Yourself - Take a long hard look at yourself and honestly assess what you can do better.
Your Time is the Lord´s - Recognize that you are on the Lord´s errand.  You are his agent.  Literally your time is not your own and every minute you waste is not yours to waste.
Remember your purpose - Anything you do that does notinvolve your purpose of bringing souls unto Christ should be revised or eliminated.  
Work with the Members The only way you can find more hours in the day is to work with the members on divisions and team-ups.  We can find, fellowship, retain and teach more when we are in partnership with the members.  These are the things that will fill the chapels of Santiago.
May we all resolve to be active participants in this historical time.  We love you and know you will find incredible fulfillment as you serve the Lord as an active partner in the hastening of his work ¨to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.¨
President & Sister Cook

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