San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The First 12 Weeks . . .

To the new Missionary . . .


We are so happy to welcome 22 new missionaries to the

San Pedro Sula East Mission

(Twenty missionaries arrived from the Guatemala CCM, one
missionary arrived from the Mexico MTC,  and we received one new sister
missionary, daughter of one of our Stake Presidents,  from Honduras who is waiting to serve where she was called in Phoenix, Arizona)

(The Family Zalaya)


We're going to talk a little about what your experience will be like during the
First 12 Weeks

of your mission.

When the time period spent in the CCM or the MTC was decreased with the increasingly high numbers of missionaries serving, a new inspired work was added to the missionary library for missionaries serving everywhere across the world.

(the mightly crew of Assistants and office staff who helped us prepare for the day!)

It's entitled  - 

"The First 12 Weeks"

YOUR First 12 Weeks - 

Your experience in the missionary training center was designed to help you learn your purpose as a missionary and how to prepare and teach investigators by the Spirit, according to their interests and needs.
 Your purpose for the rest of your mission is to follow the promptings of the Spirit as you invite an increasing number of people "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" (Preach My Gospel p1).

To accomplish this purpose, you will continue to build on the foundation established at the MTC or CCM by understanding and living all the principles of missionary work found in Preach My Gospel.  Strive to become the kind of missionary who could, if called upon, train a new missionary by the end of your first 12 weeks in the mission field.

(funny story - we were expecting ONE Missionary to arrive from the Mexico CCM.
Much to our surprise - two came walking out of the customs area!
(Whew - not a mistake . . . just another returning missionary from Tegucigalpa on his way back home :)

(enjoying a fun game of "Missionary Jeopardy")

To accomplish this objective, follow these principles:

  • Be obedient - to mission rules and the direction contained in the Missionary Handbook.  
  • Love, serve and listen to your companion.
  • Eagerly participate as a fully contributing member of your companionship.

The Lord has blessed you with unique gifts and abilities; use them to become the BEST missionary you can be.  Learn all you can from your companion, and apply the following guidelines as you study and proselyte together:

  • Focus your study on helping your investigators prepare to make and keep covenants!
  • Stay anchored in the scriptures and Preach My Gospel.
  • Learn to effectively teach the doctrines in Preach My Gospel, chapter 3.
  • Conduct effective daily and weekly planning, and be diligent in carrying out and adjust ing your plans according to the Spirit.  Use this time to seek revelation.
  • Follow the training schedule in the booklet, The First 12 Weeks.  

(Interesting info - we now have three missionaries from Guatemala whose native language is
Q'eqChi - a native language of the Mayan - totally different from Spanish.  We also received our first missionary from Brazil!  Four missionaries who are learning Spanish, whose native language is neither English or Spanish)

Why do we do Missionary Work?

When the Savior walked upon the earth and established his church and taught his gospel, he said, 

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

(Welcome to beautiful Honduras - the mountains between Olanchito and Yoro)

Missionaries everywhere don't dedicate 18 - 24 months of their lives just to increase the membership of the church, or to "bring people into the church" or persuade them to live better lives . . . those are great blessings that can and do occur . . . and as always, we are mindful of the many churches and organizations the persuade men to believe in the Savior and go about doing good works . . .

But we are concerned about a higher purpose . . . missionaries dedicate their service, and teach and testify to help people make covenants with our Heavenly Father, that allow them to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and gain the blessings of Eternal Life.  The first of which is baptism and confirmation, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.  

Elder Oaks reminds us - 

The purpose of our missionary work is to help the children of God fulfill a condition prescribed by our Savior and Redeemer.
The doctrinal basis of missionary work is the word of God, revealed in every age, that man cannot be saved in the celestial kingdom without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that the only way to lay claim to the merits of that Atonement is to follow the command of its author: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you” (Acts 2:38).

We . . . are called to assist in that great effort.

Here in the beautiful country that is . . .


(I guess you can tell . . .
I really do have a thing going with the cows here, they so delight me :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How Beautiful . . .

I've always loved the sound of this scripture . . . and until now associated it with the mountains that I love so much . . .

But today . . .

Something occurred to me . . .

and maybe you'll get a little glimpse from the message and photos that follow . . .

Abinadi quoting Isaiah  - 

15 And O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet!


 16 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace!
 17 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!

 18 And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the afeet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of bpeace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people;
-- Mosiah 15:15-18

  • In Isaiah 52:7, Isaiah poetically described people bringing a great message. Why do you think Isaiah referred to the messengers’ feet? (In the ancient world, before electronic communications were available, important messages were often brought by runners traveling on foot. Isaiah uses the messengers’ feet to symbolize the messengers themselves.) 
  • Who else brings the message of the gospel to the world? 

I've often thought . . . how precious are the feet of these missionaries that appear all blistered, infected, bitten by moquitos, ants, dogs . . . but to Heavenly Father they are beautiful . . .
beautiful messengers publishing peace.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year . . . Putting First Things First

New Year . . . and New Beginnings . . .

AS we recognize that a new year symbolizes a new beginning, an opportunity to start again, to put old habits behind and make a new beginning, with great hope of changing prior activities to realize a new and improved self . . . or lifestyle . . .

 . . . There can be little doubt when it comes to making plans, setting goals, and being accountable for actions . . . these are fundamental principles that would benefit the lives of people everywhere . . . but for missionaries of the Lord, these principles are paramount to experiencing success in the mission field.

They principles will also bless their life, education, income and families forever more.

For this reason, we put much emphasis on these principles .

(We are as the army of Helaman!)

Many people are disinterested in goal setting, in pondering on and expressing "New Years Resolutions" as they feel a sense of failure when they fall to the wayside after a few weeks or months.  But those that preserver, and set realistic goals that are achievable are able to accomplish great things.

What does a realistic achievable goal look like?

  •  For one thing it should be specific.  Don't just say I will lose weight . . . say, "I will lose 10 pounds".
  • Another . . . it should be measurable, "I will workout every morning at 6am".
  • The goal should be attainable, as a missionary, we encourage them rather than setting baptism goals which are dependent upon another's free agency . . . to set teaching goals each week.  To challenge each investigator to baptism.  Those are attainable goals for a missionary, goals they can meet each week.
  • Timely - each goal or plan should be accomplished within a certain time frame.

Other hints and tips for being successful 

. . . review your plans on a frequent basis, weekly or monthly and make adjustments to the plan based on your experience, keeping the end goal post in sight.  Work on these things with a companion, a spouse, your favorite cheerleader, a parent, a close friend, a support group . . . someone you can feel an accountability to for continuing in the goal, or readjusting to better meet the purpose.  These sort of things are always much more pleasant if you include a social side in your plans and work on things together.  

For those of you who see setting goals and making plans as a form of drudgery . . .

Here's a few unique ideas - 

. . . Commit to reading four books, audition for a play, write a business plan, learn how to zumba, start guitar lessons,  unplug from technology one day a week for a month, send handwritten thank you notes to 30 people this month, set a goal to do something for someone else!

There's nothing like the sweet feeling of success . . . even in the small things in life.  And the small things can soon become the big things . . . as we slowly climb a mountain or . . eat an elephant . . . 

Become  your best self - starting now!

An old proverb says . . .

 "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now."  

Now is the best time to start becoming the person we want to be . . . we can do it.  Not only for 20 years from now, but for eternity.  

 18 Whatever principle of aintelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the bresurrection.
 19 And if a person gains more aknowledge and intelligence in this life through his bdiligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the cadvantage in the world to come. - - D&C 130:18-19

Don't let your fears stand in the way of your success.

As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained (Ensign, Jan 2014) 

"that even when we fail to reach our goals we are still empowered.  Even though we might fall short of the finish line, just continuing the journey will make us greater than before."

When we approach our goals this way, failure doesn't have to limit us.  

We sometimes delay, waiting for the right moment to begin.  Fortunately, each new day is a new moment to begin.  Today is a good day to start moving towards that eternal self that you desire.  That pricking of the heart to change a behavior, make a new start, move in a different direction.  Setting goals is a worthy desire.  And in the case of sin, the wonderful process of repentance allows us to clear the burdens of our hearts, to be free from the oppression and darkness and come into the light once again through the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  

Yes, there is much hope in new starts, in new years, new days and new beginnings.

And today is the day to get started.

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