January 17, 2011
Dear Sisters and Elders,
I love serving with you in the Florida Tampa Mission-the best mission in the world! We were very blessed to have a short visit from Elder Larry Gibbons of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 this week. We were blessed to have him come and provide us training, insight, inspiration, and confirmation that we are a very good mission and that we are on course to becoming even better. My only regret is that every Florida Tampa Missionary was not able to meet him and hear him. I took careful notes and I want to share some of his thoughts with you. I’ll start with something that Elder Kikuchi expressed to me. He said that one of the latter day miracles was our missionaries -That they could be faithful and worthy in this latter day world that we live in is indeed a miracle. Elder Gibbons reiterated to our missionaries, “You are worthy spiritually and morally. You are an elite, elect spectacular group. But, he also told us that we can always do better.
He reminded us that our calls were seriously considered by those having the keys and that each call is a personal call. He also reminded us that we were all set apart-In D & C 36:2 And I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant.. The Lord’s hand has been laid upon your heads. I echo his words. You are not imposters. You are servants called and set apart to preach His gospel in the Florida Tampa Mission.
Don’t hold back. These are your days. Nothing that you could be doing is remotely as important as what you are doing. You are in the middle of your mission whether you have been serving 2 weeks or 23 months and 2 weeks. Stay in the middle. Again, don’t hold back. Open your mouths. You are the only people in the world who have the Savior’s permission to teach in His name—the only ones. But with that permission there is a tremendous responsibility. We are up to that task. We are going to do it. Now, this very day, is the time to make our missions great. A mediocre today will never inspire a sweet memory for tomorrow. This very day is the time to move your mission from fair to good or from good to great. Your lives are meant for excellence. That is my desire for you. That is what I see in you.
I love you and I believe in you!