Howdy everyone! Eight months as of today...can you believe it? Wow you're all in Sun Valley, eh? I can't believe it's already that time of year again. I hope that you guys have a great time! I always love the Sun Valley trip. Say "hi" to everyone for me and that I miss them all. Well, this week was a bit crazy, but it was really really good. We had a lot of really great experiences this week. As a mission we had the opportunity to have a conference with Elder Daniel L. Johnson of the quorum of the seventy. He is also the area president of Mexico. He came to help us to learn how we can start to reach the goals that we received at the beginning of this year. These goals are: to baptize every single week in every companionship, to teach between 40-60 lessons a week, and to find someone new to teach in every single lesson. These things have been giving most all of us a lot of difficulty. He shared something with us that impacted me a lot. He shared with us the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 88:73 which says for behold, I will hasten my work in it's time. He then said that President Monson has told us that that time has arrived. It did not begin with the first vision. It was not 10 years ago, and it will not be 10 years in the future. It is right now, and it began with the lowering of the missionary ages. We should have almost 100,000 full time missionaries within the next 2 or 3 months. We are ushering in this new era of missionary work; the hastening of the work. What a great time to be a full time missionary! The thing that I really learned is that we as missionaries cannot do this work alone. All President Monson said, ¨Now is the time that the members and the missionaries unite to work together in the vineyard of the Lord. Elder Johnson gave us a promise. He said that we are in the land of the Book of Mormon - the land of the Lamanites. He said that in the last 50 years or so that we have seen great growth in the church in Mexico. However, he said that the promise given by Lehi to the posterity of Laman and Lemuel is only beginning to be fulfilled. He said that we can't even fathom the miracles and the growth that we will see in the church when the members overcome their fear to participate in the work of salvation (open their mouths) and work in complete harmony with the missionaries. This promise not only applies to the church here in Mexico, but in the whole world. The stone that was cut without hands is filling the earth, but the work is hastening. The second coming of the Savior is at the doors. I learned the vital role that all of us have to share the gospel. All that we have to do is open our mouths and invite and the Spirit will do the rest. If they aren't ready right now, it is okay because many are being prepared by the Lord because their hearts are open to receive his counsels. We don't have to prepare the people. We just have to invite.
Two days later he presided at our stake conference. He taught this exact thing to the members in the Saturday night session, and partly in the morning on Sunday. He said that as members they need to be prepared to give us names of people to visit. We are starting something new in Mexico. Every time that we visit a home, we teach at least one principle of the gospel, we testify, and then we ask who came to the minds of the members while we were sharing our message. He said that if we will have faith that the Holy Ghost will place names in our minds he will. He told them not to judge no matter how unlikely that they think it is that they will accept. He said that no matter who it is, that that name is there for a reason. We began this a few days ago. We have met with a bit of resistance and fear, but we have received 14 names with many more on the way (at least one in each house). The members and investigators are filling our schedules with names, and this is only the beginning! Through these names we will find more and more names.
I will be honest. When we first received these goals for this year I thought that they were impossible to achieve and I was very frustrated. Ever since the conference on Thursday I have been thinking, and I have come to the conclusion that if the Lord really gave us these goals and trusts us to complete them, then how can we fail? My faith has grown a lot in the last several days, and I know that it will continue to grow.
How are you guys doing with sharing the gospel? I know that it is a little bit more difficult in the United States especially where there are more members, but I know that it is possible. Are you reading preach my gospel as a family or personally as we were instructed to do in Generel Conference? I realize that you all have a lot to do, but I also know that it will bless your lives. If not I would invite you to do so even if it is like one page a day. I know that the gospel changes lives and that we have the power to influence others. I love you all and pray for you every day.
Love Elder Schow