New counsel from the Missionary Department

Hey all. It’s super hot down here, but they tell me the worst of the heat is yet to come! I don’t drink as much water as I should. I’m going to start taking my water bottle around, and I think I’ll also start buying more Gatorade, since it’s a pretty common drink here in Lima.

So this week, we had some awesome training. For starters, the Missionary Department and its committee, consisting of Dallin H. Oaks, David A. Bednar, Neil L. Andersen, Bonnie. L. Oscarson, and some other well-known General Authorities, gave some great counsel on our goal as missionaries: Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts. It helped me to see how the process of the Gospel must apply to each person in order for them to be converted.

They also announced that there would be a world-wide change in schedule for missionaries, with schedules being individualized to the needs of the area of service. For example, in our mission, we now wake up at 7:30 and go to bed at 11:00. This means we have more sleep, and it also gives us more free time to write in our journals, fill out the area book, and actually unwind before bed.

Also, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve, along with Area President Elder Godoy, came to visit Lima and talk to the missionaries of Lima Sur and Lima Central. Elder Cook left us an apostolic blessing that every loved one we had had or would ever have would someday come to know for themselves how our missionary service had blessed them. Finally, he left us with these words concerning his relationship to the Savior: “I know His voice, and I have seen His face…”

I think dad’s counsel to evaluate investigators (D&C 29:7 “gather mine elect”) is timely, since we’ve been considering dropping a lot of them. I think for the majority of them the problem is they’re surrounded by religion and don´t really comprehend the magnitude of our message. I think if we put a little more emphasis on our immediate followup and make sure they understand, we can accomplish a lot more. During the Missionary Department training this last Wednesday, Elder Andersen said not to be fatalistic about outcomes. I think too often my companion and I were overly concerned with immediate outcomes. Obviously, we wanted all of our investigators to be three-week baptisms, but usually life just doesn’t work that way. We were condemning our investigators a little too quickly and getting discouraged. But when you look at the conversion process with a higher perspective, it’s not so discouraging. Now that doesn’t mean that we’re going to work with people regardless of whether or not they keep commitments. Like dad said, you gotta know when to drop them. As long as we do our best, I figure that’s enough for God.

Otherwise, the week´s been a little slow. There were no investigators attending church, so no one has progressed as far as that goes; but we’re working on it. Thanks again for the letters!

Love,

Elder Kacy Hart Woodward

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