Things are a little backed up due to other pressing matters in the mission office - so I'd like to do a little catching up today.
It's time to finally welcome the new missionaries that joined the mission on February 21, 2017. This picture was put in a safe place, and we were thrilled to find it so we could post it. Good things come to those who wait! We are excited to have you in the Washington Federal Way Mission!
We've had some change of assignments in the mission office with the last transfers. We want to thank the Assistant to the President, Elder Rex and our Office Elder, Elder Samuels for all you've done to help make the Washington Federal Way Mission flourish.
|Elder Lowry and Elder Rex|
|Elder Mortensen and Elder Samuels|
|Our current Assistants to the President, Elder Knight and Elder Lowry|
|Our current Office Elders, Elder Mortensen and Elder Bollwinkel|
Message from Sister Rasmussen:
Hark - Mark - and Embark!
On April 6th, we started reading the Book of Mormon together as a mission. It is called "The Washington Federal Way Mission Faith Feast...Hark, Mark and Embark". Our goal is to build our faith as we harken to the word of God, mark our scriptures, and then embark on sharing the doctrine of Christ with everyone we see. We hope this will also help us feel more unified as a mission. Each missionary was given a blue Book of Mormon and a set of 12 colored pencils at zone conference.
We are marking the doctrine of Christ which includes faith, Jesus Christ, the Atonement, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end (3 Nephi 27:13-22). We read about eight pages a day and will finish it in two transfer cycles or three months. That will be just before our zone conference in June.
At interviews last week I had a chance to ask the missionaries how they were enjoying it. Everyone had a positive response. As missionaries, we recite our purpose before all of our zone conferences, mission leadership council's and training meetings. Our purpose as stated in Preach My Gospel is "To help others coming to 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." One missionary said, "It seems like the doctrine of Christ is on almost every page!" They can also include any other topics of special interest to them.
We would invite you to join with us!
Sharing your experiences as you read with your missionary is a great conversation to have in your weekly emails. Ask them what new things they are learning about Christ's doctrine and how they are able to apply it in their missionary work each day. We encourage you to share these faith promoting experiences with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post some in the blog.
President Whitney L. Clayton Bishop W. Christopher Waddell
The entire Washington Federal Way Mission with visiting church leaders on October 21, 2016
Sister Rasmussen's reflections on this historic occasion:
Elder Rasband’s visit
We were blessed in October to have Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Whitney L. Clayton of the Seventy and Bishop W. Christopher Waddell of the Presiding Bishopric visit our mission October 21st and 22nd. President and Sister Rasmussen along with the Washington Federal Way Mission stake presidents and their wives, President and Sister Olsen and President and Sister Ogden from the Seattle Temple and Elder and Sister Call (our area seventy from Tacoma) had dinner on Friday evening. After a wonderful meal, Elder Rasband informally spoke to us and answered questions. The Spirit was strong and we felt the love of these brethren for us, our missionaries and all the saints in this area. They did a wonderful job of raising our vision of the work we are all asked to do in these latter days.
As missionaries, we had the unique experience of meeting in the Federal Way Stake Center Saturday. An entire mission meeting together is a rare occasion and we were blessed to experience this. They wanted to shake the hand of every missionary before the meeting began. Along with Elder Robert M. Call, they each addressed us and left messages we are still quoting from. It was one of the greatest days in our mission history.
Elder Rasband noted that it was probably the only time in the history of the church that there were five sets of keys in one room at a missionary meeting. They were held by Elder Rasband, President Clayton, Bishop Waddell, President Nichols (Washington Federal Way Stake President) and President Rasmussen.
Here is a synopsis of their messages to our missionaries:
Every page of my missionary journal is full of struggles but I only remember the good things. In looking back in myself journal I realize I had nothing so difficult, nothing so wonderful. That struggle is natural. You have a purpose and and message and that is eternal life and joy.
He loves you and trusts you to witness of Him
You are my heroes! You have come to teach and find His children. I lost my son just before his 19th birthday. He came in a dream to me and as dressed just like you and he said, "Let not your heart be troubled." I know he had another mission. The Lord loves you and is anxious to bless you. As we do His will he will bless us.
This is such an unusual meeting. It is very special. The Spirit is the instructor so listen and write down impressions and thoughts . They can be completely different than what we are talking about. D&C 138 tells how you received lessons before you came to the earth. He knew you would be here in October 2016. This is where you are supposed to be.
Bishop Waddell sits on the missionary executive committee with Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, Elder Cook etc.. You are where you are supposed to be. If you weren't you would have been born a few months earlier. You are supposed to be with President Rasmussen. Pay attention to him and learn from him.
I have had a thought: There is a difference between serving a mission and going on a mission. All missionaries can say I went on a mission. Not all can say I served a mission. Matt 25 teaches us a principle in the parable of the sheep and goats. You fed and clothed etc. unto the least of these. When didn't ye do these things? They were cast when they didn't do these things. When we serve others we are reaching outward, not inward. Be able to say, I served, I saw, I blessed, I fed. I didn't just go.
Don't worry about the weather, the members, the hardships. It is not easy, but necessary. Those looking in the mirror aren't serving. Don’t be thinking I'm tired, think about home, don't let challenges occupy your time. You are called to serve, not just go. You should be working and looking forward. That's what the Savior did. Go out and invite others to come unto Him.
3 Nephi 17. Who is sick bring them unto Him to heart. You will see the need as you obey, study, pray, open your mouth and are on time in the morning. Opportunities come as you serve to teach, invite. Invite others to act.
Moroni 5 - You invite and He heals.
Thank you for your prayers.
I usually don't share this but I was an attorney, a trial lawyer. As a trial lawyer you present evidence to prove something. In criminal cases the burden of proof is without a reasonable doubt. In civil cases it is a preponderance of evidence.
As missionaries we baptize people. The Book of Mormon is evidence to prove things to be true. D&C 20:8-13. Says the Book of Mormon proves Joseph Smith is a prophet and therefore the church is true. It is the instrument of the gathering of Israel. God restored the church with Joseph Smith as an instrument. This was God’s plan from the premortal world. The Book of Mormon plays the central role in the church. The church is the vehicle to carry the gospel.
President Hinckley: Do we understand and appreciate the church's wonderful position? The church is true or it is not true. In the introduction to the Book of Mormon, last 2 paragraphs it tells us how we can find out. Ask if the book is true. It is or it isn't. Investigators will gain a testimony by the Holy Ghost. You have to pray with real intent which means you really want to capture something. When you read and ponder and pray it will be revealed to you. If this formula is followed the truth will always come to you. It has to be "real intent" which means if you get your answer that it is true you will change your life. Ask with a purpose and you will gain a testimony.
Repentance has an improperly narrow definition. One is going through the steps of true repentance. Like when we teach repentance and baptize converts. But repentance is also a choice to leave behind things that aren't good enough. Adopt a new way of life. It is saving. The apex of the week should be the sacrament at sacrament meeting. As we repent daily---all of us---when you invite others to read the Book of Mormon you invite them the repent. An invitation to read the Book of Mormon is an invitation to repent. Follow up as you invite and they're will come to God. They have to pray and read the Book of Mormon. This first commitment has to be right. These must be accomplished to progress. You don't have to do anything. God will tell them it is true. The Book of Mormon was provided to us to turn to God
genuine converts know the church is true.
Keys are given to individual people. You missionaries are an asset to the stake president to use his keys. President Nichols has the keys for missionary work in the Federal Way Stake.
Key holders are called of God. You don't ask for keys. Keys are given by those who preside over them. Some keys are only held by the Lord, like resurrection. There are lots of key holders here today:
Elder Clayton as senior president of the seventy
Elder Rasband said probably the most key holders ever at a missionary meeting.
Missionaries, you are living the two temple covenants of consecration and sacrifice now. You are being asked to live these laws now.
President Monson said priesthood members have an obligation to serve a mission.
Sisters are invited to serve a mission.
You live in the era of hastening the work. 78,000 missionaries now up from 56,000 when the age was changed.
President Monson - if he were here would say 2 things:
Elder Rasband asked for questions about his talk "The Divine Call of a Missionary"
Elder Samuelson asked why it was thrilling and humbling when his sons were called on missions. Answer: You want them to go but you have to give something away for a season. They go out because they love Jesus Christ. The missionary force is bigger than the Peace Corp. We are an army serving Jesus Christ. Elder Sumsion asked why he thought of where the missionary would end his mission as he called them. Answer: That was President Eyring. I look at the Bishop and Stake Presidents remarks and the ancestry before I assign. I kneel down and pray to know where you want them to go. I labor at it a little before I assign.
Sister Huhme: How do you prepare to receive revelation? Answer: I go fasting to missionary calls. When we need to depend on the Spirit of the Lord we go fasting. You clear your mind and focus one on one.
Please never whine about your assignment, your area, your companion. When you get home and have so many decisions to make, you will miss being assigned!
D&C 109:22. Sister Zavala read this. Substitute your name in here. Remember where you went. Angels have charge of you.
It is your calling to gather the elect and bring them to Zion.
Help all to come unto Christ: Investigators, less actives.
Your Mission is closely connected to the Temple.
When you get a tough companion ask, what do you want me to learn from this?
What do you want me to learn from this mission?
There was a survey of the top problems in missions compiled from mission tours. The #1 problem is obedience.
The Lord has asked you to keep His commandments. You agreed to live the highest list of commandments--the Missionary Handbook. Do it!
Why are we obedient?
Teach the doctrine and they will behave. Teach of Christ and focus on the life of Christ. 57 categories on Christ in the topical guide. We talked about Christ in everything they did. Study and learn of Christ only Christ for 3 month. Obedience soared. Formula: The more you know Him the more you love Him. The more you know Him the more you will want to serve Him. You become more obedient. If you love me keep my commandments. Live the white handbook for now. You have agreed to live a higher standard and it will be joyful out of love for your master who is Jesus Christ.
He gave us an Apostolic invitation to commit to obedience: Will you strive to be more obedient----100% obedient?
President Hinckley would say I want missionaries to be 100% obedient. I don't want fake commitments. Strive in your heart to be 100%. Do it out of love for your Savior.
Elder Rasband's testimony:
This is the church of Jesus Christ
The Book of Mormon is the Word of God
President Monson is a true prophet
Christ is love. One by one he loves people. 3 Nephi 17
Find them one by one....name by name.
Be joyful and smile
Your life will be blessed
Know Heavenly Father watches over your family
Teach repentance and baptize converts
You are part of the hastening of the work.
D&C 88:72-73. The day of the hastening of the work of salvation.
Be happy, Christ centered missionaries.
It was a day of bitter sweet feelings as Elder and Sister Hunt's and Elder and Sister Draney’s missions draw to a close. They have left big shoes to fill in the Washington Federal Way Mission. Their love of the Lord, service and goodness they brought to Washington will long be remembered.
Everyone here will miss you!
be serving as CES missionaries.
And another big WELCOME to Elder and Sister Reynolds