Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Instruments in the Lord's Hands

Dear Elders and Sisters, It was so good to see you all at the various zone conferences earlier this week and last week. What a happy time for us to be with you, and feel of your Spirit. We visited Negros on Thursday, and Cebu North on Friday for zone conferences. We visited Cebu South on Monday and Bohol on Tuesday for zone conferences and got in late Tuesday evening. We also had the pleasure of visiting in Lamac for a baptismal service last Saturday and we stayed over for Sunday services. We were able to visit the Toledo 1 branch sunday afternoon. It was a busy week full of joy and memories. It was wonderful to be able to teach a workshop on something else instead of Obedience. In each zone, we felt such a strong spirit of happiness, excitement for the successes that are beginning to be seen, and unity in every zone. The last time we visited the zones was for Zone Interviews, about six weeks ago. I cannot tell you how much different the Spirit felt from that time to the zone conferences! It was an amazing transformation. As you know, we were the leader in all the Philippines missions in the number of visits we made to inactive members of the church, and we were second in the number of baptisms that we had as a direct result of visiting inactive and LA members. I feel so much happiness and joy in the work that we are doing together. Each of the last two weeks, I have felt a great surge in the spirit of the work, as if the Lord were beginning to open the windows of heaven to all of us. I feel that the Lord is well pleased with our mission at this time, and we are starting to truly magnify our calling as a mission, as we each individually and by companionship magnify our callings as missionaries. I hope and pray that you will all exercise your agency to become effective and sharpened instruments in the hands of God. I believe March will be a month that will mark the new course of the Mission and we will be able to look back on March to say that is where the blessings really started to appear. Be bold in making promises to your inactive members and investigators. Be filled with faith as you teach and encourage those you are working with to accept the commitments you invite them to make. We are laying a foundation here in Cebu Mission for true faith to take hold among the members, and for brethren to magnify their priesthood callings. The Lord has called each of you to be part of this great work. So stand and be counted! Let every missionary around you know that you have made the commitment, become converted, experienced the mighty change of heart! When everyone is setting an example of obedience, diligence, cheerfulness, and excitement about being a PMG missionary, all the missionaries will feel the same joy of belonging to such an elite group of missionaries. No one will choose to be disobedient. We will truly be like the 2060 stripling warriors, the sons and daughters of Helaman! Because of our schedule this last week, we have had very little time at home for using the computer. So only a few of you will receive personal letters this week. But we are at home most of the coming week, and all of you will receive personal letters for next week. I received word that imos will be down again today, for as much as six hours. You might be able to get on and send me a letter. You could reply to this letter if imos is not working. We love you! President Schmutz Sister Schmutz

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