E-Mail July 26th -Becoming an effective Missionary -

Date: July 26, 2010
Area: Lagawe
Companion: Elder Apin from Quezon City, Philippines


This Saturday, Sister Toviagon and her 2 kids were interviewed by Elder Daquiwag, our district leader for baptism. They passed. The 10 year old, Milne, is so sharp and loves primary along with her younger siblings.

When we ask a question in a lesson, she is always the first with a quick answer. We ask, "What are the 5 no's of the Word of Wisdom?" and before anyone has a chance, out comes, "No tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea and drugs, which includes Momma." Sister Toviagon's husband works in a neighboring province and is not home much. He has given full support and said he is trying to quit smoking. When he is in town we will work with him.

She has 2 older kids, one of whom wants to listen to us. They are a great family and we are excited for Saturday. The baptism is scheduled for 3.

This week we were also blessed with many new investigators. We went door to door and taught "The Message of the Restoration." There is a power in teaching about the Restoration. Many people we teach, feel the Spirit and really believe it to be true. The challenge is getting them to act on the message.

The things we are trying to get them to do are the things we have heard in every Sunday School class since we were Sunbeams. Read, pray, go to church, obey the commandments, serve, etc. They are repeated over and over again because they are so key to a successful life. We will work with each one of them to help them keep commitments and overcome their concerns.

This morning I finished listening to the tape you sent me. It is always good to hear from Rush that the country is running well, and from George Jefferson and others that the Utes are "moving on up" right along with Wayne and from Val that UVU's football team still has yet to lose a game. Tell everyone thanks.

I remember before my mission listening to returned missionaries speak at their homecomings. It seemed each one of them caught some kind of a disease. They were all extra perky and cheerful, with a smile from ear to ear. Something was not right with them. They were so giddy, too giddy.

When I left on my mission I was determined to figure out the cause of this unusual excitement. The search was not easy, but I have come to a conclusion. There is something in the water they give the missionaries to drink. But don't worry mom and dad, I drink filtered water here in the Philippines, so I won't come home like all the other RM's.

Perhaps there is also another cause. In my interviews with Bishop Mortimer leading up to my mission, he pointed out that in Preach My Gospel it says,"As your understanding of the atonement increases, your desire to share the Gospel with others will grow." I have found this to be true and perhaps the reason for the stereotypical RM.

Last conference, Elder Scott challenged each of us to develop a plan for studying the atonement. Why would he do that? Joseph Smith said this, "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, and ALL OTHER THINGS which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."

I have seen the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, change people's lives, including my own. My knowledge of Him and His atonement is very little, but I know that it is real. It overcame both physical and spiritual deaths. It is the reason we have hope in this life and a reason for hope in the life to come. He loves us and stands at the head of this latter-day work.

Our Mission President has been speaking of 2 principles: 1. No Regrets 2. An Eye Single to His Glory. He said when we learn to master these 2 principles, we will come to know what the Savior meant when He said, "Come follow me, I will make you fishers of men."

When President speaks of those 2 principles, I think of President Hinckley father's advice, "Forget yourself, and go to work." When we "forget ourselves," we can better serve with an "eye single" and if we will "go to work" we will have "no regrets."

I know I can work harder for the cause of the Master and forget myself more.

--Elder Hale


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