We had another of our traditional Last Lunches on the Tuesday before transfers. We invited the Fort Lauderdale district and the zone leaders over. We tried to fill them up with hot roast beef dip sandwiches, green salad, steak fries and Costco chocolate cake for dessert. We know it was a successful lunch because some of them did not even have room for the cake!
The district – Elders Doman, Pond, Rellaford, Pier, Patino, Hall, Conger. Sisters Pier, Escorbores, Tuai. In the middle we add the ZLs – Elders HoChing on the left and Bishop on the right.
Sisters Escorbores, Pier and Tuai make a lovely picture. In the middle sisters Pier and Tuai share the table with elder Pond and Hall. Elders Pond, Hall, Bishop and HoChing with Sister Escorbores caught with a forkful heading for her mouth.
Elders Doman, Rellaford and Bishop sharing a moment together. Sister Escorbores takes a picture of Elders Doman, Rellaford, Pond and Conger. This great district has been bringing more souls unto Christ in a month than some Zones – than some missions in the US! They have great faith, they are strictly obedient, and work hard – they are above average missionaries. I think the sign above Elder Pond says it all!
President Anderson wrote this in his weekly letter to the missionaries. It reminds me that on Sunday during the Fort Lauderdale stake conference he had the 30 or so full time missionaries stand and repeat our purpose as found in Preach My Gospel. What a thrill it was to stand and join in with the amazing missionaries of the zone reminding ourselves and all present of why we are serving missions for the Lord.
“We just got word last week that the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission is the highest baptizing Mission in the United States and Canada. This hasnât happened out of the Utah Missions in a long time I am told. What an honor to know that you missionaries are working so hard and reaping such great miracles in finding the elect of God. I wasnât going to announce this because we shouldnât compare with others, but General Authorities are telling other leaders and I rather you hear it from me. Remember Godâs hand is in this work and he has poured out his Spirit to make us instruments in His hands. You are amazing missionaries and I couldnât be prouder to be a part of your Mission.” (emphasis mine)
He shared this experience from a missionary letter to him:
“We were knocking doors and the second door was a woman who opened and told us she was busy and slammed the door without letting us say anything. We then blessed her neighbor and after blessing her neighbor we asked her for referrals and she told us that the woman next door could use a blessing. And then she took us to her house and knocked the door and this time the woman didn’t slam it but she apologized for being rude and made a return appointment with us. We have taught her since and she is amazing.â
Just this morning I read in the Deseret News that missionary applications are up 471%. Before the announcement about the change in missionary ages there was an average of about 700 per week – it is now running about 4000 a week. Hopefully this will continue to be the average for months to come!