Every quarter, President and Sister Murdock from the Denver Mission Presidency writes a letter for all members of the region to help spread the love of the gospel and of missionary service. This is their most recent letter:
One of the great joys of serving as a Mission President is the opportunity it gives my wife and I to work with all our wonderful missionaries. What they do; the time, effort, fasting and spiritual commitment they make to share the gospel is truly a “marvelous work and a wonder.”
In the Feb. 1983 issue of the Ensign magazine President Spencer W. Kimball said, “I feel the Lord has placed, in a very natural way within our circle of friends and acquaintances many persons who are ready to enter into his church. I know of no home that is not revitalized when the spirit of missionary work becomes part of that family’s ways of life.”
Among the many things we challenge the missionaries to do is to schedule 8PM lessons in the homes of members. President Kimball’s message above is one of the driving forces behind that challenge. As a mission presidency, and with the blessing of your Stake leaders we have felt impressed that one of the most effective things we can have the missionaries do is to visit the homes of members, share a well prepared missionary lesson or other meaningful gospel message and then talk with you about people you know. The goal, to see if one of more of the people you know are one of those the Lord is preparing to listen to the missionary lessons.
We know that making visits at this time is often inconvenient. But, in a strange way that is part of the reason for the request. While the primary goal of any missionary is to teach investigators, finding investigators that will allow them to come at that time is often simply not possible; and yet, having them return home at that hour is unacceptable.
During these 8PM visits we hope that you and your loved ones will feel the spirit and that the Holy Ghost will put into your minds the names of people that will be open to doing something that will bring them closer to the gospel. Perhaps they will only be ready to accept an invitation to dinner, or to join in on a friendly basketball game at the church or to help with a service project. Whatever the next step is, it is important that we find some way to listen to the prompting of the spirit and then act on those promptings. Helping you feel that prompting and then formalize a plan for “the next step” is central to the purpose of these 8PM lessons.
In General Conference in October 2013 Elder M. Russel Ballard said, “Brothers and Sisters, fear will be replaced with faith and confidence when members and full-time missionaries kneel in prayer and ask the Lord to bless them with missionary opportunities. Then, we must demonstrate our faith and watch for opportunities to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ too our Heavenly Father’s children, and surely those opportunities will come. These opportunities will never require a forced or contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters. Just be positive, and those with whom you speak will feel your love. They will never forget that feeling, though the timing may not be right for them to embrace the gospel. That too may change in the future when their circumstances change.”
Brothers and Sisters, my wife and I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. We have a deep and abiding faith in His ability to bless our lives as we strive to keep his commandments. We are grateful that so many of you feed, support and otherwise bless the lives of the missionaries assigned to your ward or branch. We promise you that as you open your doors and allow the missionaries to meet with you in your homes that the Lord will bless you. This is the Lord’s work and we ask for you to continued support of our 8PM member lesson program.
President, Colorado Denver South Mission