Family and Friends,
Don't ever underestimate your influence in the lives of others. Just the other day a young lady came in that had recently referred herself on mormon.org after watching a mormon message on a friend's facebook profile. Technology can be a tremendous blessing if we use it! Do you all have a mormon.org profile? If you make one let me know and I'll show you off to a guest or two :) We had a wonderful zone conference this last tuesday that seemed to be all about working with the members. Members really are the key, especially in our efforts to find and more importantly retain. My companion and I are trying to work more with the members and have already seen a difference in less than a week. I think that organizing activities and service projects is a great way that members can invite their friends and neighbors to learn more about the church in a non-threatening way and I'm sure it will prove more effective than simply asking for referrals. We obviously don't have the time and means to organize those on our own, but that's where the members come in. My vision is that the less-actives we are working with will become truly converted and excited about the gospel because quite honestly they probably have more associations with non members than anyone. We also learned at conference a lot about how we can more proactively sustain our leaders, especially our bishop. This week we are planning to make up a list of all the people we have visited or tried to visit that have moved or are now practicing different religions so that he can have a better idea of where everyone is at seeing as we have a very large ward and a low percentage of activity. I think(call me crazy) I'm going to offer to speak in church as well. I think it will help make us more visible and help the members know that we really care about this work and that we value them as our key to success! I would like to invite you all to call the full-time missionaries in your area and offer to go to lessons with them or even have a lesson in your home. The members bear powerful testimony and not only is it important for investigators and new members to make connections and form friendships in the ward, but I also think it is nice for them to hear the testimony of someone that isn't a missionary. Someone that can relate more easily in that they have the same every day stresses and challenges of work and family but are fully committed to living the gospel. I know that Matthew is great at this and I'm excited to hear what experiences he and Aubrey will have now that they're living in a new place with new opportunities. I think that everyone has at least two callings and sometimes three: 1. Visiting/Home Teacher 2. MISSIONARY 3. other ward calling. Joseph Smith said "After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." Always remember that every member is a missionary. Make a little time to get involved in the missionary efforts in your communities and I know that you will witness miracles and receive blessings in your own lives. I love you all! I couldn't ask for better examples.