Thursday, December 16, 2010

Letter to Missionaries, December 2010 Emergency Procedures

Dear Sisters and Elders:  Sister Taylor and I would like to thank each of you for the good you do here in the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission .  Your selfless ministering blesses the lives of your companions, the members of the Church and those who are not of our faith.  We think of you constantly and pray for you throughout each day.  We want you to be happy andsafe.  We desire that each of you experience all our Father in Heaven desires for you.  We are grateful to serve with you and have been inspired by your righteous desires and actions. 
Emergency Preparedness
We have enclosed some materials designed to protect you while you are here in Oklahoma and North Texas.  These materials include a copy of the mission emergency response plan, the evacuation plan and severe weather plan.  We have also enclosed some important information regarding carbon monoxide risks.  Please read these materials and post them in your apartments.  During Elder and Sister Mehrings' apartment inspections they will be checking to make sure these materials are posted and understood.
Please notify us or Elder Mehring if you have any gas appliances and do not have a functioning carbon monoxide monitor.  We delivered new monitors to each apartment four months ago so each apartment with gas appliances should have a new monitor at this point.  Make sure it is plugged in and operating.  Remember, if this monitor is "beeping" please do not ignore it.  The beeping sound is warning you that carbon monoxide levels in your apartment are too high and you should get out of your apartment and contact us immediately.  We are asking that each District Leader review these materials with all district members in a District meeting in early December. While we have not experienced problems with carbon monoxide in our mission, other missions have.  We intend to keep every missionary in our mission safe.  In December we will be having a mission-wide emergency response drill to ensure everyone knows what our emergency response and communications plan is and what role and responsibility each missionary has in case of an emergency.
Developing Personal Capacity in the Strength of The Lord 
 Each of you has faced or will face circumstances that challenge you and expand your capacity.  These circumstances may be testing or will test your patience.  You may want them to end.  That is certainly understandable because often these circumstances are painful or take you out of our comfort zones.  We are sure each of you is learning of ways to make the best of the situation you may face.  We expect you have each learned that The Lord can accomplish His purposes with any of us regardless of our circumstances.  He said "all flesh is in my hands."  He can somehow develop us individually while He builds His people collectively and He can do all this at the same time!  The prophet Joseph learned this while he sat suffering in Liberty Jail while the Saints were being driven from their homes and persecuted wondering why their leader was left imprisoned when they seemingly needed him most.  The Lord taught Joseph and the early Saints that He was directing His work and that He has the capacity to develop a prophet and a people all at the same time.
You are not in Liberty Jail but the principles taught there still apply to you.   Joseph experienced things and learned truths in Liberty jail that led to him "becoming" the prophet and the man The Lord needed him to be.  Similarly, under The Lord's tutelage, you will learn truths and develop qualities here as missionaries in Oklahoma and North Texas that will allow you become the missionary and the man or woman The Lord intends you to be.  His vision of you extends far beyond this time in the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Mission--it extends to the 60-65 years of your life after your mission and far beyond.  That is why your vision which is often limited to the present may confuse you.  You do not see what you are "becoming" or how your present circumstances are shaping you into the person you will need to be in years to come. The Lord sees in you the returned missionary student, the newlywed, the young mother or father, the church leader, teacher, professional, wife or husband, father or mother, grandmother or grandfather you will become.  He knows what qualities and characteristics you will need to accomplish your mortal purpose and He knows how to help you "become" who you will need to be.
With these truths in mind, you may want to consider the following as you labor in your present circumstances:
1.  Regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in ask yourself "how can I make this situation better?"
2.  Ask yourself "what is hard for me about the lesson I am learning and how can The Lord help me with this lesson?"
3.  Ask yourself "is my capacity to do hard but worthwhile things increasing?  How might I use this increased capacity in the future in my life?"
4.  Look at Alma 26.  Ammon knew that "in the strength of The Lord" he could do all things. Alma 17 describes how Ammon and his companions received "the strength of The Lord." 
5.  Stay "connected" to your purpose of "inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end."  Apply the Fundamentals from Preach My Gospel and keep the commandments for missionaries in the Missionary Handbook and receive the promised blessings.
Temple Conference
As you know by now, we will be having our Temple Zone Conference December 2nd and 3rd at the Surrey Hills building next to the Temple.  Your Zone Leaders should have communicated the details of the conference to you by now.  Let your Zone Leaders know if you have any questions regarding the conference or which day your zone will be attending the conference.  We look forward to greeting each of you at the conference.
You are prayed for every day in our home and in every temple in the church (and in the temple of your respective family homes).  Thank you again for serving the good people of Oklahoma and North Texas and your companions.   You may never know the impact you are having on them and on us but it is real and it is good.
Your fellow missionary servants,
President Nolan S. Taylor and Sister Rhonda H. Taylor

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