Vancouver Mission Star
This message was written by President and Sister Middleton. It also appears in the Vancouver Star, the weekly newsletter of the Vancouver Mission. It is sent to each companionship throughout the mission.
B E P O S I T I V E
As we go about our missionary labors we need to cultivate within ourselves an enthusiastic optimism. Enthusiasm is contagious! Everyone around us will perceive our enthusiasm, and will be converted to a “can do” attitude. Our determinedly positive outlook will rub off on both fellow full time missionaries and members alike.
President Hinckley Speaks on Being Positive
In President Gordon B. Hinckley’s marvelous book Way To Be he wrote a chapter simply titled “Be Positive”. In it, he notes that the media tends to dwell on the negative. He notes that, “They feed us a steady and sour diet of character assassination, faultfinding, and evil speaking of one another that caricatures the facts and distorts the truth. Regardless of whom they write or speak about, they seem to look for his or her failings or weaknesses. They constantly criticize and seldom praise.” He goes on to note that far too often we as Church members allow negativity to creep into our dealings with each other. He comments that, “the snide remark, the sarcastic jibe, the cutting down of others – these too often are the essence of our conversation. Criticism is the….catalyst that leads to failure.”
Clearly negative comments or cynicism on the part of missionaries or members impedes our missionary work. President Hinckley has beautifully outlined the positive attitude that will bring us success as missionaries and in life.
Accentuate the Positive
President Hinckley noted, “I am suggesting that we look for the great good among those with whom we associate and live, that we speak of one another’s virtues and positive qualities more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, and that our faith exceed our fears.” He notes the sage advice his father gave him many years earlier, “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.” He goes on to note that, “In my ninety-plus years, I have learned a secret – that when good men and good women face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out!” He goes on to note that Winston Churchill’s optimism as Prime Minister of England in the early dark days of World War II was critical to his country’s success in staying free. When all observers felt certain that it was just a matter of days until the Nazis overran England, when fear gripped everyone, Churchill spoke: “These are not dark days; these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.”
After hearing the determined, optimistic words of Churchill, the people of England accomplished a victory that no observer thought possible.
Our Missionaries and Members Will Similarly Succeed
As we step forth in British Columbia in our missionary efforts we know that when members understand their role as member missionaries and refer 3 acquaintances per year to us full time missionaries, Church growth will increase dramatically. Some say that it can’t be done, that members will not rise to the challenge. To those naysayers we counter with the faith and optimism spoken of by President Hinckley. We know that our God is on our side, to encourage us and help us succeed. “I will provide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee.” (D & C 5: 34).
President Hinckley concluded his chapter on being positive by admonishing, “Cultivate an attitude of optimism. Know that God is watching over you, that He will hear your prayers and will answer them, that He loves you and will make that love manifest.”
We too love you and pray constantly for your success.
--President and Sister Middleton
Remember our mission goal: 10 Gospel contacts per missionary outside our usual finding and teaching duties.
that includes a Gospel message to everyone you see.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger….and evil speaking, be put away from you…And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4: 31-32
Reminder: We are praying for at least one baptism per companionship per transfer – more than one if you and your ward or branch is filled with faith. Set your baptismal goal prayerfully as a companionship, a goal that will stretch your faith and missionary abilities.
to read past messages.