Standards of Excellence
Sent Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Your letters are so fun to read. I look forward to hearing from each of you every week. As I was reading through your letters this week I noticed that there was some confusion about what the Standards of Excellence are, and how they are different from the goals that we want each of you to set for your own efforts. Goals should never be set for anyone else. They are personal.
Your areas and assignments are different so I will never judge any missionary based on how their numbers come out. Please don't compare yourselves to any other missionary. It is not fair to you or them. The Standards of Excellence are just guidelines to help missionaries to see what is possible for the mission as a whole to achieve, Some being higher and others being lower that the standards. The standard of 20 lessons per week is already being surpassed in many areas of the mission. It can't be done without hard work, but many other areas that might be seeing very few lessons are also working very hard. They have my respect as well. The SoE is meant to give you guidelines for setting goals that are achievable, but a reach, in each of your assignments. Use them as you think is appropriate.
Set your own goals. ***Goals should make your work more fun.*** Remember they are only for you. I won't think badly of anyone for where they put their goals. Please, make your goals achievable. Don't think that the Lord will bless you more for being unrealistic. Goals are to help us to do our best and have the thrill of achievement. Ask Heavenly Father to confirm to you if your goals are acceptable to Him
Here are a few of the highlights of this weeks letters.I could have picked dozens of different ones as well:
-----We have been trying new things and we are really focusing on talking to everybody. I mean everybody! We noticed that we had a tendency to talk to random people like in the store or on the street, and we would just skate around our purpose as missionaries and about our message. We decided that we wanted to actually tell people about our message and what we do no matter what if we are having a conversation with them. It has worked awesome! We were tracting today and we saw these two construction workers working on the road. I said let's talk to these guys and Elder ______ said, "go for it". So we started talking to them and then we told them about how we go around and talk to people about Jesus Christ. We told them a few parts about our church that distinguishes us from other churches, and then we asked them if it was something they would be willing to learn more about. They both said yes!
-----We had just tracked a street and were at the point when we were just ready to give up and to return home. I said "One more Elder _____!" So we started walking to the right side of the street to the next house. Elder _____ quickly says "Nope, I feel like we need to go left, to that house." He points at a specific blue house about 200 feet away. "That one." We get to the door step. We were thinking of just doing the normal approach about the Restoration of the Gospel. We noticed on the door, some writing. It reads "Family is a gift that last forever." We got pumped. Eternal Families. So I knocked on the door and we bore witness and testimony that we know families can be together forever. He seemed very intrigued. We set up an appointment for the next morning. Throughout the appointment the spirit was extremely strong, flooding through the room with every doctrine we testified of. Eric could feel it. The lesson went amazing. Then they gave us their names and numbers! It was a really cool experience!-
-----I have also found that my performance throughout the day is dependent upon how good my personal study was. The days that I have truly been on fire for have been the days that i have had the most powerful spiritual experiences in my personal study. I thrive off of feeling the Spirit during personal study-- I really do.
THE VISION OF THE SOUTH
"Make no small plans: This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together....We will see the time when we will baptize hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands...In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be temples plural in the Southern States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people." President Spencer W. Kimball