Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mission Letter 3-24-14

A Brightness of Hope

In chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel – Christlike Attributes, we learn about hope.

“Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest

in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and

expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials

and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together

for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement.” Preach My Gospel, p 117.

I have found it that as my faith increases so does my hope and as my hope increases,

so does my hope. They go hand in hand one helping the other to grow as we come

to realize the importance of what we do and what our purpose is as servants of the

Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul teaches us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of thing

not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) So, the substance of all the things which we hope for

is what makes up our faith. What a marvelous manifestation and insight to this

Christlike attribute is given to us by Paul. Having a greater substance of all the thing

that we hope for will help our faith to increase.

In the 13th

we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is

anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these


Hope is therefore worth seeking after. Hope has given me the ability to believe even

more. At times when hope was waning or not existent in my life, I found that I was a

miserable and lost soul. When I focused on hoping for things to get better whether

it was illness, results from sin, trials and tribulations, at that moment when I began

to regain lost hope, things became brighter and my attitude towards all things

changed. I needed to focus on hoping for things that mattered – not for things of the

world but for things that would fortify and strengthen my soul.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell former member of the Quorum of the Twelve said the

following about hope:

“Real hope keeps us “anxiously engaged” in good causes even when these appear to

be losing causes on the mortal scoreboard (see D&C 58:27). Likewise, real hope is

much more than wishful musing. It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. Hope

is serene, not giddy, eager without being naive, and pleasantly steady without being

smug. Hope is realistic anticipation which takes the form of a determination—not

only to survive adversity but, moreover, to “endure … well” to the end (D&C 121:8).

“Real hope inspires quiet Christian service, not flashy public fanaticism. Finley Peter

Dunne impishly observed, “A fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord

would do if He knew the facts” (quoted in The Third—and Possibly the Best—637

Best Things Anybody Ever Said, comp. Robert Byrne [1986], no. 549).

The greatest source of hope is of course the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of all

things good and true. His love will always be available to us and that should give us

hope during times of trial.

Our Savior’s love shines like the sun with perfect light,

As from above it breaks through clouds of strife,

Lighting our way, it leads us back into his sight,

Where we may stay, to share eternal life.

The Spirit, voice of goodness, whispers in our hearts

A better choice than evil’s anguished cries.

Loud may the sound of hope ring till all doubt departs,

And we are bound to him by loving ties.

Our Father, God of all creation, hear us pray

In reverence, awed by thy Son’s sacrifice.

Praises we sing. We love thy law; we will obey.

Our heavenly King, in thee our hearts rejoice.

LDS Hymns – Our Savior’s Love – No. 113

I pray that all our hearts rejoice in this knowledge. He lives! He will return once

again to gather His children. Let us have a greater hope regardless of the things we

struggle with and He will deliver us and claim us as His own.

I love each one of you. I rejoice in your goodness and your dedication to His cause.


President Alba
Mission Letter – May 5, 2014

Dear missionaries,

From Preach My Gospel we read (p. 103):

“The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence of the divinity of Christ. It is also

proof of the Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith. An essential part of

conversion is receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is

true. As a missionary, you must first have a personal testimony that the Book of

Mormon is true. This testimony can lead to a deep and abiding faith in the power of

the Book of Mormon during the conversion process. Have confidence that the Holy

Ghost will testify to anyone who reads and ponders the Book of Mormon and asks

God if it is true with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ. This witness of

the Holy Ghost should be a central focus of your teaching.”

President Ezra Taft Benson taught this important principle relating to the Book of

“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that.

It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed

does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which

will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the

book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to

avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The

scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true

than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those

words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”

I love the fact that if we make the study of the Book of Mormon and as we live by

the precepts that are found therein, we will receive power. This power will allow

us to become more powerful and effective teachers of the word of God. This power

will help us in becoming the disciples that will follow Christ not only during our

missions but throughout our lives.

Remember the words of Elder Holland speaking as if the Lord were speaking to

Peter after He asked him if He loved Him? “What I need, Peter, are disciples—and

I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need

someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me,

truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me

to do.” Becoming such disciples will be accomplished through diligent study of the

Book of Mormon.

We will have power to fight temptation; we will have power to be closer to the

source of inspiration and revelation; we will have power to avoid deception and yes,

it is all around us and we must not be deceived by anyone – lest we are left alone,

even the very elect may be deceived; we will have the power to stay on the straight

and narrow path; and we will have a hunger and thirst for pure knowledge as it

begins to pour upon us when we read this great book.

I ask that we each begin a spiritual journey as we read and study the Book of

Mormon together for the next 90 days. Keep the things you are taught in your

journals so that we can share what we felt and learned from the Spirit during our

next zone conference in the Summer.

I challenge all of us to receive a powerful witness and a love for the Book of Mormon

so that it may be the source of spiritual strength needed by God’s warriors. It will

sustain us and it will be a blessing in our lives not just now but forever.

I invite us all to make the study of the Book of Mormon a lifelong pursuit and let

it then change who we fundamentally are and become more like God wants us to

I love the Book of Mormon. I first read it’s sacred pages as a very young boy. I

learned the stories found therein as a young child from my mother. I felt safe sitting

on her knee or kneeling on the ground as she enriched our lives by the principles

taught therein. I can still remember the warmth I felt as my young imagination

took me on many journeys with Nephi, Jacob, the sons of Mosiah, Helaman’s young

warriors. The terror I felt for Mormon and his son Moroni, for Abinadi as he sealed

his testimony while being burned alive; or for Alma and Abinadi as they saw the

Saints being burned alive. I could feel the wonder of it all as God delivered His

servants over and over and over again – the sons of Mosiah, Nephi and his brother

Lehi. At the sadness and disappointment I felt for those who would not obey God’s

commandments. Greatest of all, I felt myself walking up to the Savior when He

appeared to His people at the temple. I felt my small finger lovingly touch the

wounds in His hands and His feet and His side and wondered “who would ever do

such a thing?” and “why would He let them do it?” After many years of studying

this great book, these stories are part of me, of who I am and I now have a greater

comprehension to the questions I posed to myself - who could do such a thing and

why would He let them do it!

Yes, my fellow missionaries. I received a witness of this great book at a very young

age and I testify of the staying power it has provided me throughout my lifetime as it

will be for each of you. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!

I testify to all of the truths found therein. Thanks be to God for His mercy and love

He has for each one of us and for the great privilege I have to have such a book!

President Alba

Friday, January 17, 2014





  In Nov. on 2013 President Alba and I attended a Mission President's seminar.  There we spent 3 days with 29 other mission presidents and their wives, many of the Seventy and Elder and Sister Ballard.  It was an event that we will never forget. The windows of heaven were opened and revelation seemed to pour down upon us all.  Dear Elder Ballard...such an incredible force for righteousness, led us step by step every day.  He has given this mission the challenge to lead the world in High Expectations... for this mission, for us and for our missionaries.  He has given the charge to set our sights higher, become closer to God, to live more obediently and to set high goals.  But mostly to have more faith that it can be accomplished and that our missionaries are not only capable but were prepared, chosen and sent here to do it.

We, in the California Santa Rosa Mission now unite to bring forth the blessings of heaven.  Our eyes look to heaven for directions.  Our hearts are sealed to this work.  Our souls are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. We are His.

Sister Alba

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Letter to the Misionaries President Alba 10-21-13

Mission Letter 10/21


My dear missionaries,


I want to express my love and gratitude to each of you for your goodness and the desires you have to become fully engaged in the work of salvation – the salvation of Heavenly Father’s children.


In the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 112 verse 10, the Lord makes this promise to those who humble themselves before Him:


“Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.”


Can you imagine your hand in that of the Savior?  I can’t think of any greater joy that could come to each of us that would compare to our hand in the hand of the Savior.  Yet, it is true and He does not make a promise that He will not fulfill if we keep our part.  He asks that we humble ourselves before Him.  To give our will to Him so that He can then stretch His hand and lead me and give answers to my prayers. 


Also in D&C 59:20 the Lord teaches us how we often offend Him:


“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindles, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.”


We are to recognize God and His hand in all things otherwise we are an ungrateful servant and He will be offended by the things we fail to do.  Note also that not only are we to confess His hand in all things but also we need to obey His commandments.


I have always found such great peace and comfort in the Kenneth Cope song entitled “His Hands”.  It very sweetly and lovingly reminds me of what I could do with my hands – especially when my hand is in the hand of the Savior.


His Hands, by Kenneth Cope


His hands

tools of creation

stronger than nations

power without end

and yet through them we find our truest friend

His hands

sermons of kindness

healing men's blindness

halting years of pain

children waiting to be held again


His hands would serve his whole life though

showing man what hands might do

giving, ever giving, endlessly

each day was filled with selflessness

and I'll not rest until I make up my hands what they could be

'til these hands become like those from Galilee


His hands

lifting a leper

warming a beggar

calling back the dead

breaking bread, five thousand fed

His hands

hushing contention

pointing to heaven

ever free of sin

then bidding man to follow him


His hands would serve his whole life though

showing man what hands might do

giving, ever giving, endlessly

each day was filled with selflessness

and I'll not rest until I make up my hands what they could be

'til these hands become like those from Galilee


His hands

clasped in agony

as He lay pleading, bleeding in the garden

while just moments away

other hands betray Him

out of greed, shameful greed

and then His hands

are trembling

straining to carry the beam that they'd be nailed to

as He stumbles through the streets

heading towards the hill on which He’d die

He would die

they take His hands, His mighty hands, those gentle hands

and then they pierce them, they pierce them

He lets them, because of love

from birth to death was selflessness

and clearly now I see him with His hands

calling to me

and though I'm not yet as I would be

He has shown me how I could be

I will make my hands like those from Galilee


I invite all of us to make our hands like those of Galilee.  Let us help our Heavenly Father create a beautiful masterpiece as we invite and guide His children back to Him.  Let us serve all with love and care, let us use our hands to heal, to lift, to lovingly apply the balm that will help them find peace of soul and mind.


Let us make our hands like those from Galilee.




President Alba

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Letter to the Missionaries 9-30-13


Mission Letter 9-29-13

Our purpose in Finding

In Preach My Gospel, chapter 9 we learn the following:

While the Prophet Joseph Smith was
traveling with a group of missionaries on the
Missouri River, the Lord revealed, “It is not
needful for . . . mine elders to be moving
swiftly . . . whilst the inhabitants on either
side are perishing in unbelief” (D&C 61:3). As
you move swiftly to planned activities, pray
for the ability to see unplanned opportunities
to serve and teach those who may be
“perishing in unbelief.” Pray for the spiritual
sensitivity to recognize opportunities. You
will find that God will place in your path His
children who are being prepared to receive the restored gospel.

Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach. Talk with as many people as you can each day. It is natural to be somewhat apprehensive about talking to people, but you can pray for the faith and strength to be more bold in opening your mouth to proclaim the restored gospel. Try applying the following ideas as you seek to talk with everyone you meet:

     Talk to people about their families. Help them see how the restored gospel can be a blessing to their families.

     Look for clues—such as items in homes or yards, lettering on clothing, or indications of children—to help you know how to begin talking with people.

     Listen sincerely to what people say to you.

     Be warm, friendly, and cheerful. Offer to help.

     Trust the Spirit to put into your heart and mind what to teach.

     Invite everyone to learn about the restored gospel.

     Offer pass-along cards.

     Ask for the names of people’s acquaintances who might be interested in your message.

Finding and teaching are related, connected activities. When you meet people, be prepared to teach brief summaries of restored truth so that the Holy Ghost can bear witness that you are the servants of the Lord. In many situations, you will need to be able to present a message in a minute or less. People are accustomed to short, powerful statements. For example, you may testify of the message of the Restoration in just two or three sentences:

After centuries of being lost, original truths of God (the gospel of Jesus Christ) have been restored by a loving God through a living prophet. We have evidence of this that you can hold in your hands, read, ponder in your heart, and pray about to learn its truth for yourself. Will you allow us to . . .

We can also teach one of the most important principles we teach and that is that Heavenly Father is a loving Heavenly Father.  You may want to simply teach:

Throughout time, our Heavenly Father has been interested in the lives of His children.  We are all His children and as such, His desires are that we might return to Him and that we might be obedient to His commandments.  He has shown us a way that we can return to Him and when we choose to obey and follow Him, we show him our love and dedication.  Will you allow us to . . .

We were challenged by Elder Aidukaitis to have each missionary contact 10 people every and we accepted his challenge.  He reminded us of the promise made by Elder Ballard.  Are we willing to accept his blessing by doing what he has asked us to do?  I do believe that we are all up to the task and are willing to do it.


I ask that we refocus on our purpose (see Preach My Gospel, p1) and that we continue to do all that we can to find the elect and bring them to Christ.  I promise that as we do these things and as we contact 10 additional people per missionary each day, that we will be blessed.  We may not find the investigators from our 10 daily contacts but by doing this, we show the Lord that we are obedient to an invitation of one of His chosen servants and thus we qualify for additional help from Him and His angels who have been sent to prepare those who would accept our message.


Can we have more faith and believe what we have been asked to do?  Is it that difficult to do?  Try the Lord and see what happens!  We must, however do it every single day and we will find the elect – whether by our contacting or other means, He will deliver His promise to us for He is a God of promises and He will deliver when we do our part.  Are you willing to do your part to qualify for those promised blessings? 


I bless each of you to be faithful and to do as we are asked and try the Lord.  He will deliver!  He always has and He always will!


We must find, find, find.  They are there waiting for us to find them.  I know this to be true.  I have seen it!



President Alba

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Brave New World of Missionary Work...To the 21st Century and Beyond!

On August 20th, 2013 our mission changed forever. What a time this, the California Santa Rosa mission is living in.  We truly are living in the midst of miracles and right now our heads are spinning.  We are the first 'total' mission in the world to receive the 'hastening' devices...which we call our 8873's for D&C 88:73... "For behold, I will hasten my work in its time." We are the first 'total' mission to have gone global.  We are the first 'total' mission in the world to teach to the four corners of the earth.  We have had the 8873's, which are mini I Pads, for about 3 weeks now and so far miracles abound. The windows of heaven have opened unto us in ways never before imagined. The time is now!