Friday, January 17, 2014

A NEW YEAR AND AN NEW VISION FOR THE MISSION




WE ARE A MISSION WITH A CULTURE OF 

HIGH EXPECTATIONS


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.

 

Love,

 

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!

 

Love,

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!

 Letter 9-1-13

 

“We say unto  you, receive the Holy Ghost”

 

Dear California Santa Rosa Missionaries,

 

Have you ever wondered what that means or why the words don’t say:  “We say unto you, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”, or “we give unto you the Holy Ghost?”

 

Today, during my hour of prayer, I was able to reflect on many things and one of the things that I was able to learn is that I need to do better at putting myself in situations where I can receive the Holy Ghost.  I need to qualify to receive the Holy Ghost.

 

When we are confirmed members of the church and we are told to “receive the Holy Ghost” requires so much more than just having someone with the proper Priesthood authority to lay their hands on us and to give us the Holy Ghost.

 

Marion G. Romney said the following:

 

“Now, we have the Holy Ghost.  Every one of us who are members of the church has had hands laid upon our heads, and we have been given, as far as ordinance can give it, the gift of the Holy Ghost.  But, as I remember, when I was confirmed, the Holy Ghost was not directed to come to me; I was directed to ‘Receive the Holy Ghost.’   If I receive the Holy Ghost and follow his guidance, I will be among those who are protected and carried through these troubled times.  And so will you and so will every other soul who lives under his direction.

 

“Now my bothers and sisters, we need to seek the Spirit.  We need to realize that it is a real guide.   The Lord has given us several tests by which we may know when we have that Spirit…..

 

“Now, I tell you that you can make every decision in your life correctly if you can learn to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”  (Marion G. Romney, “Seek the Spirit,” Improvement Era, Dec. 1961, p. 947)

 

Do we feel like we have received the Holy Ghost?  What evidence is there that we have received Him with all His testifying and His promptings?  If not, let’s learn from the following:

 

“Now I am going to say something that maybe I could not prove, but I believe is true, that we have a great many members of the Church who have never received a manifestation through the Holy Ghost.  Why?  Because they have not made their lives conform to the truth.  And the Holy Ghost will not dwell in unclean tabernacles or disobedient tabernacles.  The Holy Ghost will not dwell with that person who is unwilling to obey and keep the commandments of God or who violates those commandments willfully.  In such a soul the spirit of the Holy Ghost cannot enter.  That great gift comes to us only through humility and faith and obedience.  Therefore, a great many members of the Church do not have that guidance.  Then some cunning, crafty individual will come along teaching that which is not true, and without the guidance which is promised to us through our faithfulness, people are unable to discern and are led astray.  It depends on our faithfulness and our obedience to the commandments of the Lord if we have the teachings, the enlightening instruction, that comes from the Holy Ghost.

 

“When we are disobedient, when our minds are set upon the things of the world rather than on the things of the Kingdom of God, we cannot have the manifestations of the Holy Ghost.  Did you ever stop to think what a great privileges it is for us to have the companionship of one of the members of the Godhead?  Have you thought of it that way?  That is our privilege, if we keep the commandments the Lord has given us.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, We Are Here to Be Tried, Tested, Proved, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, 25 Oct. 1961, pp. 4-5.)

 

I was chastised by the Spirit today during my Mighty Hour of Prayer for not qualifying to have the Spirit.  At times, I wonder what needs to be done and I realized that I need to not wonder but that if I am as faithful as can be and as I get rid of the natural man, I will be let by the Spirit in all things.  I should not wonder!

 

“For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.”  (2 Nephi 32:5).

 

What an incredible promise that is our when we qualify ourselves to “receive the Holy Ghost” through our faithfulness, righteousness and obedience.

 

Nephi later tells us:  “…for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost, the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth in unto the hearts of the children of men.”  (2 Nephi 33:1).  Isn’t that what we all want?  If so, what are we willing to do or make of ourselves to speak with this great power? 

 

So when we doubt as to whether we are speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost or if we have any doubt that the words we speak are not carried in unto the hearts of the children of men, we ought to ask this one simple question:  “Have I received the Holy Ghost?”

 

It is my prayer that we do all within our power to receive the Holy Ghost and to keep it with us always – that is what is promised by the Savior and He always delivers!

 

My love to all,

 

President Alba

Letter to the missionaries 8/25/13

Rise up….Your time to shine is upon you

Rise up….In exact obedience like never before

Rise up…. And carry your light to the entire world and for all the world to see

“For behold, I will hasten my work in its time.”

It is no coincidence that you have been chosen …now

ARISE AND BE GREAT

 

Dear Elders and Sisters,

The words amazing, astonishing, incredible and unbelievable just don’t express what happening right now in the Ca. Santa Rosa Mission.  Not even close. We have been ‘chosen’ to be the 1st Mission in the World to receive the 8873’s….We have been ‘chosen’ to lead the world in this.  We have been ‘chosen’ so take the gospel to the four corners of the earth and therefore we have been ‘chosen’ and are the first to fulfill this prophecy and fulfill the scriptures that speak of it. Our mission right now, at this moment is fulfilling the prophecies of old!  Each one of you is a part of it.  Each one of you is here for a purpose.  Each one of you must now realize that much is resting on your shoulders. 

“Where much is given, much is expected.”  What a privilege…what a blessing…and what a heavy responsibility is upon you.  For, SLC, the world and all the heavens are watching each and every one of you from here on out. 

So….here we go.  We will lead the world with our banners held high.  Our light will shine in every direction.  We will do this right. And in doing so, we will receive God’s blessing upon us.

Remember the blessing and promise we received from Elder Perry in April?

“I promise you that if you use all of the skills and training that you have been taught and that if you use the wards and stake resources….that the windows of heaven will open in a way never before imagined.”

I never imagined that we would have the blessing to be the first mission to receive the device.  I never imagined that God would put the 8873 into our hands with such confidence in us. But He has.  “The windows of heaven have opened in a way never before imagined.”

So dear, dear Elders and Sisters, each day thank God that you have been chosen to be a part of this fulfillment.  Each day determine to walk the line carefully and to do your part in an excellent manner. Be obedient. This devise is ‘Holy’’, never forget that.

Continue on and even take a step up in using your new skills and training.  Enlarge them; be better than you have been.  Remember your purpose, to invite others to come unto Christ….open your mouth and invite, invite, invite… so that we may help fulfill God’s purpose….To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Yes, we now teach the world but…..OUR FIRST RESPONSIBILITY IS RIGHT HERE… IN THE CALIFORNIA SANTA ROSA MISSION…our work should not suffer due to the 8873… but it should be enhanced.  Always, the balance should swing to teaching right here, to finding right here and to serving right here.  And you now have an amazing tool to help you. Yes, the 101 is shining before us and is at our finger tips. We will see it happen… and much, much more.

 

I love you each so much, you are in my heart.

 

Love Sister Alba