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



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



Mission Letter 8-26-13


The Time is NOW!   The 8873 is now in our hands!


Dear Elders and Sister,


We have been blessed by the Lord with an incredible opportunity to rise up and be an example to the rest of the Lord’s servants.  There has been a great deal of trust and confidence given to us by the Lord, the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve apostles and the missionary department.  We must do all we can to make this, the 8873 Digital Area Book a success.  It is up to us how they will decide to go forward to the rest of the world and we must succeed. 


Success means:


1.      Have confidence that the Lord will guide our actions in forging forth with modern technology to teach the Gospel of the Kingdom to all the world.

2.      Act in faith in all things.  Acting in faith requires two things:

a.       Complete obedience

b.      Relying on the Holy Ghost

3.      Using all the tools available to us to increase the number of contacts we make not only in our mission but all over the world.

4.      We must keep accurate records so that the correct analysis can be done and the correct actions can be implemented.

a.       Keep the Digital Area Book up to date at all times

b.      Complete all Key Indicators as required

c.       Keep track of all online activity

5.      As a teaching tool, we must remember that there are still many around us, here in Santa Rosa who await the Gospel.  We must not forget that we do all things according to the Lord’s will and time.

6.      We must always work together as two witnesses to the work of salvation.


I am so pleased with all of you for rising up and taking on this new frontier and way of doing this the work of Salvation.


I would like to share with you an excerpt of Elder Perry’s announcement on 23 June, 2013:


When I was a young missionary, we were able to speak with contacts on the street and knock on doors to share the gospel. The world has changed since that time. Now, many people are involved in the busyness of their lives. They hurry here and there, and they are often less willing to allow complete strangers to enter their homes, uninvited, to share a message of the restored gospel. Their main point of contact with others, even with close friends, is often via the Internet. The very nature of missionary work, therefore, must change if the Lord is to accomplish His work of gathering scattered Israel “from the four corners of the earth.”1 The missionaries are now authorized to use the Internet in their proselyting efforts.

During less-productive times of the day— chiefly in the mornings—missionaries will use computers in meetinghouses and other Church facilities to contact investigators and members, work with local priesthood leaders and missionary leaders, receive and contact referrals, follow up on commitments, confirm appointments, and teach principles from Preach My Gospel using, Facebook, blogs, email, and text messages.

Access to the Internet by missionaries and the use of digital devices will be phased over the next several months and into next year. We will be in touch with you when it is time for your mission and area to use these tools. Of course, safety is paramount in this new frontier of missionary work. Mission presidents will monitor missionaries’ online work to help them remain safe in all they do.

One complaint we often receive from those who are interested in our church is that they build up the courage to stop by one of our buildings only to find it locked and empty. So, we have also decided to open our meetinghouses for guided tours. The missionaries will be at meetinghouses to greet interested individuals and guide them through our houses of worship, where they can be taught and invited in a place that rests under the strong influence of the Spirit.

As missionaries enter this new age where they will use computers in the work of the Lord, we invite the young and the old, the adults, the young adults, the youth, and the children everywhere to join with us in this exciting new work by becoming Facebook friends with the missionaries in your area on your own computers and sharing their gospel messages online, and by becoming involved in missionary work yourselves.”

We now have the devices – the very first mission in the entire world to use this incredible technological gift.  We must protect the work that we do for it is not ours.  We must move forward with faith as we face this new frontier of missionary work, in short, WE MUST SUCCEED.

This technological gift as all things was first created spiritually before it was inspired upon the minds of men and women.  It was given to us by the Lord and if we are unwise and use our free agency in an irresponsible manner, it will be taken from us.  We must prevent Satan from using us as his pawns to kill this work and the use of the 8873 so I ask that we do all things according to the wisdom of God and win the battle Satan rages against us.

Can we be the modern stripling warriors who tirelessly forge ahead always believing because “our mothers knew it”?  Yes, we can.

All my love,

President Alba