Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Letter from President Judd

Dear Elders and Sisters: 

The recent changes in the ages elders and sisters will be able to begin serving missions will bring dramatic changes to the numbers of missionaries serving in the field. It is expected that the number will increase from 57,000 (where we are now) to as high as 90,000 and then level off to 75,000 full time missionaries serving throughout the world. We can expect at least 50 additional missionaries to be assigned to the Ghana Accra Mission in the coming months. Even though we have the most missionaries of any mission in the Africa West Area (160), our numbers will soon rise to 210 Elders and Sisters. This is exciting news, but it will also bring some interesting challenges. 

When Sister Judd and I first arrived in Ghana we soon saw the need to upgrade many of our older apartments. Many were unsafe and less than ideal. I also felt the direction to begin to send missionaries to branches that never had missionaries or who had not had them in several years. In order to make such upgrades and go into these areas, we had to rent some apartments with more bedrooms than we thought we needed. I have been feeling guilty about this, but now realize the Lord was preparing our mission for more missionaries to come.   

Physical Preparation

While most missions are scrambling to locate and rent new apartments, we already have the rooms to house the increased number of missionaries that will be coming our way. We could welcome new missionaries tomorrow because we already have the rooms for them. Dumb luck or inspired direction? I sincerely believe the Lord inspired Brother Paul Adjei and others to find the apartments they did for the purpose of housing our new missionaries. Just as the Lord commanded Nephi to make two sets of plates when he didn't understand the reasons for doing so, the Lord has done the same for us (see 1 Nephi 9:5 and Words of Mormon 1:7). 

President Judd went on to encourage each missionary to obey with exactness, that in doing so each missionary will be entitled to the fullness of Heavenly Father's blessings. As for parents and friends of the missionaries, we are encouraged to daily pray for the missionaries to have the strength, testimony, and courage to fulfill the Lord's purposes.

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