September 8, 2009

The Lighthouse - President's Message

After only two months in Portugal, we love the country, we love the people, and most of all we love our missionaries. You are our heroes. We love your dedication and your desire to serve the Lord with all of your "heart, might, mind and strength" (D&C 4:2). We recently met our historic new Area Presidency in Preston, England, along with all of the other mission presidents in Europe. The new Area Presidency is comprised of all Europeans (President Kopischke of Germany, Elder Caussé of France, and Elder Teixeira of Portugal). After a spiritual experience with them in the Preston Temple, the Area Presidency told us of their vision for the Lord's Church in Europe. They believe the active membership of the Church in Europe will double within ten years. To achieve this vision we need to reactivate one less-active member or baptize one new convert in each unit every transfer cycle. With the Lord's help, we can achieve this by working in unity with the members.

The Center for Young Adults in Porto, which was organized in May, continues to grow and has already had several baptisms. Another center with great potential will open soon in Coimbra. Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was also with us in England. He and Elder Kopischke said that the future strength of the Church in Europe will be among the age group of 18 to 30, and that is where the missionary success with be achieved. We must each do our best in our small part of the Lord's Vineyard, and then as Alma said, "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass...and by very small means the Lord does confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls" (Alma 36:6-7). This is the Lord's work, and we are privileged to be a part of it.