From June of 1967 through June of 1969, I served as a missionary in the Great Lakes Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The mission covered the states of Indiana and Michigan. In December of 1968 I was called to be the Zone Leader of the Ft. Wayne Zone with responsibility for the missionaries located in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan.  During that time I wrote the following monthly thoughts for the mission’s newsletter, The Harvester:


January 1969


We all want to be successful as missionaries, but how many of us are willing to be successful.


We can be as successful as we want to be if we are willing to be what is required.  To be successful as a missionary requires many things.  Among them are sacrifice, dedication, humility, and persistence.  The missionary who is willing to do whatever the Lord requires of him is the missionary who will be successful.


When we want something and are not willing to do what is required, we are defeating ourselves.


What is the difference between the kind of missionary you want to be and the kind of missionary you are willing to be?


February 1969


“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  This simple statement of truth is our key to success.  Our actions are bound by our thoughts.  If we master our thoughts, we at the same time master our actions.


Success in the mission field comes from thoughts trained upon the things of God.  Failure therefore is a result of thoughts trained upon the things of the world.  If we are to be successful we must eliminate all thoughts which do not uplift us and motivate us toward building the Kingdom of God.


The kind of missionaries we will be tomorrow will be the result of our thoughts today.  Let us train our thoughts toward the work of the Lord, that our actions will be pleasing to Him.


March 1969


Although we all face disappointments and, at times, failure; we must never let ourselves become discouraged. Discouragement serves no useful purpose, but instead leads to either rebellion or self-defeat.


We must recognize each failure as a challenge to be better; each obstacle as an opportunity for growth.  We can be successful as missionaries if we realize that a certain amount of disappointment is inevitable and use these times of disappointment as challenges to do better and try harder, instead of using them as excuses to give up or to feel sorry for ourselves.



April 1969


Know this that every soul is free

To choose his life and what he’ll be,

For this eternal truth is given

That God will force no man to heaven.

                                    William C. Clegg


We must also realize that just as God will “force no man to heaven,” neither will he force any one of us to be a successful missionary.  “He’ll call, direct, persuade,” but then each is free to make of his mission what he will.  We can make it a success, or we can let it be a failure.


Yes, the choice is up to you.  Make up your mind today that you are going to make the most of your mission --- and you will.


May 1969


If we are to be truly successful as missionaries we will never be satisfied with doing just “good enough” or even with being the first or the best.  No matter how grand our accomplishments, we can always do better, greater and higher things.  And that is what tomorrows are for.


Each day must be better that the day before.  If not, we have failed to progress.  In progression there is no room for “good enough,” because good is never “good enough,” but instead it is just a hint of even greater things we can do tomorrow.


Improve your missionary efforts each day, heighten your goals, for what is good today will not be “good enough” tomorrow.


June 1969


Time – there is never enough of it!  There just is not enough time to do all we would like to do.  We must make choices.  Although we have all been given the same number of hours in a day, some will accomplish more in their 24 hours than will others.  What we do with each 24 hours we are given will determine our success or our failure.  Used wisely, time is our servant, but used unwisely, it becomes our master.


We must make every minute count.  (If we waste but ten minutes a day, by the end of two years we will have lost the use of over five full days.) Once time is gone, it can never be redeemed, or reused.  We get but one chance.  Let us make our chance count and make the most of every, day, every hour, and every minute.