We love being with the missionaries, with the members in their home wards or branches. Sunday, the 29th, May we traveled to Wolfeboro having scheduled that day months ago with the branch president. A beautiful drive in the early morning! As we entered the town, we saw people everywhere, walking the streets bordering shimmering Lake Winnipausaukee. It then occurred to us that this was Memorial Day weekend. Offhandedly, President commented,” This is the vacation home of Mitt Romney.” Sure enough, as we stood to speak, we noticed not only Mitt Romney and his family, but Bill Marriott and his. No fanfare. Same focus on the Savior. And for us, the same joys of interactions with the ‘year around’ Saints in Wolfeboro. (PS Mitt Romney and family stayed all three hours of the meeting block and stayed awake.)
On May 17 and 19, we held zone conferences in South Royalton, Vermont and in Augusta, Maine. Wonderful times to renew faith, to be instructed and to build unity in the mission. President Wilkey—with the help of his ‘ghost writer’ –sent the message below for the mission newsletter published once every transfer cycle—every six weeks. These glimpses summarize the fishing theme which he used to capture the interest of the missionaries and to point them to our call to leave our nets and become fishers of men.
PARABLES AND PARALLELS for FISHERS of MEN
A clinch knot if used by a fly fisherman will slip apart with little tension. However the improved clinch knot with one more loop in the knot binds the line to withstand any weight or tension placed upon it. Likewise it is the small and simple things lived that help us withstand the weight or tension of missionary work. Conversely we will slip apart under tension if we fail to do those small and simple things. Alma counseled his son Helaman, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass…by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of souls.” (Alma 37: 6-7) What is moral of the parallel? We write our own conclusions as we examine ourselves: Are we living the little things? As we do live the small and simple, do we expect to withstand the “tension” of missionary labors and to assist the Lord in bringing about the salvation of souls?
A fly fisherman who knows where to fish and how to approach the stream –not slap cast but gently float the fly onto the water surface—will have fishing success. A missionary who approaches his divine calling and authority, his daily schedule, his study, his area as well as planning, finding and teaching with casualness will become a fishing “casualty.” In short, casualness equals casualties. On the other hand, a missionary who has reverence and respect for his or her calling, a willingness to live the daily schedule, to study with a desire to be taught and to prepare to teach and to follow with exactness the standards of missionary appearance and conduct will invite the Spirit to be a divine and constant companion. Reverence invites revelation.
I testify of the love and compassion of our Savior. I know that His love manifested in the great Atonement defy description. What remains then for each one of us is to answer with conviction the same question that the Savior asked Peter who had gone “a fishing” (John 21) , “lovest thou me?” (John 21: 15-17) Do we love Him? Do we love Him enough to feed His sheep? As we do so, we can become like Peter who was filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 3:8) We can become even as our Savior the ultimate ‘fisher of men.”