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Hello all!

Well, another week has come and gone, and I am still alive. This week has been pretty uneventful-- a good portion of our investigators have gone out of town for Spring Break. As a companionship, we've been reviewing our performance and the results of our efforts as measured against the Mission President's weekly Standards of Excellence, which are as follows:

* 70 Quality Gospel Conversations (QGCs) = Teach + Testify + Invite
* 20 Sit-down lessons (SDLs)
* 20 Hours Tracting (HT)
* 10 Baptismal Invitations (aka. BIs: "As you receive a witness from God that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding proper priesthood authority?")
* 5 investigators at Church
* 80% of Sit-down lessons (15+) as member-present lessons (MPLs)
* 20 New Investigators (NIs)

That, coupled with the standard of 2 investigators baptized and confirmed per month, and it all equals quite a hefty goal, and takes a lot of work to get to that level. We meet those standards of QGCs, SDLs, HT, and BIs, so we're doing well on the "effort" key indicators, but miserably fail at the "results" key indicators of NIs, investigators at Church, MPLs (tired of the acronyms yet? ☺), and of course baptisms.

We've been working on trying to focus our efforts on raising the bar for the areas we lack. Right now, we're putting forth a renewed determination to find new investigators. While we're still not achieving the 20 that is the eventual goal, we are trusting in the Lord to help us as we strive to push for it, and expect to see an increase as we strengthen our focus there. once we get that indicator to a maintainable, steady clip, we will redouble our efforts on another key indicator.

So that was a little dive into the logistics of missionary "return and report" numbers. Although some of those numbers seem unrealistic, we have been promised divine assistance in achieving them and that those are the possibilities for every area in the mission, regardless of the elders, the ward, or the conditions of the people in relation to the Gospel.

If it weren't for the miraculous success that this mission has seen over the past three years, I wouldn't have believed President when he said that these things are possible, but I've seen growth here from the time when QGCs seemed doomed to remain at 40 or less, and SDLs seemed perpetually stuck at 13, but as we've prayed and worked hard, the Lord has blessed us and allowed those goals to come into fruition.

There's a great quote in preach My Gospel by a General Authority (I think it's Elder Ballard) that says:

One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit. If he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit. If he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people, and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time, talents, and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. That's secret-- work, work, work! There is no satisfactory substitute-- especially in missionary work.

Well, time's up and I have to leave. Elder Andersen and I are doing well, and we will continue this marvelous work and a wonder. Enjoy Conference!

Elder Watkins
Colorado Denver South Mission

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