Realize expectations, missionaries counseled

After he spoke to new mission presidents and their wives June 19, President Thomas S. Monson addressed some 2,500 missionaries and staff at the Missionary Training Center.

The missionaries filled the multipurpose room of the Lorenzo Snow Building at the training center to hear President Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency.He quickly established rapport with the assembly as he related anecdotes of missionary experiences - those of others as well as his own when he served as a mission president and as he has traveled the world as a General Authority. He told of the unique experience he had one year of personally interviewing 1,700 missionaries - from Hobart, Tasmania, to Anchorage, Alaska.

He read excerpts from letters written by missionaries he has met and influenced through the years and, based on their experiences, he expressed confidence in the successful missions of those now in training.

"Charles Dickens, in his book Great Expectations, speaks of a little fellow by the name of Philip Pirrip, more commonly known as Pip," he said. "He was a little orphan boy, a street urchin who never had any education. Yet he had all the normal desires of a boy. He wished with all his heart that he were a scholar. He wished that he were a gentleman. He wished that he were less ignorant. Yet all of his ambitions and all of his hopes seemed doomed to failure, until one day a London scholar by the name of Jaggers approached little Pip and told him that an unknown benefactor had bequeathed a fortune to him. Then that lawyer put his arm around little Pip and said to him, `My boy, you have great expectations.'

"I would like to figuratively put my arm around each one of you elders and sisters and say, `My young man, my young lady, you have great expectations. We want you to realize them. We want this to be the time of your lives. We want this to be the foundation of your lives.' "

President Monson continued his address by giving counsel and guidance gleaned from his associations with prophets and apostles as well as with rank and file members, leaders and missionaries throughout the Church.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed