Finding people to teach is different in various parts of the world, and missionaries need to adapt to circumstances, but the universal principle that must be in the hearts of every missionary is that the Lord is preparing people to receive them and the restored gospel, Elder W. Craig Zwick said Jan. 11.
Elder Zwick, General Authority Seventy, was one of the presenters at the 2017 Seminar for New Missionary Training Center Presidents and Visitors’ Center Directors and their wives.
Elder Zwick engaged the departing couples at the seminar in a gospel discussion based on the account in John 21 about the resurrected Jesus appearing to His apostles on the banks of the Sea of Tiberius.
Christ’s injunction given three times to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” is Christ’s fervent call to every disciple, Elder Zwick remarked. He further taught, “Let’s consider what happens before Christ sends His disciples to feed His flock. Only after the Savior provided the fish, built a fire, tended the coals, kneaded the bread, cleaned the fish and served the meal does the Savior send His disciples out to feed others.”
Elder Zwick said he learns three powerful principles from this account that will help missionaries increase faith:
“First, missionaries must receive the love and spiritual nourishment Christ offers them, then they can reach out with faith to feed others,” he said. He asked the couples how they can help their missionaries feast at the cook fire of Christ and what can be done to help missionaries be more receptive to spiritual nourishment every day.
“Second, missionaries must recognize their dependence upon the Savior and invite Him into their lives,” Elder Zwick said.
In an effort to do their best, missionaries often adopt a formula of “Me + More = Christ,” he observed, meaning that if they read the scriptures more or study more or stay out longer they will become more Christlike.
A better formula, he said, is “Me + Christ = More,” meaning that as they open their hearts and let the Savior engrave them with a pure testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they will have more to give and will have more faith to find.
“Third, as missionaries express gratitude both inwardly and outwardly, they will receive miracles,” Elder Zwick observed.
He suggested this four-point formula following the pattern of the Savior: Learn to evaluate and use their own resources to the best of their ability; give thanks to God for what they do have; ask Him to bless their efforts as they go out and teach; only then will they be ready for the miracle.