19 August 2011

Goodbye is a Word Best Served before Breakfast

My visa to Brazil still has not arrived. For missionaries going to Brazil, this means a temporary reassignment to another U.S. mission.

I've been called to serve part of my mission on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. I don't think anyone was more suprised by that assignment than I was. And now that I've arrived and I see what my life will be like for as long as I'm here, no one could be happier about my assignment than I am now.

The most amazing thing I've seen so far is that the mission is run entirely by sisters, with the exception of the Mission President--the assistants to the president, the zone leaders, the district leaders, all of them are sisters. I went from the MTC being surrounded by Elders and men, to being surrounded, greeted, hugged, hugged again, and introduced to more sisters than I've seen in almost two months. I absolutely adore my new assignment, and I'm eager to get to work and begin serving.




I had my first interview with my mission president, President Holmes, who is a kind and loving man. His perceptiveness to his missionaries is phenominal, and my interview with him was a sacred experience I will always treasure. He asked me direct questions about my life that only inspiration from the Spirit could prompt him to ask. He assigned me to my companions, a trio, whom I love already. I'm learning quiet lessons from their examples already, and I know the impact they will have on my life will change me forever.

Temple Square is a very busy mission. Much will be expected of me--that much has been made plain to me by the Lord, as well as in everything I see here. I need to decide now what kind of missionary I want to be, and always live up to that expectation of myself. How well I do this will determine the kind of missionary I become and the mission I will serve. I've received a lot of private correction in my heart from the Spirit already, and I see more clearly than ever what I have to change to be the sort of missionary who can change the world.

And I know that's exactly what the Lord intends for me to do. In my personal study of the Book of Mormon this morning, I was reminded of this simple fact:

"For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."
2 Nephi 27: 23

Everything about Temple Square testifies of the fact that Heavenly Father loves all of His children. There is no nation, no kindred, no tongue or people that He has forgotten. There are sisters here from more countries than I could list, speaking languages from the furthest reaches of the globe. They regularly teach investigators from all over the world, and it's all because Heavenly Father loves all of His children. He knows where they are. He knows how to help them. He calls His servants because of their faith to come and teach His children. He brings them here in great abundance so they have the opportunity to learn the truth and to be saved.

Being a convert, my heart sings with joy to see others beginning their journey home to our Father in Heaven--even if they do not recognize that He has brought them here. The only thing I can do now is to do my best to teach with clarity and power the message Heavenly Father would share if He were here.

I know that Jesus is the Christ. He lived to teach us a perfect example, He died to bear our sins and heartaches, and He lives again that we might be saved. I know the Book of Mormon is a true testimony of Jesus Christ. It teaches us His gospel and, together with the Bible, helps us to discern between good and evil. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I am honored to serve as a missionary in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.

I know that we have a living prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson. If we follow the council of the prophets and apostles, we will be prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We will not be led astray by Satan and his angels, and we will have the power and the wisdom to resist all temptation until the day our Lord returns.

I bear that witness with all the love and sincerity of my soul in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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