Sundays when all of our young missionaries speak are the best! Today we heard from Sister King, Elder Porter, Sister Call and Elder Stewart. They are a missionary force to be reckoned with. None of them had been given specific topics, but they were Spirit-directed in what they had to say and coordinated perfectly with each other. I'll never be able to do justice, on paper, to their inspired words, so I'll just share a few of their thoughts. The only sad thing about this "fearsome foursome" is that Elder Stewart will be released next week. Hopefully there will be another excellent elder to take his place.
Sister King began with the words to "Have I Done Any Good?" and concentrated on Service. Here are some of the words to the hymn:
Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad? If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way? When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love.
This hymn is inviting us to do the Lord's work. Here of two of the examples she shared about others who have "done good."
One day while Sister K was serving in another area, she and her companion were finding in a pretty rough area. They met a young man who was interested in learning more about the Church and gave him a Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, they found out that he wasn't in our mission, so we sent a referral on to the correct area. The Sisters were going to their car, but he wouldn't let them walk alone because some of his friends, "who were drunk, dangerous and cussing," were near their car, and he didn't want them subjected to that.
Sister K had a 7 year old cousin who was dying from a brain tumor, but even during her illness, she set such an example by giving any gifts she received to others in need. Because of her example her family is more charitable.
Elder Porter spoke on spiritual medics and healing. As members of the Church we understand what it means to be children of God. We are in constant conflict with adversity. Fortunately the wounds are rarely fatal. In our mission we missionaries are here to be medics. Active members need to be helpful to less actives and investigators. We are all still brothers and sisters. In hard times we must remember the second greatest commandment--Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself! The right way is never the easy way. Each of us has an individual "first aid kit"--the scriptures, prayer and repentance. No one can or should live the Gospel on their own. God will always be with us. Sacrifices are never in vain. I am not here because it's a duty but because I was called.
Sister Call ~ When we are called as a missionary Heavenly Father gives us a special kind of love for the people we serve. He knows the effort you're making to serve Him. He is aware of you. We, as missionaries, pray about everything we do. When we come to your home it's the Lord telling us to come. My prayers for today inspired me to talk about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. A disciple listens to what the Holy Ghost will tell you today then, when you leave, act on it! 3 Nephi 5:13 says "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." We (the missionaries) are striving to declare His word and be of service. In Mosiah 18 we are admonished to bear one another's burdens, comfort those in need of comfort and mourn with those who mourn. These are all attributes of Christ.
In a General Conference talk, Elder Holland spoke about the cost of discipleship and quoted Hebrews saying, "...what shall I more say [of them]? [They] who...stopped the mouths of lions..." Sometimes what disciples go through is not very pleasant. In another talk Elder Holland gave to missionaries he asked why people aren't lined up waiting to be baptized. Because salvation isn't cheap. Disciples have to go through a little of what the Savior did. Is it worth it--worth it to do our visiting teaching and home teaching, talk to a co-worker about the gospel? We can't call ourselves disciples if we aren't willing to sacrifice things for Him. I have a great love for the people of Plaquemine Branch that cannot be disputed.
Elder Stewart ~ I'm from California where we tend to live a fast paced life and don't take time to show love to others. Living in the South has shown me that people know how to show their love for others. When someone has the Gospel in their life you can see it in their eyes, in their faces. I compare it to a crank-up flashlight. You need to continually crank the flashlight handle to dispel darkness and to dispel spiritual darkness through the Gospel. The Gospel and the Plan of Salvation couldn't have been carried out without love. The parable of the sower reminds us that nourishing requires love. Through His love, the Savior endured everything for us.
Elder Stewart was so sincere and insightful that I was caught up in what he said and didn't finish taking notes. I do know this--everyone was in tears and we're going to miss him when he goes home next week.