My new companion, Elder Dakouri, from Ivory Coast.
Hello all. Well, everything with the transfer went well this week. Elder Dakouri and Elder Koranteng both came over from Togo on Thursday. Elder Wittig and I had a fun week together waiting for them to come. I had to do immigration things during the week, so we got to see many other missionary friends together. He also celebrated his birthday on Friday, so we had pizza and root beer floats and then we made brownies today! That little beat-up toaster may be the center of much mocking from those few outsiders who see it, but he’s been such a little tender mercy for us.
One last picture with Elder Lynch! He's home now!
Having these two new missionaries in the apartment has changed the aura a bit, just a bit of fresh air that’s all. However, the Lord has made it very clear to me what He wants me to learn with these last few weeks.
When I got the transfer call, I was informed that they (the mission leaders) were hoping that I could help lift my new companion. Then, when I was in the mission office for immigration, President Morin called me in for a brief interview to expound a bit more on why they had said that. In his words, “Every missionary wants to finish his mission, but we want them all to finish well.” I left that interview thinking that I was expected to format my new companion. I was pondering on how I could do this until the day he got here. With the first day, I was looking brightly towards the future. He’s got a good testimony and shares it openly and often. He’s excited to be working.
As the days wore on, I started to get slightly worried with the fact that I thought that I was being asked to change him. Looking towards the future, my vision became quite bleak, blurred even. Then, the Lord sent one of His humble servants a pick-me-up in the form of correction and direction.
As I was preparing for the 3rd hour lesson this Sunday, I got quite excited. The title “The Power of the Word” had intrigued me from the very first time I read it in January. There were a few words, like President Benson and many, many others have promised, that struck me as the Lord’s being spoken directly to me. One part, focused on making the word a greater part of our life, explained how we should seek out the word of God as it is contained in the mouths of God’s chosen modern-day prophets. I was reminded of this this morning as I sat down to begin my laundry haul.
As I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, I listened carefully to the words of President Eyring, Brother Callister, President Monson and President Uchtdorf from the October 2014 Conference. It soon became very, very clear to me what the Lord is expecting of me with my last few weeks, and I think that it can be summed up in one word: LOVE. Not just any love or lust, but true love, or charity.
After I finished, I felt prompted to look in the Joseph Smith manual in the chapter on charity. I was greatly enlightened by this chapter, and again I soon heard the Lord’s voice speaking to me. Before anything, we must love. We must not think that we are more righteous than others, but we must love every one of our fellow man and do everything in our power to help them. As President George Albert Smith complimented this doctrine, “there is true power in kindness.” He continued to explain how through kindness we can bring others to convert themselves unto the Lord.
So, as I endure to the end of my full-time service of the Lord God, I plan on following Nephi’s counsel on enduring to the end. In 2 Nephi 31:20, he said, “And ye must press forward, with a perfect brightness of hope, with a love of God and of all men.”
I am very excited for this essential life lesson that the Lord is communicating to me and enabling me to exercise at this time. I do not think that it is the only lesson that I have left to learn, but it certainly seems to be the most important. As President Monson said in April 2014, “Love is the very essence of the Gospel.”
I pray that as we continue to endure to the end of our lives and of our various current situations that we do so with “a love of God and of all men.” I promise that these truly are God’s prophetic words to us His children today. I so testify because He has made it so blatantly clear to me that I could never say otherwise. I know that, with love in our hearts, the future will always be bright and clear. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Legislative elections are next week. They're getting decently
creative with their campaigns!