Farewells and Flashcards
The day is almost here and I am so ready to report! Preparation has been hectic but satisfying. As far as I know everything needed has been bought, but I have a strange complex where I can’t pack until a day or two before… strange I know. I still am powering through the Book of Mormon (I’d like to have it read again before I leave), I also am delving into Preach My Gospel and as far as Portuguese is concerned… I am trying… but I have to admit that my motivation in learning the language right now is second to my eagerness to learn and gain a further testimony in the doctrines I will be teaching. Preach My Gospel states, “First study the doctrines and the lessons in your native language. That understanding will strengthen your testimony and your capacity to teach and testify convincingly” (127). This is so true to me right now. Portuguese is essential, but I’m taking advantage of my resources here and now to focus on the lessons and the scriptures in my own language mainly. I do have flashcards ALL over my bedroom walls though! My favorite thing to do is turn the fan on and watch the walls dance with Portuguese!
This last Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity to deliver my farewell in church and thought it would be a great opportunity to post as much as I can here. FYI I was given a topic, so the farewell is not simply about missionary work!
Faithfully Fulfilling Callings
“The call of duty came to John E. Page when the Prophet Joseph Smith extended to him a call to serve as a missionary. John E. Page ‘murmured” and responded, “Brother Joseph, I can’t go on a mission to Canada. I don’t even have a coat to wear.’
The Prophet Joseph removed his own coat, handed it to Brother Page, and said, ‘Here, take this and the Lord will bless you.’ John E. Page went on that mission to Canada and, during a two-year period, walked five thousand miles and baptized six hundred people. ” –Thomas S. Monson
The call of duty also came to the sons of Mosiah. In alma 17 The Lord called for them to “Go forth among the Lamanites, their brethren and establish His word; that they shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.” They received a call, and went forth with an attitude of righteousness. “The hearts of the sons of Mosiah took courage to go forth…for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken” The world would be a much different place if we all took up the same devotion as the sons of Mosiah in all of our callings. Ammon in particular is my missionary hero. With the true purpose of his calling in mind, Ammon went among the Lamanites with the pure intent to serve them . One of my favorite lines of scripture is when King Lamoni offers Ammon riches and he responds “Nay, but I will be thy servant”. Ammon gets it; he is called, he knows what he is expected to achieve in this calling, and he knows the Christ-like manner in which all righteous ends are met.” Ammon fulfills his calling so devotedly that King Lamoni exclaims “Surely this is more than a man“. In the New Testament Jesus and his disciples are on a boat at sea. Christ is sleeping when a tempest arises and in fear the disciples go to Him. Christ calms the sea and the men aboard ask “What manner of man is this?” We could answer them simply by saying He is not a man, but a son of a God. Ammon is a reflection of Christ, and we can be too. If we recognize our callings and enter into them reflecting Christ then men will ask what manner of men are we that serve in such a divine manner. If we serve with Christ reflected in our countenances, men of the world will look to us and wonder what power we have.
Ammon goes on to preach with boldness and the people are converted. Lamoni, the once wicked king, admits that “in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things”.
Brothers and Sisters, do we recognize the gravity and the number of callings which we hold? Our callings are personal and numerous. To illustrate my point I have made a list of recent church callings and lifelong callings that still impact my life. These callings, although they may have been short in duration, will stay with me my entire life; they have made me lifelong friends, they have taught me lessons and I will undoubtedly reap rewards later in my life from the service rendered. I am called as a: daughter, sister, granddaughter, student, mentor, choir director, Relief Society president, visiting teacher, friend, best friend, sacrament speaker, missionary, future wife and mom, Tribe of Ephraim, Disciple of Christ and as a Child of God. These callings I currently wear.
Every calling issued to you by the church is a direct issue from Heavenly Father. Come to know and accept that truth and no matter the calling you will be determined to serve with an Ammon like passion. There is no insignificant calling in this church and I testify that you have been called to this position for a reason. Mordecai remarks to Esther “who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this” Just as Esther, who knows if in this calling you will render a defining service to the life of someone else. Ammon and his brothers “fasted and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God.” I challenge you to earnestly pray now to be an instrument in God’s hands and be ready for the callings you will receive; be ready to take them up and to magnify them for they will be a service to the Lord as well as an answer to your prayers and that is a beautiful promise.
Like Esther, in Luke, Christ remarks, “but for this cause came I unto this hour.” Christ is the ultimate example and the ultimate teacher. He is the perfect role model for fulfilling our callings. I’d like to read a story very close to my heart that illustrates Christ’s calling.
In order to practice what I preach, I wish to share a parable of Christ’s life. Parables were a tool in the Master’s hand and I have two objectives Continue reading