Friday, June 3, 2016

Last post -- for now....

Hello everyone. 

I wish to inform you that my service in Columbus, Ohio has come to end. For now at least. 

I find it easier to just explain to everyone over email, so I'll explain: There were things that I had not properly taken care of before I went on my mission. I am being accountable for my actions and it is because of the appreciation I received for my Savior and His everlasting Atonement. I had thought that simply turning away from sin was enough, but that's not how it works. I am doing what I need to to do all I can. 

I will have the option, after about 18 months, to return to service as a missionary. At this given moment, that is the goal. I wish for nothing more than to return to my mission. 

I appreciate all the love, support, prayers, everything. 

If you feel that you need to know more, or are dying to ask questions, feel free to contact me  :)

I wish to close with my testimony: I know that this is the only true and living church in which we have the fullness of Jesus Christ's gospel. He provided us a way to return to again live with our Father in Heaven. He is our friend, our brother, our advocate, and will never leave us to go through this life alone. He does so in a variety of ways such as scripture, prayer, and prophets. I know and can testify that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. They called him to restore the true gospel through the power and authority that is the priesthood of God. In turn, the Book of Mormon is a fruit of this restoration, and is an evidence that God still speaks to us. I am grateful for the knowledge, experience, and strength I received from my mission. I pray that anyone who can serve, will strongly consider serving. I love you all. I love my Savior. I leave these things with you in His name, Jesus Christ, amen. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

week #18 - Butt dialing to share a copy of the Book of Mormon!

I'm kind of at a loss as to what I should talk about this week! So,
sorry if it's a disappointment!

Not much has really changed or happened this week! Elder Hougland and
I experienced some wonderful rain and mud for a couple of days while
biking (as you'll notice in some pictures). So that was pretty
exciting! People have been extremely nice to us this week as well,
which has been a blessing.

Yesterday, while coming home from church, there was a pretty sweet
looking Lamborghini that Elder Hougland, Izro, and I took pictures of
while we were stopped. "One day...", I told myself. Also, there is a
picture of some geese and their adorable children. :)

There was a lady that called us at 11:30pm Monday night, and we didn't
answer our phone. It was too late, and we were mad that it woke us up
haha. Called her back the next day, and she was wondering why we were
calling her, and how we got her phone number. After we told her who we
were, she pretty much hung up haha. On Tuesday, while we were biking,
I accidentally butt dialed her. We stopped when she called us back.
She asked why we called again, and explained the situation. She then
asked us what made our religion so different from others, and we were
able to teach her about the Book of Mormon over the phone! She asked
for a copy too! We sent her information to the missionaries in her
area, so I hope she likes what she reads!

We were blessed to be trained by Elder Zepallos, a member of The
Seventy, and his wife this Thursday. They are wonderful spirits, and
truly love those that they are able to serve. Their stories for
conversion were amazing as well. The one story I liked the most
though, was one Elder Zepallos told. He explained that his son, who as
about ten at the time, had been bugging his father to go hiking up a
hill near their home for a few Saturday's in a row. Elder Zepallos is
from Northern Chile (Antefogasta was where he presided just a few
years ago!), and the sun was brutal during the day. He told his son,
after his persistence and pleading, that he would go only if they
awoke at 6:00am to begin the hike. He was sure his son would forget to
go after a week had gone by, so he hadn't mentioned it at all, and set
no alarms. His son woke him up at 6:15am to get ready for the day
ahead. He said they had a fun time, and the hike was a memory he
wouldn't forget. When they reached the top of the hill, to his remorse
and his son's excitement, there was an even taller hill just behind
the one they had just climbed. His son begged for them to arise even
earlier the next Saturday to climb the second hill. The story goes on,
but a principle, and a very profound statement came from a little boy
who answered a fairly simple question from his father. "Son, what did
you learn from the hike?" "It was fun dad! If we had never climbed the
first hill, we would have never known there was a bigger, taller one
behind it."

Again, I love you all and am grateful for the love and support! Please
have a good week!

Monday, May 16, 2016

week #17 week 2 in Polaris

Week two in Polaris! It hasn't gone the way I've expected it to by any
means. Was definitely sick during the middle of the week. Elder
Henderson (our District Leader's, Elder Gardner, companion) and I were
sick together for a couple of days. Elder Hougland and Elder Gardner
went out and tracked and taught a few lessons during those days. On
the bright side of everything, I got my bike! It's so much better than
the "too good to be true," freed bike.

The biggest takeaway I feel that I was able to gain from Zone
Conference, or what hit me the most, was something that Elder Dildine
said: "The Atonement is more than a blanket of grace. It is a one on
one guide and tutor that allows us to fully rely on Jesus Christ." As
was mentioned during Stake Conference, we sometimes lose the value and
the sight on Jesus Christ and how important He really is in all of
this. The closer we are to Christ, the less people are able to affect
us and how we worship. When I was younger, I felt as though I couldn't
go to church at times because there were people that I just could not
get along with. As I grew older, I recognized that it is my belief, my
faith, and my choice. Sometimes I'm not able to put into words how I
feel, or explain what I say, but this weekend I was able to find a way
to describe my progression from a time when I was about sixteen years

On Saturday I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder
Gardner. Such a blast! He is a convert to the church, which you would
never be able to guess, and his story is even more incredible in my
mind. We are two peas in a pod! He's from Idaho Falls and we are
similar in a lot of ways. We met a guy named Jim who invited us in his
home to spend about fifteen minutes trying to tear down everything we
believe. He loves his Bible and referred to us as a counterfeit
religion, false doctrine, cult, and told us we were going to hell
about four or five times. I love opportunities like those to simply
bear testimony of the truth we know, and leave an invitation. I'm very
sad for the nearly 90 year old man, but I'm sure he will accept the
gospel eventually. We left though being able to laugh at the
situation. We went later that night to stop by a less active member a
little later, and the member slammed the door in our face. We were
walking away when he came back out and told us to never come back and
that we were harassing him. Apparently he would have called the cops
on us if he hadn't been in a "good mood." He was pretty ticked though.
We had a long conversation with him where he continued to get upset.
He threatened us and future missionaries and members who may stop by.
We explained that if he doesn't want to be bothered to have his
records removed so they are taken off our contact list. He told us to
do it and wouldn't want to write a four sentence letter to the bishop.
We gave him bishop's contact information regardless, and told bishop
about it that night. He decided he would stop by the next day, and
Elder Gardner told me that it wasn't the member that had been yelling
at us, it was his husband. The husband got told off by The member to
be more kind to missionaries when they stop by. Sadly, he still had
his records removed.

It was great to go to the temple with Alfonso and Irma on Friday
night. They loved it and I know they are excited to go back. We are
hoping to be meeting with Amber again this week to get her moving
towards baptism, but her work schedule is pretty crazy. Don, who came
to church yesterday, is another investigator we are going to be
focusing on. He's been meeting with missionaries for a while, but
hasn't really progressed much. We will be starting over with him and
getting him going with more commitments and invitations. He's a great
guy, and very Christlike. He has a lot of potential and we are excited
to work with him!

We went to the zoo today! I guess it's on of the biggest/best zoos
around. It was pretty fun! It was our district activity, so all the
elders and sisters in our district came with us. I'll send more
pictures of it next week.

I'm so grateful for the wonderful experiences that I've been able to
have this week. I hit four months on Wednesday, and it's surreal to
think that the time has flown by. The missionaries that I'm able to
work with just add to the adventures that I'm having out here.

I love and miss you all! Until next week.

Monday, May 9, 2016

week #16 New area - Polaris - Riding a bike now!

Happy Mother's Day! Again at least.

My new area is Polaris. It's a ward that has only existed for about a
year and a half now. It's right around the Lewis Center area, for
those of you who are dying to look it up. It's an all biking area, so
that's kind of new to me! I'm not used to it, and am a little slow,
but I'm doing way better than I was Thursday, so I'm improving! I'm
told (and finding out by experience) that we will bike anywhere from
10-20 miles on a typical day.

We are working with some wonderful recent converts here in Polaris.
Alfonso and Irma are going to be doing baptisms for the dead for the
first time this Friday, and we have the opportunity to go and support
them. That will make for an exciting day for sure. We had a few
investigators come to church this week, which was great. The Ward here
is amazing. The people are so welcoming and truly are looking for ways
to be more missionary minded. The Fackrell's fed us last night, and
allowed us to call home after dinner. They're a great family. It's
weird having kids in sacrament meeting now! It's definitely not as
quiet as it once was.

This weeks email will be shorter, as I don't have as much to talk
about. It was great being able to call home yesterday. Great to see
that everyone is doing well!

We had a very cool experience on Saturday night. The last potential we
were going to see we saw in our notes that it just told us that she
lived on a corner house on a certain street. There were a total of
eight corner houses on that street. We only had like ten minutes
before we needed to start heading home, so we decided to try one of
the ones on our way out of the neighborhood. The first house we came
up to, the screen door was closed, but the main door was open, and we
saw this woman inside. We asked if she knew who were looking for, and
it ended being this lady. The very first house we checked, the first
person we talked to (looking for this potential investigator), was who
we were looking for. Her mother had just recently (VERY recently from
what we could tell) passed away, and she was struggling very hard with
that. We had a wonderful conversation about having faith in Christ to
help us through difficult times. We bore testimony that our Savior
could uphold her through anything and everything that she I struggling
through, and that He knows us personally.

I'm grateful for all of you. Thank you for your love, your support,
your letters and emails, and everything. Til next time!

My new address is:
8326 Finch Shelter Dr. Apt. C Columbus, Ohio 43235

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

week #15 -- New record for Sloopy's and a new transfer this week as well.

Man, this week has been pretty eventful! It's also been the longest
week ever. This transfer has flown by and I can't believe it's over
tomorrow. I want you all to know how much the Lord has blessed me and
my companion. Elder Yeates is a great worker, a great companion, and
an even better friend. We have encountered so many tender mercies from
running into a less active that hasn't come to church in forever at
the institute building because he felt like coming and playing the
piano to being able to (yesterday) get called to go to the hospital to
give a priesthood blessing. The Lord's timing is remarkable.

Yesterday, Elder Yeates, Elder Ames, and I decided to attempt the
Sloopy's challenge again. Elder Ames and Elder Yeates were looking to
finish for the first time so they don't (potentially) leave campus
without completing it. I, however, was determined. Sister Horvath had
tried it the day previous, and did it in 11:13 and had an order of
fries afterwards. She held this over all the elders pretty much all
that day. Elder Yeates redeemed himself, and conquered it without
puking. I wanted to beat her time and eat some fries. I'm truly
ashamed to say I finished it in 8:43 and also had the order of fries.
It was fun, but now I have to go running in the mornings to burn it
off. Sister Horvath wasn't too happy when she found out either...

I had mentioned the priesthood blessing that we gave yesterday. The
man we went to visit was a less active member fro, Mansfield, but was
at the OSU hospital because he needed to get a stint in his heart.
Danny Rhea (Ray) is one of the funniest guys I know. We walk in and he
says, "Oh my heck! You got here so fast! You two are soooo good." He
was pretty drugged up and was giving us a good laugh. We were able to
give him his blessing, and the spirit was super strong. It was

So I am being transferred! I have been at OSU for three great months.
I will miss it so much, but I'm so grateful for the amazing people
I've been able to meet here. I don't know where I'm transferring to
yet, but I know it'll be great. I don't expect it to be easy, but it
will be a good time.

Don't send any letters or packages until I get my new address!!

I got to say goodbye to Adam Stout yesterday, and Bobby Barr (1st Ward
Ward Mission Leader) today. I'm sad to have to say goodbye, but I'm
excited to see where I'll be next. We had to say goodbye to the
Springers last week, and we welcomed the new senior couple, the
Dabb's. They're a very sweet couple, and I'm sure they will love
serving here at OSU.

I feel so blessed to have felt the spirit so strongly this week. I
just want you all to know how much I love you and am grateful for the

Monday, April 25, 2016

week #14 - Book of Mormon on broadway - - Sharing the gospel

This week has been pretty eventful! As a district, we were downtown
Saturday and Sunday night while the Book of Mormon on Broadway was in
town, sharing pass along cards and info about the real Book of Mormon.
People were pretty responsive and wanted to take pictures with real
Elders. It was a blast! Met the lead actor for the play! And there was
a great guy named Steven "Streets" who is an Irish Catholic man who
plays the trumpet and sings. He's dedicated his life to performance.
He was pretty interesting, but a great guy and an even better

Also, as I hit my official three month mark on Wednesday, all the
Elders and a few members went to Sloopie's Diner here on campus. We
did a challenge that is between missionaries here. It's three giant
pancakes with chocolate chips and peanut butter. I tried last transfer
and couldn't finish, but I got it down in twenty minutes this time!!
Elder Yeates had four bites left but puked in a trash can that we went
and grabbed for him a little earlier.

Our most progressing investigators, including the ones who were on
date, dropped us this week. It was a pretty difficult time, but it's
been such a blessing to have those trials to build my faith. I'm not
saying I want people to not get baptized, but I know that the Lord is
trying to see how hard we are willing to work even though we are
getting discouraged.

Transfers are next week and I'm really hoping that I get to stay at
least another transfer here at OSU. The people and the missionaries
here are absolutely amazing.

Daniel is now off to the Provo MTC to prepare for his mission in Tempe
Arizona, and the Springers (the senior couple here at OSU) go home
this upcoming Wednesday. I'm so sad to see them go, but I know their
family misses them.

I've been studying a lot of Elder Holland's talks recently. There's a
lot of great things that I've been able to take from the words of one
of my favorite Apostles. I'd encourage you all to look into a few of
his older talks. One of my favorite quotes: "Some blessings come soon,
some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who
embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." (“An High Priest of
Good Things to Come" Jeffrey R. Holland October 1999).

I love and miss you all! Thank you for the emails, packages, and
especially the prayers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

week #13 -- Fully trained missionary in two more weeks!

Only two more weeks, and then I am done being trained! It honestly
isn't that bad, but man it'll be nice to not have that title anymore.
This last week has been pretty eventful!

We will start with the negatives, or blessings in disguise. Everyone's
most progressing investigators dropped them this week, including Elder
Yeates and I. All we can do is pray, and love these people regardless
of their decisions.

Elder Yeates and I continue to work hard! It's pretty fun coming home
at the end of the day, dripping with sweat, to an apartment that is
warmer than the temperature outside. I can't wait till they turn the
AC on. I'm not going to complain because I know a few missionaries who
will never have that luxury, but man the humidity here is crazy! It
seems that the people on ca,OSU are very open and receptive, but
laziness and the stress of school doesn't allow them to fully endure
themselves in what this gospel has to offer. We keep on praying and
fasting for opportunities and for the faith and strength to continue
our endeavors.

Elder Daniel Lucas leaves on his mission tomorrow! We will miss him
dearly. I had the opportunity to make make district ties for all the
elders in our district. This consists of going thrift shopping for
nasty ties, making them skinny if necessary, then taking a dress (from
the thrift shop) and cutting it up to fit and wrap around the old
ties. It's a fun tradition that Elder Segle left last transfer, and I
decided to pick up. It takes time, but fun little traditions make
missionary life that much more exciting! The sisters were upset though
because it was a pretty cute dress... Oh well.

Yesterday we did a mission wide service project. We planted over 450
trees here at OSU. It was a great time! That's why I'm emailing today
as well.

We visited the Jack Nicklaus museum and the Woody Hayes Football
Shrine today! I'll be sending some pictures of those places. It's
awesome how much there is to do on Pdays around here on campus. I just
hope that we end up going golfing sometime in the near future!

Oh! Almost forgot! The Book of Mormon on Broadway is here in Columbus,
and this week sometime we decided that the OSU missionaries will go
down during the showings, and allow people to take pictures with real
missionaries, and pass out book of Mormons, cards, etc. Itll be a fun
finding activity for sure! Don't mind my triple chin, but it was a fun
picture to take that took like five tries.

I love you all, and I keep praying for all of you.

Monday, April 11, 2016

week #12 -- 2 new investigators this week!

Another busy but amazing week! There will be more pictures this
transfer as well, so hope you're all as excited for that as I am! My
new companion loves pictures haha.

We have two new investigators on date for the 7th of May! They are
great. Kevin and Daniel are roommates and we are teaching both of
them. It's amazing how he gospel really does soften the hearts of
those who are prepared. We have decided that as a district on OSU that
we need to be contacting at least 100 people a week. That's pretty
intense considering the rest of the mission has a standard of about
40. Elder Yeates and I have chosen to contact at least 150 people a
week. That is sharing the gospel with at least that many people,
regardless of whether or not they choose to listen to or meet with us.

Elder Yeates and I have so much fun while we are working. It makes it
easy to enjoy what we do when it hardly seems like work. The members
love us here, and they are very willing to help out. College students
have a busy schedule, but it's amazing what they make the time to do
here to help out the missionaries. I hope I'm the same way when I go
to college because it really does make a huge difference.

We got to go to downtown Columbus with Chris (a member) and go see the
hockey stadium and the AAA baseball teams stadium. We took some pretty
sweet pictures and selfies, even though it's been raining all day
today. Yesterday it was snowing, and the day before that it was
snowing while it was super sunny out (there's a picture of that as

Thank you all for the support, the emails, and especially the prayers.
I know that this gospel is true, and that the Lord wouldn't have me be
anywhere else at this point and time. I am so blessed to spend the
next two years of my life dedicated to this work.

Monday, April 4, 2016

week #11 -- Lots of the new investigators and General Conference

This week has been crazy busy! Lots of the new investigators and
General Conference.

We have two investigators who are on date for the month of April, and
they are progressing pretty well. Meeting with college students
multiple times a week is proving to be difficult, but it's so quick
pace around here, that the days just fly by between appointments. I
can't believe that I have already been gone for going on three months,
yet I feel that I've been out here for forever. It's not a bad thing
though, it's so great in Columbus. Our P-Days feel like they keep
getting shorter and shorter, hence my emails are getting shorter and

I thank you all for the letters, packages, and emails. It's such a
wonderful thing to come home to after the long days that we tend to
have here, so thank you!

I got to say that I love my new companion. It's great that the Lord
has blessed me with some wonderful companions to allow me to succeed
out here. Elder Yeates loves our investigators and this work just as
much as I do, and it makes it easy to work hard and have a good time
doing it.

If you all haven't listened to conference, I encourage you to find and
listen to, read, and study the talks that were prepared for us by the
general authorities. They really do love us so much, and only want
what is best for us.

I love you all so much. You continue to inspire and motivate me to
work hard to bring God's children back to Him. I love Him, and I pray
that I can see everyone as He sees them.

Til next week!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week #10 -- New companion - Elder Yeates assigned with Elder Hartley this past week

This week has been pretty interesting. To be honest, transfers made me
die a little inside. Elder Yeh left, and I got a new companion. That
and a lot of members were disappointed in the changes that were made,
or lack thereof. After the sadness, there was definitely so,e green
grass on the other side of the hill. My new companion, Elder Yeates,
is the new District Leader here. He's an absolute stud! We've had a
few great lessons already, and our investigator, Dorianeh, is on date
for the 23rd of April. Adam is progressing as well, and we are hoping
to help him rejoin the church in whatever ways we can.

I honestly don't have much to report on this week, as this Pday has
gone by too fast. We've had a few meetings we had to attend, and I
couldn't really write as much as I wanted.

I want you all to know that I know is gospel is true. Joseph Smith
truly was a prophet called of God to restore His church here on the
earth today. He was assigned to translate the Book of Mormon, which is
the truest of any book that exists today. We are blessed to have a
prophet today that continues to lead us, and allows us to have
guidance and revelation directly from God. We are able to change our
lives because of the Atonement our Savior, Jesus Christ, performed in
behalf of us and our sins and burdens. We remember Him during this
Easter season, and focus on the resurrection that happened on he third
day. We are promised to do as he did, as long as we follow Him. It
really is a simple phrase, and our lives can be just as simple as we
turn ourselves and our lives to Him. I encourage you all to look at
what ways we can better our relationship with Christ this following
week, and do your best to serve those around you. I will be doing the
same, as I wouldn't ask any of you to do something that I wouldn't be
willing to do myself.

I love you all. I again apologize for the not so great email this
week, but I love and miss you all dearly. Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Week #9 Transfers this past week... couple days late for p-day!

I apologize for not letting everyone know sooner, but transfers are
this week. Every six weeks from here until the end of my mission, our
transfers land on Thursdays, so during those weeks my P-Days will be
on Wednesdays. Again, sorry for not letting you all know, but that
being said: Transfer one is over!

I don't say that super excitedly though. It is, however, very
insightful to reflect on the previous seven weeks since being here on
OSU. I never would've guessed that I'd be where I'm at physically,
mentally, and especially spiritually. I do need to say that I'm very
sad to see my district leader, Elder Segle, to go back home after
finishing his full two year term as a missionary of the church. He's a
great example of the kind of missionary and leader I am striving to
become. So shoutout to him! I am being separated from my trainer as
well. Elder Yeh is being transferred, but I'll be staying here at OSU.
I'm definitely sad to see him go. He really has been the best friend I
could ask for out here, not to mention he's helped me so much thus

This last week has been full of great blessings and opportunities!
First off, we met with a former investigator that Elder Yeh used to
teach. His name is Kai. While we were on exchanges with our zone
leaders, Elder Drivas and I ran into while walking to a lesson! Elder
Drivas knew who he was, and after he called his name, I started
freaking out a little! Kai had texted us a week earlier just to say hi
and tell us at he missed us, but when we tried to set up an
appointment or dinner, he never responded. After running into him
though, I was able to set up a dinner the next day. We met with him,
and were able to get him to come to church with the help of a recent
convert, Charlie Wang. He came to church, and had a great experience,
and we are very excited to be working with him.

On Monday, Elder Yeh and I put together a lunch in celebration of one
of our most progressing investigators birthdays. Dorianeh's birthday
is today, but we were able to a little party with her and some of the
other missionaries. Also, one of the members who I've become really
close to, Daniel, got his mission call! Well... Kind of. He got the
packet that comes after the mission call, like the one from his
mission. He called the bishop, and I guess his call got lost in the
mail, and will be coming later. Either way, I was able to share in the
excitement of him finding out where he's going! He's a convert to the
church, and it's just very cool to see how strong in the gospel he is.
He's going to be a great missionary. He will be serving in the Arizona
Tempe Mission. It's funny because he's not the only person who got
their call this week to Arizona! I just read Kamill's email about her
being called to serve in Mesa, Arizona, and at the temple too! How
sweet is that. :) What an exciting thing to have missionaries being
out in the field, sharing the gospel with people that they will come
to love and hold dear. It truly is amazing!

I was able to experience a very unique opportunity this week as well.
Elder Yeh received his patriarchal blessing this last Thursday. He had
not yet received it, and has desired it since being on his mission. As
his "son" he invited me to come. Our "grandparents" (Elder and Sister
Springer) and our "brothers" (Elders Segle and Halverson; they're the
ones that we are close with) joined us in this amazing and spiritually
edifying moment in Elder Yeh's life. We were all invited to sit in as
he receive the blessing, and it brought me some insight and revelation
concerning my own blessing odd enough. It's weird how the spirit
works! I won't say much about the blessing, because it is very
personal and sacred to him, but I feel truly blessed to have this man
as my companion, trainer, and designated best friend. Everything that
is promised him in his life are things that he can definitely receive
if he continues to be faithful. This promise is for all of us though,
which is the amazing thing! We are all promised blessings from God if
we but be faithful, and press forward, seeking to progress in His
gospel and plans for each and every one of us.

My favorite part of the week, however, was meeting with Adam. This
young man has an interesting past, but has so much potential and great
faith. Adam was baptized in October of 2014, but after he went home to
Detroit for Christmas break, he returned and asked for his records to
be removed after only six weeks of membership. He then came back the
following October around general conference, and sought to regain
activity and began to be taught by Elder Yeh and his companion at the
time, Elder Orton. The same pattern followed though. He left for
Christmas break and just disappeared. No one could get ahold of him.
And just on Friday, he told Elder Springer (he and his wife are the
senior couple here on campus), that he was planning on attending
church! Elder Springer told us, and Elder Yeh's faced dropped. Fast
forward to Sunday, and we sat with him during sacrament meeting, went
to gospel principles, and then just sat and caught up with him during
third hour. He explained to me how hard he battles with depression and
anxiety, how his faith was shaken by his parents, and sought
nondenominational studies because of his desire to know where he could
find happiness. As he struggled, alcohol had become an easy and
accessible release for such problems. He's not an alcoholic, but he's
a serious binge drinker. He told us about a few experiences that had
led him to decide to co,e to church, and really commit himself to the
gospel. He knows this is where he has been the happiest in his life,
and he knows it is where God wants him. Again, I felt so strongly
God's love for a son who is wandering, and is seeking his way back
home. He is willing to do what it takes to come back home, and Elder
Yeh and I will be doing everything we can to help him find his way
back, and stay on the path of which God has prepared for him.

Zone Temple Trip!!! (I might have sent this already, but whatever. Welook sharp...)
Daniel and his mission.... Report? Arizona Tempe!!!

Elders: (on table) Elder Segle, Elders Wheeler, me, Drivas, Yeh, and HalversonSisters: (on table) Sister Slater, (front) Sisters Heath, Sanchez, and Beebe

Back row: Elder and Sister Springer, Me, Elder Yeh Front row: Megan, (investigator) Dorianeh

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week# 8 "If I'm the only convert, the mission is a success!"

This weeks email is probably going to be pretty long, but I hope it
has as much meaning to you as I've found great meaning in these words
that have become apart of my testimony. There were a couple of huge
moments that have really strengthened my testimony and have given me
even greater purpose for my mission, and for my life in general.

On Thursday we taught our progressing investigator, Alan, and it was
an interesting experience at the very least. We sat down with him, and
he immediately started bringing up anti stuff and concerns that he had
come across during his research. It was apparent that he had read
everything but the Book of Mormon, unless it supported his argument.
We would drown one concern, and he would bring up another, then go
back to the one we would drown. We were trying not to bash, but he'd
cut us off, and would only hear what he'd want to hear. I could feel
my heart hurting, and I thought I was sorry for myself, my companion,
and the member we had with us. This lesson went on for two hours, and
it ended up being two of the saddest of my mission so far. As time
went on, I realized that I wasn't hurt for me, but I was hurt for
Alan. I had grown to love this young man, and through all of this
search from the truth, he fell short of what he truly was searching
for. He had fallen to google instead of reading from the source. I
wasn't upset, but I felt love for this young man. We got the
discussion down, and he concluded,"I just can't come to believe in
your religion." We respected his decision, and left him with a good
note. He had never believed in God, but he left us with a belief in
God, Christ, and the Bible. It was a huge testimony builder for me,
recognizing the charity and patience I had grown for him. I know that
his search isn't over, and that one day he will find it for sure. I
have faith in that.

I attached a talk that I really want all of you to read. It's pretty
long, but it will help make more sense of what I'm going to share, and
I feel that everyone can find something to take away from it as I
have. We were given this talk to study before we had our New
Missionary Follow-Up. When we first got to Ohio, we came to OSU and
got to go out with the missionaries that were here and go out
contacting around campus. I ended up getting called here, which was
awesome. All the new missionaries and their trainers came here on
Friday for the follow-up, and we did some similar things. We got to go
out contacting where all the new missionaries paired themselves up and
went out. It was weird how I was treated as an experienced missionary,
having to explain to everyone the process. Afterwards, we got to talk
about our trainers in a separate room from them. Some people are
struggling, and not really getting along. It was nice not having to be
one of those, as my trainer is absolutely amazing. We then all got
back together and went over a PowerPoint that the President and his
wife prepared concerning the talk that we had read. There were many
great things to take from the talk, but in this discussion with
everyone, I was impressed to share a sudden realization that I had
had. We were speaking about how we, as missionaries, will face trials,
struggles, be persecuted, cussed at, and suffer more than we can
imagine, to be able to try and convert those we meet. I had remembered
in Preach My Gospel that it said somewhere that WE are supposed to be
our first convert on our mission. I said "If I go home from my mission
suffering all those things, and I'm my only convert, then I will
consider this a success." The room became quiet, and I felt
misunderstood. I didn't mean that to be an excuse for me not to work
hard, but it was a profound message that came to my heart. President
looked at me and said, "So you're telling me that after ALL of these
struggles, two years of HARD WORK, being persecuted, cussed at, having
doors slammed in your face. After all of this, if YOU are your ONLY
convert, you will consider this mission a success?" "Yes. At the very
least." I had hit something that ended up motivating the other
missionaries around me. I didn't realize that I had said those things
until the spirit in the room had settled into me. I can honestly say
that the spirit spoke through me, and I hope that it meant something
to others other than myself. It was incredible.

EDITORS NOTE: Here is the talk that Elder Hartley had attached! 

Becoming a Consecrated Missionary – Tad R. Callister
Given by Elder Tad R. Callister, of the Seventy, in the Provo Missionary Training Center on October 7, 2008
Many years ago I entered the Mission Training Center as a young enthusiastic missionary. The training was shorter and simpler then, but the spirit was just as powerful. I have long forgotten most of what was said, but an observation made by the president of the Mission Training Center struck me and has remained with me to this day. He said in essence: “Every mission has a number of good, even great missionaries, but most missions only have about five or so consecrated missionaries – those who are willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice.”
Today I believe we have many more such consecrated missionaries. But to those of you who are not quite there, but would like to be, it is you to whom I would like to speak today – about becoming a consecrated missionary.
What is a Consecrated Missionary? What is a consecrated missionary? It is a missionary who is willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice and to hold nothing back. It is a willingness to give every ounce of energy, every conscious thought, and every drop of passion to this work – to submit our will to God’s will whatever it may be. Every missionary who has been to the temple has covenanted to consecrate his all. The book of Omni records the depth and breadth of that covenant: “Yea, come unto me, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him” (Omni 1:26).
The law of consecration is the law of the temple, it is the law of the celestial kingdom, and it is the law of a celestial mission.
Parley P. Pratt was such a consecrated missionary. He had served as a missionary for more than 25 years of almost constant labors. He had just returned from his latest mission in Chile. He was hopeful that he could now remain at home and enjoy his family, but such expectations were short lived. President Brigham Young called him to serve yet another mission– this time in the eastern states. One can imagine the feelings that must have swelled up in Parley’s heart. Perhaps he thought, “Haven’t I given all that a mortal could be expected to give? Don’t I deserve to spend some time with my family and friends? Can’t I just relax for a while?”
But Parley P. Pratt was a consecrated missionary. On September 7, 1856, shortly after learning of his call by Brigham Young, he offered the following tender reflections and prophetic insights: “I have desired, after travelling for twenty-five or twenty-six years, mostly
abroad, to stay at home and minister among the people of God, and take care of my family; but God’s will be done, and not mine. If it is the will of God that I should spend my days in proclaiming this Gospel and bearing testimony of these things, I shall think myself highly privileged and honored. And when the Spirit of God is upon me, I think it matters but very little what I suffer, what I sacrificed–whether I secure the honor or dishonor of men, or where I die, if it so be that I can keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish my course with joy. I have all eternity before me, in which to enjoy myself.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. xxv.)
Sometimes there is a temptation to withhold part of the offering. Such was the case with Ananias and Sapphira, his wife. The scriptures tell us that they sold a piece of land. Under the law of consecration they were to turn over the entire sale proceeds to the church, but secretly they kept back part of the price. The consequence was devastating – they were struck dead (Acts 5:1-10). Sometimes good men, perhaps even great men, can’t quite bring themselves to put everything on the altar of sacrifice, and in the course lose their eternal lives. So it was with the rich young ruler. He had kept the commandments from his youth up. Then the Savior declared, “Yet lackest thou one thing. Sell all thou hast and distribute unto the poor…and come follow me.” But it was too much to ask, and he went away sorrowful, unwilling to put his all on the sacrificial altar.
Peter, overhearing the conversation and understanding there could be no shortcuts to eternal life, no holding back, declared in contrast: “We have left all and followed thee” (Luke 18:18-28). Perhaps we have one or two things which we lack, that we hold back from the sacrificial altar, that prevent us from becoming a consecrated missionary. May I discuss some of those, so that hopefully we too might become like Peter and leave our all on the altar of sacrifice.
Put On the Altar of Sacrifice Any Disobedience. First, a consecrated missionary puts on the altar of sacrifice any streak of disobedience he may possess, however large or small it may be. He has an unrelenting quest to be exactly obedient. King Lamoni recognized that Ammon was a consecrated missionary, for he said: “Even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them” (Alma 18:10).
When I first entered the field as a mission president, I met several times with a missionary who was struggling with obedience. One day in frustration he blurted out: “What then is it you want me to do?” I replied: “You have missed the point. It is not what I want you to do, it should be what do you want to do?” There was a moment of silence and then he made this insightful observation: “You are not just asking me to change my behavior; you are asking me to change my nature.” He was so right.
If you only change your behavior, then you will be the same person you were when you left home, subject to the same problems that plagued you then. But if you change your nature you will go home a new man or woman, with the power and discipline to conquer your old Goliaths. If you only get up at 6:30 am because your companion does, you have merely changed your behavior. If you get up whether or not he does, you have changed your nature. If you speak good words but entertain bad thoughts, you have only changed your behavior. If you also change your thoughts you have also changed your nature.
With the Lord’s help we can transform our natures. King Benjamin gave the key as to how we can do it. We must become “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” (Mos 3:19).
That is the key – to submit our will to God’s will.
One missionary, upon going home told me that he slept in one morning. His companion said to him, “It’s time to get out of bed.” This missionary responded, “I don’t want to.” His companion replied, “It’s not about what you want, it’s about what the Lord wants.” The missionary said; “I have never forgotten that – a mission is about that the Lord wants, not what I want.”
A consecrated nature will cause us to be obedient, not because we have to, but because we want to. Such a nature may cause us to change the music we listen to; it may cause some to be more positive in their speech, or more exacting in following the morning schedule or more diligent in their studies. Whatever it is, the consecrated missionary will read the white handbook with enthusiasm, anxious to obey and follow every rule with exactness, knowing that it is not a book of restraints, but a book of blessings. He will have an overarching, burning desire to do the Lord’s will, not his.
Leave Our Fears on the Sacrificial Altar Second, consecrated missionaries leave their fears on the sacrificial altar and open their mouths with everyone. This will be one of your great challenges in the mission field. It sometimes separates the consecrated missionaries from the good missionaries. I recognize there may be multiple reasons why someone doesn’t open his mouth at all times and in all places – why he holds back a part of the offering. It could be a timid personality, or a fear of man, or a streak of laziness, but whatever the excuse may be, it must eventually be overcome. It never outweighs the Savior’s command which states: “And thou must open thy mouth at all times.” (DC 28:16). This injunction is repeated again and again in the scriptures.
On another occasion the Lord said, “At all times and in all places he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump both day and night.” And then comes the promise to those who do: “And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men” (DC 24:12).
Sometimes in life we just have to square our shoulders and do it. There is no magic pill that makes us courageous, no passage of time that strengthens us, no memorized approach that emboldens us. We are left only with the compelling counsel of King Benjamin: “And now, if ye believe all these things, see that you do them” (Mosiah 4:19).
Years ago my grandfather was serving as the president of the Rotterdam Branch in Holland. He told of a woman who came to him destitute, who had earned the equivalent of an American quarter for the entire week. She asked if she needed to pay tithing. He looked at her for a minute in her impoverished condition, and then said: “Sister, if this were my church, I would not take your tithing. But it is not my church; it is the Lord’s church, and tithing is a principle upon which blessings of the Lord are predicated.” (LeGrand Richards Speaks, P. 185.) She paid her tithing.
If I could as a Mission President, I would have exempted some missionaries who struggled with opening their mouth. I knew how hard it was for them, but I couldn’t. The command to open one’s mouth is not my command. It is not the command of Preach My Gospel, it is not the command of the missionary department, it is the command of the Lord who has spoken on this subject again and again through his living prophets. Sometimes we have to be like Nephi and say, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Ne 3:7). Eventually we must do more than tell the stories of the Book of Mormon; we must live them.
The Lord, in speaking to a group of departing missionaries (like you), told them five times to “preach by the way” (DC 52:10-27). We preach by the way when we talk to people in the parking lots, when we speak with people in elevators, when we speak to people in the stores or on the bus or at the gas stations. Consecrated missionaries preach by the way at all times and in all places, both day and night. Sometimes we have missionaries who are so worried about offending people that in the process they never ever save them.
I had an assistant who used to say, “If you want to baptize a few people you talk to a few people, if you want to baptize a lot of people you talk to a lot of people and if you want to baptize everyone you can, you talk to everyone you can.” But the Lord gave an even further reason for opening our mouths. He declared: “And it shall be given thee from the time thou shalt go [out of thy apartment in the morning], until the time thou shalt return [to thy apartment in the evening] what thou shalt do”. (DC 28:15-16). In other words, you will have the spirit from the moment you leave your apartment until the moment you return to your apartment if you do what is required in verse 16: “And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen.”
The reason it is so important to open our mouths is that every time we do so we exercise faith, and every time we exercise faith we invite the spirit and miracles into our lives. Consecrated missionaries open their mouth with everyone.
Put Our Romantic Passions on the Table Third, a consecrated missionary puts his romantic passions on the altar of sacrifice; he has a locked heart and a focused mind. He is never flirtatious, he does not have an eye on the cute BYU coed or the friendly young single adult, nor is his prime focus with the young women after sacrament meeting. He is not obsessed with his girl friend back home. He rises above all of that.
In my day the white handbook contained this all-inclusive statement: “Put out of your mind all thoughts of home, school, your girl and worldly things.” It was a powerful reminder that our mission was the sole focus of our mind and the sole passion of our heart. As hard as it may be, the consecrated missionary disciplines his passions. His eye is riveted to this work. He is like the thoroughbred horse with his blinders on. He races ahead, seeing only track and finish. If an inappropriate thought enters his mind, he drives it out with a hymn or scripture. His mind does not go with the flow. Rather, there is an active, concerted, conscientious effort to keep his mind pure and clean.
When David saw Bathsheba on the rooftop, he continued to watch – that was his downfall. When Joseph was tempted by Pharaoh’s wife, the scriptures say: “[He] got him out” (Gen 39:12), and that was his salvation. It is no different with our minds. Alma taught this principle to his son Corianton, who had unfortunately unlocked his heart to the harlot Isabel. Alma scolded his son severely and said, “Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many, but this was no excuse for thee, my son.” And then he gave him the remedy to be a consecrated missionary, “go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross [or discipline] yourself in all these things.” (Alma 39:4,9).
You young missionaries who enter the field, will be surrounded, almost immersed, by those in immodest clothing, by suggestive billboards, by magazines and papers that have lost all sense of moral decency. If you garnish your thoughts with virtue unceasingly (DC 121:45) the consequences will be monumental in your life. As a missionary you will have confidence that the Lord will hear and answer your prayers. The Lord himself promised: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.” (DC 121:45) In addition, when you go home and date, you may not only have a romantic
courtship, but one that is also clean and wholesome. And when you are married you will be a loyal and true spouse. If every action is preceded by a thought, then every consecrated missionary must first have a clean and consecrated mind.
Give Up Pride Fourth, a consecrated missionary gives up his pride on the sacrificial altar. The Lord made it clear, “And no one can assist in this work except he be humble and full of love” (DC 12:8). Pride manifests itself in many ways – one way is disloyalty to those who are our leaders.
Loyalty is much more than a reluctant submissiveness. It is an active pursuit, not only to follow the counsel of our leaders, but to seek their counsel. A consecrated missionary hungers and thirsts for instruction as to how he can be better, and how fortunate we are to have so many missionaries in the world who manifest that spirit. Again and again missionaries would ask me in the field, “President, what can I do to be a better missionary.” And oh, how they became so.
Pride may manifest itself in jealousy of companions. I think of one of the finest elders of our mission. I never heard him say “I.” It was always “we” or “my companion did this” or “my companion did that.” Though his words always credited someone else, somehow you always knew he was the driving force behind it all. Pride may manifest itself in a reluctance to confess our sins. We may be too embarrassed to do so, or fearful of the consequences or unrealistically hoping the sin will somehow vanish if we serve an honorable mission. But at the root of each of those excuses is pride.
On one occasion a missionary came to me with a belated confession. I asked him what motivated him to come. He responded: “I finally disclosed to my companion that I had something to confess to the President, but I didn’t want to go home. Then my companion said something that struck me to the very core. “Elder,” he said, “there is something even more important than your mission.” Somewhat surprised I replied, “What is that?” Then came his answer: “Repentance – repentance is more important than your mission.” The young Elder who sat before me said, “President, I knew he was right. And that is why I am here. I want to repent.” Not too long ago I received an invitation to attend his temple sealing.
Some have honestly asked, “When should I confess?” When the sin is of such a serious magnitude that it may trigger a disciplinary proceeding or continues to linger in our minds so that we cannot have peace. If we then fail to confess, our spiritual horizons become limited. It is like being surrounded by a circular, impenetrable wall. In such a circumstance, we have some limited room in which to move, but we are trapped. We will look in vain for a slit through which we can squeeze, an opening through which we can pass, an end around which we can travel. There are no end runs, no secret openings, no hidden passages. Serving a faithful mission does not obviate confession; months and years of abstinence no not erase its need; one-on-one pleading with the Lord is not a substitute. Somewhere, sometime, somehow one must face the wall square up and climb it. That is confession. When we do this our spiritual horizons become unlimited and we become entitled to the promise of the Lord. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Pride may manifest itself in a defensive attitude or a multitude of excuses. On one occasion I reprimanded a missionary for an act of blatant disobedience. He started to offer excuses; finally I said, “If you want to offer excuses I cannot help you. If you are willing to acknowledge the wrong, I will work with you and we can build for a constructive future on a sure and solid
foundation.” That day he had to choose between rationalization and repentance. Fortunately he chose the latter.
One night I was with an Elder Choi and Elder McClellan. We were talking to a mother who was reluctant to let her 17-year-old son be baptized. For at least ten minutes of the conversation she chastised these elders severely, and literally “raked them over the coals.” No doubt they were embarrassed, perhaps even offended, particularly since their mission president was present. In my estimation they had done nothing wrong. Instead, they were taking an undeserved whipping of substantial proportions. I thought, will they fight back, will they argue, will they defend their position? To their credit there was no argument, no excuses – simply the humble response that they were trying to do what was best for her son and if in any way they had failed to do so they were sorry. They were not trying to win an argument. They were trying to save a soul. With that humble spirit, her heart softened, and finally she agreed that she would listen more carefully to the message her son was being taught. They were consecrated missionaries – every ounce of their pride had been put on the altar of sacrifice.
We Put our Negativism and Sarcasm on the Table. Fifth, consecrated missionaries are willing to give up any negativism or sarcasm. Instead they are optimistic and positive. They have a 24-hour smile. They live the invitation of the Savior, “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). There is not a negative bone in their bodies. There is no rejection at the door or on the street that can dim their enthusiasm. They are willing to pay the price of repeated rejection for the hope of a single conversion. Whatever the world throws at them, they throw back a smile, because they know they have the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Consecrated missionaries are like Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young, who left for their missions to England. Their families were poverty stricken, they were sick, and there was little food available for the ensuing months. Heber and Brigham, finally able to raise themselves from their own sick beds, kissed their wives and started on their journey. Brigham recorded: “It seemed to me as though my very inmost parts would melt within me at the thought of leaving my family in such a condition.” (Men With a Mission, p. 71.) But before they were out of sight, Brigham directed the teamster to stop. He and Heber mustered all their strength to stand, they raised their hats over their heads three times and shouted, “Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel.” We have such consecrated missionaries who can shout “Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel” even when they are bombarded with rejection, or illness, or disappointment – who have unwavering faith in the promise of Paul: “let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal 6:9).
Extra-Milers Consecrated missionaries are extra-milers. They put on the table of sacrifice every ounce of their energy, every hour of every day. When Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile, he collapsed at the finish line into the hands of his well-wishers. A journalist, sensing all that was involved in that historic moment wrote: “The runner, open-mouthed, thin-legged, knowing only pace and goal, spending his strength so that the finish, at one mile, there was nothing more.” For a consecrated missionary there is nothing more to give at the end of the day. He has put it all on the altar of sacrifice.Consecrated missionaries are missionaries who would finish the marathon. They are missionaries who would go the full fifteen rounds. They are missionaries who carry no white flags.
Years ago at family night we would have wrestling as part of the evening activities – our children loved it. When the kids were little I would sometimes hold them down and ask,
“Do you give up?” At first they would say, “Yes Dad, I give up.” Then I would say, “No, you never give up, you never give up.” As time would pass and I would ask the question again, they would quickly reply, “No, Dad I never give up.” Consecrated missionaries never give up on the Lord’s work. They never throw in the towel. They would have made it from Palmyra to Salt Lake Valley. Nothing would have weeded them out along the way. For you see, they had unwavering faith.
Consecrated missionaries are out of the apartment by 10:00 a.m. They do not come back before 9:00 p.m., except for lunch or dinner. They speak to everyone. They knock at one more door. There is a quickness in their pace and an urgency in their work. You can see it in their faces.
Years ago I was a young missionary in Washington DC. I was on an exchange with an Elder Hafen. It was a bike area. We had an appointment across town but the rain started to pour. He asked, “Should I cancel the appointment?” I replied, “This is your area, you make the decision. “He thought for a moment and then replied, “Let’s ride.” I love those words – “Let’s ride” – rain, sleet, snow, it doesn’t matter – “Let’s ride.” That is the spirit of a consecrated missionary.
When consecrated missionaries are exhausted and nothing is left, they rely upon their faith, and the reserve tanks of energy somehow carry them through the day. They too become recipients of the promise to Joseph Smith: “In temporal labors thou shalt not have strength for this is not thy calling.” But then the promise: “Thou shall devote all thy service in Zion; and in this thou shalt have strength” (DC 24:7-9).
What Does it Cost to Become a Consecrated Missionary? What is the cost to become a consecrated missionary? Some time ago I saw a movie on the life of Martin Luther. He was about to be tried for heresy. Shortly before he was to meet with the Court of Inquisition, his spiritual mentor (a monk who had trained him and loved him) was cutting his hair with a razor. At one point the monk reprimanded Luther for having turned the world upside down, leading the world in revolt – Protestants against Catholics.
Then in a stirring moment, Luther grasps his arm and asks: “You wanted me to change the world. Did you think there would be no cost?” You young missionaries came out here to change the world, to change lives, but there is a cost. It costs everything that you have on the altar of sacrifice – your fears, your pride, your laziness, your disobedience, your weaknesses; we cannot hold anything back. When you came to the mission field you burned the bridges behind you, you burned the ships in the harbor. There is no retreat to your former life. You cannot have one foot at home and one foot in the mission field.
That is a certain formula for frustration. The Lord demands our whole soul on the sacrificial altar. That is the price we must pay, and when we do, we then become instruments in the hands of God.
What Is the Power of a Consecrated Missionary? What is the power of a consecrated missionary? Suppose I were to give you the following options, which would you choose?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 80 consecrated missionaries? -100 mediocre missionaries or 50 consecrated missionaries? -100 mediocre missionaries or 20 consecrated missionaries? -100 mediocre missionaries or 2 consecrated missionaries? (by the way, the names of those consecrated missionaries are Alma and Ammon)
Nephi realized that power comes with consecration, not numbers. Laman and Lemuel could never understand this. They could not comprehend how they could get the brass plates. After all they said, “How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands. Behold he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty, then why not us.” For them it was all about numbers – 50 was more than 4, therefore they could not prevail. But for Nephi, man’s power was inconsequential. It was only the Lord’s power that counted. He replied: “For behold he [God] is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even his tens of thousands” (1 Ne 4:1). The power of a consecrated missionary is without limit. It is manifested in so many ways. As to Nephi (son of Nephi), the scriptures tell us his words were so powerful, that for his detractors, “it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words” (3 Ne 7:18). When the sons of Mosiah preached the gospel, the scriptures declare: “They taught with power and authority of God” (Alma 17:3). And as to those consecrated missionaries who thrust in their sickle with all their souls, the Lord promised: “your sins are forgiven you” (DC 31:5). Those are the powers and blessings of a consecrated missionary, and that is why the Prophet Joseph said; “it is not the multitude of preachers that is to bring about the glorious millennium; but it is those who are ‘called, and chosen, and faithful.” (TPJ 42). In essence – the consecrated.
Consecrated Missionaries Serve the Savior Because They Love Him. What is the driving, motivating force for a consecrated missionary? It is the Savior and His Atonement. If we fail to be obedient, if we fail to be humble, if we fail to be fearless, perhaps we intellectually understand the Atonement, but somehow we fail to grasp the underlying love of his sacrifice. Once we feel that, as well as understand it, we will be driven to give our all. We will realize that our all is a small repayment for his all.
Becoming a Consecrated Missionary. Each of us might appropriately ask, “What lack I yet to become a consecrated missionary?” There is no escaping it. God will demand our all. If we are shy or reserved – God will compel us to change, to be bold. He will jerk us out of our comfort zone again and again. If we are lazy or idle, he will push us and pull us even when we are exhausted. If we are disobedient, he will press us until we have a child-like submissiveness. He will not let us be content with our weaknesses.
Whatever the weakness may be that holds us back from becoming a consecrated missionary, the Lord has promised that if we have faith in him, and humble ourselves before him, that he will make weak things become strong unto us (Ether 12:26-27). I believe that. I do not believe there is one missionary whose weaknesses are greater than the potential strengths within him. Why? – because each of us is a son and daughter of God, with his divine nature and divine potential woven into the very fabric of our souls. I do not think the Lord expects immediate perfection of us, but I do believe he expects immediate progress, and with that progress comes consecration. I believe that he recognizes and appreciates every step we take forward, however small it may be, striving to put our whole souls on the altar of sacrifice. At first, consecration may seem like Mt. Everest, unconquerable, unapproachable, unassailable, but every step we take forward, however minute it may seem, furthers our ascent, until one day we have attained the summit.

May we not be content with being a good, even a great missionary, when we have the capacity to be consecrated missionaries. Mormon declared with boldness: “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” (3 Ne 5:13). May it be so with each of us, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.