Allow me to begin in testimony that this is truly the churn of Christ and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of its great missionary effort. One scripture - which I'll shortly have to memorize in Spanish - that effectively defines this effort is Doctrine & Covenants section 4, which reads:
1 Now behold, a marvelous works about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest' and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul'
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
This is a sort of great culmination of scripture in just a 7 verse section, beginning by clearly showing that that which was prophesied in Isaiah chapter 29 verse 14
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the widow of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
And corroborated in 1st Nephi chapter 14 verse 7
7 For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other - either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their heart sand the blindness of their minds unto heir being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, accordion to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.
This marvelous work is begun, and I am to be full time in the work to effect that wonder. Simply because I "have desires to serve God" may I be qualified for the work. "For many are called but few are chosen". As is said in Doctrine and Covenants section 121 verse 34 through 40.
34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. Any why are they not hose?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to then honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson -
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparable connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our price, our win ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he if left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
39 WE have leaned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they supple, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
Thus, must I be among the chosen in order to be qualified for the work of calling people to repentance and "to invite (them) to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." As is my purpose as a missionary. And in that way I am charged to, and will thrust in my sickle with my might, that our Father might have great and bountiful harvest of children to be brought back into his fold.
To that end, we must have faith in The Lord and His love for us. We must be virtuous and upright in our dealings. In the coming tow years I will gain a great deal of knowledge, through nearly constant study.
It is an interesting phrase found in The Doctrine and Covenants section 4: "brotherly kindness." It is a good descriptor of the most lofty of commandments: to love one another as Christ has loved us.
Interesting how often scripture is directly corroborated by other scripture! It would seem even scripture itself often requires the mouth of two or three witnesses. That phrase itself of course is one written in a few different scriptures: Deuteronomy, 2nd Corinthians, et cetera.
Regarding missionary work, President Hinckley proclaimed, "The great genius of missionary work... is taking young people who don't appear to be of any consequence, bringing them into the mission field where they teach the truths of the gospel - face tremendous challenges - learn to get along with companions - often learn other languages.... And then go home with an ambition to make something of their lives and o it in a magnificent and wonderful way and grow in the Church and make significant contributions. They marry in the temple and rear families of faith and testimony and integrity."
I have been told time and time again how great an experience it will be, and how greatly I'll grow. For that reason I think of it as more as an exiting adventure, that any sort of sacrifice.
He went on to bare his testimony (this is just what he had typed up).
That evening we had a farewell party for him! My dear friend, Ann Mitchell made him a darling cake! It is a llama with a missionary name tag!
He had lots of friends and leaders come and support him!
Saying good bye to Taylor.. the Chad way and then then Elder Bergquist way!