Friday, September 19, 2014

2014-9-15 President's Letter to Missionaries

Dear Elders and Sisters,
What a remarkable opportunity we have been given to serve together in the Magnificent Manila Mission! When the Lord says, in Doctrine & Covenants 4:1 "Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men" he was certainly talking about the Philippines! We are seeing it with our own eyes. The revelation in D&C 4 was given to the Prophet Joseph in 1829. If it were given today, it might say "Now behold, a marvelous work IS coming forth..."
I would like to share two impressions with you...
Yesterday I attended two baptismal services where a total of 11 people were baptized. I was thrilled to see the light of the spirit in the eyes of both missionaries and converts. I felt the joy and the sacredness of these services. As I pondered on these sacred scenes I felt that bringing someone into the Lord's church is not just an act of service for your mission. It is a sacred covenant between you and your convert. It is a covenant that says: "I taught you the gospel and testified with all of the power of my soul that it is true. I promise now that I will stay true to what I have taught for the rest of my life. For I know that you will be watching to see if I am a person who is true to his/her word. You will be watching to see if I truly believe it. You will gain strength from my steadfastness and I promise you can lean on me."
Elders and Sisters, you have a sacred duty to those you bring to the Lord. It is the duty of holding firmly to the Iron Rod for the rest of your life. You owe it to them. You owe it to the Lord.
The second impression came tonight. I met with the Pasay Stake President (President Tongco) and zone leaders and then went to Manila and met with stake president Andrade. (Most of the meeting was in the dark using a flashlight because of a brownout.)  I then joined the MYSA district for the end of their ward correlation meeting. As we knelt together on the hard tile floor, I poured out my heart to the Lord and prayed for his blessings to be on them and on their work. I prayed that He would protect and lift them and open the hearts of the people to them. Tonight I could see in my mind the other 245 missionaries in this wonderful mission, out in the rain or in a hundred humble homes, teaching and testifying of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for you. I am humbled by your goodness and diligence. I am humbled by your sacrifices.
I promise it is worth it. I promise it is true. I promise that great joy will be yours as you look back on what you are doing now. You are doing a truly "marvelous work."
May the Lord bless you my friends.
With love,
President Ostler