A Call to Action

We finished our zone conferences on Friday. It was, as always, uplifting to meet with the missionaries. They carry amazing power and strength. Serving a mission is hard. I think it is meant to be that way. Getting a glimpse of the change that takes place as they submit to the will of God is a sweet gift. Be sure to check out the pictures on the Life with Missionaries page.

Meet the Harpers. They are our newest senior couple. They come to us from Idaho. As you can see, they are young! Their assignment is to train and support internet specialists in the stakes of Samoa, plus to work some magic with the internet and the systems in the church buildings. We are delighted they have joined us.

In 1999, Sherri Dew said, "This is a call to arms, it is a call to action, a call to arise. A call to arm ourselves with power and with righteousness. A call to rely on the arm of the Lord rather than the arm of the flesh. A call to "arise and shine forth, that our light may be a standard for nations." I echo her words and issue a call to action. The Lord needs senior missionaries like the Harpers. There are over 130 missions in the world that don't have senior couples. They are vital to the workings of a mission. Our office couple goes home the first part of December. As of right now, there is not one coming to replace them. We would love to have you join us. It will be nothing like you have ever experienced! I know that there are worries associated with leaving family and home. But I also know that the Lord can and does take better care of my family than I am capable of doing. I have witnessed it for myself; my children and grandchildren have witnessed it. "Be strong and of good courage" and come.

In a recent address, Elder David Bednar said "The Lord is hastening His work, and it is no coincidence that these powerful communication innovations and inventions are occurring in the dispensation of the fulness of times. Social media channels are global tools that can personally and positively impact large numbers of individuals and families. And I believe the time has come for us as disciples of Christ to use these inspired tools appropriately and more effectively to testify of God the Eternal Father, His plan of happiness for His children, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world; to proclaim the reality of the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days; and to accomplish the Lord's work."

There are some missions around the world where the missionaries are using technology in the work of conversion, retention and activation. The Samoa Apia Mission, however, is not one of them. But now that our missionaries can email, we together can accomplish what Elder Bednar has asked. Through blogs and other social media we can share the miracles that occur in this mission. Parents and friends of missionaries, please use the stories and pictures your missionary sends home to help hasten His work.

Elder Bednar provided some important guidelines.  He said, "First, we are disciples and our messages  should be authentic. Our messages should be truthful, honest and accurate. Second, we and our messages should seek to edify and uplift rather than to argue, debate, condemn or belittle. Third, we and our messages should respect the property of other people and organizations. This simply means that you should not create your own content using someone else's art, name, photos, music, video, or other content without permission. Fourth, be wise and vigilant in protecting yourself and those you love. We should remember that the Internet never forgets. Anything you communicate through a social media channel indeed will live forever. Only say it or post it if you want the entire world to have access to your message or picture for all time."

He then offered this call to action, "Beginning at this place on this day, I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth-messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy-and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood."

As we post things about the Samoa Mission, let us share those things that communicate the dignity and sanctity of the calling of missionaries. Let us be mindful about the content and follow carefully the guidelines outlined by Elder Bednar.

It is an incredible journey that each of these missionaries experiences here in Samoa. I know you have heard stories of growth and strength. They probably have told you stories of struggle and of the sweet feeling of finally being rescued by the Savior. Please mindfully share their stories of faith and testimony.

For those of you who read this blog and do not have a missionary in Samoa, this call of action is for you, too. The Lord is hastening His work. Will we keep pace? Will we use these wonderful inventions of this last dispensation in His work, in His way? What do you share with the world? Do they know what is most important to you by what you post on social media? Let us flood the earth with the goodness that is His Gospel!

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