Heroes are interesting, aren't they? My favorite definition is "a warrior of special strength, courage or ability." We rub shoulders with these warriors all day every day. We spent the last week in leadership training meetings and zone conferences. Spending time learning with missionaries is an experience I will treasure forever. Watching them discover truth and committing to live the life of a disciple gives me a glimpse of how God sees them.

President said to a group of them last week that he would go into any battle with them. We are in a battle for the souls of men. We, like the stripling warriors, are a band of missionaries seeking the fallen and binding their wounds.

These heroes come in every shape, size, nationality and personality. Their heroic acts are as different as they are. For some it was overcoming the challenges of coming on a mission initially. For others it is battling illness while still continuing to seek those who search for truth. For some it is recognizing change that needs to occur in their own lives. For all of them it is acting in faith to follow the path God desires for them and helping others to find His path.

I had some heroes come to my rescue this week. President was on another island overnight and I locked myself out of the house. Our assistants came to my rescue. We couldn't find another key so we had to wiggle a hanger in-between the two doors, hook the handle and pull. That all might sound easy; it was anything but easy. They were persistent and, after many tries, successful! Elder Wengert pulled the handle and then celebrated like he had just won the lottery. We all celebrated! It was a victory over something insignificant; the celebration was fitting to the effort and their tender concern for me.

Last week our assistants showed up at our planning meeting looking like this:

I thought is was pretty clever. They all just happened to have supermen shirts. Little did I know that they would come to my rescue within just a few days. These four missionaries are heroes is the most important ways. They support and guide through their example and love. I am always grateful for their strength and courage. They do hard things and they do it with cheerfulness and "unwearied diligence."

The events of this past week have made me ponder the strength that is impossible to articulate when surrounded by missionaries. Yes, they are young. Yes, some of them do stupid things. Yes, some of them stumble. But there is a palpable feeling of tremendous strength in a group of God's warriors. There is a real sense of their purpose and their bond with each other. And it is extremely interesting to me that their strength is in direct correlation to their obedience. They truly are a reflection of the stripling warriors. "They were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all--they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him." (Alma 53:20-21)

Sometimes, I struggle when I know they struggle. I worry when they are ill. I fret when they stumble. But, as I watch the Lord work in their lives, I am reminded very clearly that "His ways are not my ways." He is busy in the lives of these missionaries. As they align themselves with His will, He makes heroes out of them!

P.S.  Be sure to check the Life with Missionary Page for pictures from our conferences in Savai'i and Tutuila. Upolu conferences are this week.

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