Six Weeks

I am a little behind. We welcomed a new group of missionaries over a week ago. They, like all others, came excited and ready to work. We are finding that six weeks rolls by pretty quickly. It seems we just get one group settled and another comes. 

These new missionaries remind me of Mormon. Mormon, abridger of the plates and prophet, was described by those who knew him when he was young. It is noted in the record of the Book of Mormon he "was quick to observe." Elder David A. Bednar has taught that "when we are quick to observe, we promptly look or notice and obey. Both of these fundamental elements-looking and obeying-are essential to being quick to observe. Being quick to observe is a prerequisite to and a preparation for the gift of discernment. We can only hope to obtain that supernal gift of discernment and its light of protection and direction if we are quick to observe-if we both look and obey."

New missionaries can be described as Mormon. They are anxious to learn their place and to obey the rules of the mission. They serve as a reminder of what God expects of His missionaries. They are quick to observe. Mission life can be hard and discouraging. We can all learn from Mormon; he remained true to the end wading through a difficult life with unrighteous people surrounded by war. We all have things to learn from our new missionaries as well. They feel unsure of themselves as they begin their work, but if we look beyond their worry, we see great warriors and if we allow them to, they can change all of us making us better. Thank goodness we need only wait six weeks! (Check the Life with Missionaries page for more pictures.)

New Missionaries

We also sadly said goodbye to some powerful missionaries. Their presence and influence will be greatly missed. Saying goodbye is always bitter sweet. We try to help them understand they have come and served and now it is time for the next chapter in their lives. It always leaves us feeling a little unsteady as we carry on without them. For those who serve with no regret, their conversation and love of God is evident in their countenance. They can with clear eyes and a full heart answer Alma's question: "I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?" 

Departing Missionaries

A Shot In the Arm

Learning together in Zone Conferences is always a spiritual shot in the arm. Seeing the missionaries eagerly engaged in the learning process gives us hope for the future. We always have a question and answer session at the end of the conference. We learn a lot from the questions they ask. I often get surprised at the spiritual depth these young missionaries have. I always have said there are those among us who are "old souls." They are those who seem to have wisdom far beyond their years. I think it must have something to do with their experiences in the pre-mortal world. We have many of those in our mission; it is a blessing to be taught by them. 

Upolu Central, Apia and Southeast Zones

Upolu Northwest and Northeast Zones

Savaii West, North and Southeast Zones

Tutuila West and East Zones