Thursday, May 17, 2012

Come to Convert and Leave Converted

   Missionaries arrive in the mission field with great dreams of converting people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first step in converting someone is to help a person change his views so that he will accept the will of God (Acts 3:19).  When this change of view is followed by continued faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism in water for the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, conversion will become complete, and will change a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person--a new creature in Christ. (see Bible dictionary, p. 650). We also know that after baptism, as we continue living our lives in faith, that true conversion becomes a life-long process because of our need to continually align our will with the will of God.

No wonder we rejoice in the promise found in the Doctrine and Covenants: "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"

More missionaries have arrived here with desires to convert others-- and we know that they will! We welcome them with open arms to the joys of full-time missionary service, and as we send them out into the field, we wish them "Exito!" (Success!)

I find equal joy observing what takes place in the soul of a missionary as he learns to forget about himself and go about the Lord's work. A faithful missionary becomes his own greatest convert. As we watch missionaries finish their full-time missionary service, we rejoice with them in their own continuing conversion as they have helped others convert.

I love these words of our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, as he invites others to convert to the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
"Come from your wandering way, weary traveler. Come to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Come to that heavenly haven called home. Here you will discover the truth. Here you will learn the reality of the Godhead, the comfort of the plan of salvation, the sanctity of the marriage covenant, the power of personal prayer. come home....
"Many of you have traveled long in personal quest for that which rings true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends forth to you an earnest appeal. Open your doors to the missionaries. Open your minds to the word of God. Open  your hearts--even your very souls-- to the sound of the still, small voice which testifies of truth. As the prophet Isaiah promised: 'Thine ears shall hear a word..., saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.'"  (Isaiah 30:21)  
("Dedication Day," Ensign, Nov 2000) 
Pictures of the arrival of our newest missionaries:






 Transfer Day Pictures:




Big man... little car!












Putting the bikes together...


Outgoing missionaries: