Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Special Week

Last night I found out that I don't have transfers and that I'll be staying here for at least the next 6 weeks. I'll probably receive a different companion, and I am excited to find out who he is tomorrow morning. My companion, Elder Benavides, is a great Chilean, and we get along well. We have been working 2 sectors these last 2 weeks so it will be nice to return to normal this week. 

This last week was a special one, one that taught me about the responsibility that we have as members of the church. So one of the recent converts here in my ward experienced a tragedy when his son of 33 years died in the hospital. It was a sad event, one that left the family shocked and confused. Duilio (the recent convert) had just gotten baptized, and he wondered why God would test him so painfully. Arriving at their house under these circumstances was a little difficult. The family was in the house with many friends, and the room was filled. The body of the son was in the middle of the room as the people gave their condolences to the family. I was surprised when the family asked us as missionaries to say a few words to the people there. I could see the pain that they all had and taught about death and what it really is--the separation of the body and spirit. Then, I bore my testimony the best I could of Jesus Christ and that through Him we will all live again. A verse came to my mind and I read, Mosiah 16:8 and 9.

8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.

 9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

We has missionaries were able, through the spirit, to console a hurting family and friends. We as latter-day saints are to be a light and example to the people. We have an incredibly great responsibility to help those in need as members of this church, because we have been blessed with the knowledge of the restored gospel. Knowledge that comforts and helps us through difficulties. We have the knowledge and spirit that others need to feel when life gets hard. Reflecting on these experiences of being an example and raising a spirit of hope and confidence, reminded me of the a specific story from the talk of our beloved prophet Thomas S. Monson.

"At that time, leaders of the Church met with officials in Jerusalem to work out a lease agreement for land on which the Church’s Jerusalem Center would be built. In order to obtain the permissions needed, the Church had to agree that no proselyting would be undertaken by our members who would occupy the center. After that agreement had been made, one of the Israeli officials, who was well acquainted with the Church and its members, remarked that he knew the Church would honor the no-proselyting agreement. “But,” he said, referring to the students who would attend there, “what are we going to do about the light that is in their eyes?”  May that special light ever shine within us, that it might be recognized and appreciated by others."

We need to let that special light ever shine within us. My mission has been full of experiences like this. I love the work. Thanks so much for all your support. Miss you all more than you can imagine, and I love you all more.

Elder Walker