Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sophia's Farewell Talk

        I’m Sophia Blankmeyer and I will be serving in the Veracruz, Mexico mission reporting to the Provo MTC on March 5th. Veracruz Mexico is a port city located on the Eastern Coast of Mexico. I’m so excited and lucky to be able to serve the beloved people of Veracruz. I’ve been thinking a lot on what topic I’d be sharing today, and I found through prayer and promptings that Christ like attributes are what I’d like to share with you today.
I found in Preach My Gospel, chapter 6, it is dedicated to this specific topic. “When you have faith in Christ, you believe in Him as the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the Flesh. You accept Him as your Savior and Redeemer and follow His teachings...Faith in Him means that you trust Him and are confident that He loves you.”
I love that faith in Him leads to action. In stake conference last Sunday, we were privileged to hear Elder Ellis, from the Seventy, talk about ‘Hastening the Work.’ I loved that he included that this is not a spectator church, that everyone is on the field working and doing their part. 
A man once asked Jesus, (Matthew 22:36-39)  “Which is the great commandment and the law?" Jesus replied: “Thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” I love this story because since I have received my call, I have found a love that is indescribable for the people of Veracruz, and all those I come into contact with. I can only imagine after 18 months how much my love for them will grow. As I stand as a witness for Jesus Christ that pure love and charity will grow.  I know that if we struggle with this principle, we can ask through prayer for help to be able to see and love them as our Father does. I have a strong testimony of this. 
More Christ like attributes are patience & humility, which are related to hope and faith- you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled. 
Psalm 46:10 states... Be still and know that I am God...
I know that if we are patient we will be able to be more submissive to His will and we can accept His timing. “Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of spiritual strength. You are confident that you can do whatever The Lord requires of you if you rely on Him.”   

Diligence is another attribute “A diligent missionary works effectively and efficiently. Diligence in missionary work is an expression of your love for the Lord and His work.” President Ezra Taft Benson stated, “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”

Last, but certainly not least is Obedience. Obedience is the first law into Heaven. I have been going out with the Hermanas from the second branch and getting a feel for what P-day, Zone conference, FHE Family Home Evening, and lessons are like on the mission and in spanish! I’ve learned so much and they told me that the one thing you have to be on the mission is EXACTLY obedient. There are many temptations and the world is all around but, if I focus on what I am there for and have faith, I know that I will be blessed beyond measure and the temptations will seem less desirable. Elder L. Tom Perry acknowledged, “The discipline contained in daily obedience and clean living and wholesome lives builds an armor around you of protection and safety from the temptations that beset you as you proceed through mortality.” 

I know that if we, as children of a loving Heavenly Father, follow our brother Jesus Christ with these attributes of Faith, Love, Patience, Humility, Diligence, and Obedience we will see a wonderful change of heart that will help guide us to be able to return with Him again. I love my Savior and know that He lives. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord after all He has done for me. I love this gospel and what it has done to my family, and friends. I cannot wait to share it with the people of Mexico for 18 months. I cannot thank everyone enough for helping me become the person I am today. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

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