During the transfer cycle of February 8 through March 21, we focused our efforts on being spiritually and physically prepared. We know it was a great blessing for us to be able to visit every missionary in his or her apartment and discuss the need to be prepared for all things that the Lord asks of us. We also took the opportunity to bless and dedicate every mission apartment to the Lord. We are very thankful for the promptings of the Spirit which led us to do the Lord's work in the Lord's way. We can testify without reservation that the Lord loves His missionaries. We find it miraculous that every single missionary in Chile has been preserved and protected during this time of great disaster and tribulation. We know that the Lord has great confidence in these missionaries, and we know that they are absolutely receiving His help to be able to do His work. We are very thankful for obedient missionaries who strive to do all that is asked of them.
As we get to know these young people better, we learn of the incredible consecration of time and talent which enables them to so faithfully serve the Lord. They do not think of monetary reward for their service...they find their reward in the simple smile of a new convert as he or she enters the waters of baptism, becomes clean, and begins a brand new life, or the sweet sight of a humble family sitting together in Church for the first time, learning how to be more like Jesus Christ. Some of these wonderful young servants of the Lord have given up scholarships to be in the mission field. Some have saved their own money to be able to be here for two years, and others have families who willingly struggle to help finance their missions. Some have mourned the loss of loved ones who have passed away while they have been here serving their Chilean family. Many have delayed opportunities to play sports or be part of different performing groups for the Universities of their choice, a few have walked away from career opportunities, and all have given up their most "precious worldly possessions" for this opportunity to prove themselves to their Redeemer. All have put away their own selfish pursuits and desires in order to volunteer their full time and give their whole hearts to serve their Lord and Savior.
We testify that our Missionaries love the Lord. We know them, and we love them for their righteous desires. We feel deeply honored to be able to serve among them. They inspire us to do and be better servants of the Lord. We feel the joy of our sacred stewardship as we labor in the vineyard with these fine young people.
We wish we could aptly explain the love we feel for these faithful servants. They are not "weary in well-doing," for they know they are laying the "foundation of a great work." They see further than the natural eye can comprehend. They are coming to see and recognize the truths of eternity. They are overcoming their own personal trials, and they are learning what it means to be truly "faithful" even in the face of adversity.
Our deepest desire for them is the same as our desire for our own children: we hope for them to recognize their great strengths and discover their own spiritual gifts. We hope for them to cultivate a deep desire and ability to be able to see with their spiritual eyes and hear with their spiritual ears, so that they will continue to gain a greater understanding of who they really are and what their life's mission includes.
We know that through their faith, and with the help of the Holy Ghost, they can come to know the truth of all things, and they can always and forever be faithful stewards wherever the Lord calls them to labor.