I have attached my farewell talk for today's sacrament meeting for those who missed it.
Good Morning brothers and sisters,
Well this is it! The moment I have been waiting for the past 10 years! I will be heading out to the Guatemala MTC in 9 days. And I cannot be anymore excited! I've prepared for this for so long and now its happening. It really hit me as I read my mission call,
" Dear Elder Madero, you have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints... "
It was then when I realized that those were the words that I wanted to hear. A sense of gratitude came over me, and I knew that this is truly what I was meant to do, it felt right. I felt like no matter what the next sentence said, I will serve anywhere, in any language, with all of my heart and strength. Fortunately enough I will be speaking in Spanish in Honduras for the next two years.
Ever since I was little I was always kind of teased by my family on how strange my Spanish was. And that of course made me a little uncomfortable speaking Spanish in front of them because they always corrected me. But I cannot wait for when I return in two years and ill be speaking better Spanish than my whole family put together!
Anyway, i just want to speak a bit to the younger generation here today, about being prepared to be a missionary.
Those who were close to me or went to school with me can tell you that most of my decisions were based on this ultimate goal. And although at times it seemed unnecessary or weird, I still held on and followed the church standards, and i can proudly say, it is worth it!
As you go through the mission interviews and the paperwork, and they ask if you've committed any felonies, I'm sure you'll say No, and you also will look back and think of those tough times where you had to put your standards first, and you will be proud of yourself.
As most of you are going through high school, you are around a lot of negative influences, please do not give in. Don't try to fit in with the rest of the world. Remember what your standards are and who you are representing.
Some think just because you don't go out and party and do things you are not supposed to that you cannot have fun, this of course is not true! I'm a living witness! High school was incredibly fun and I'm glad to be worthy to be able to serve a mission.
As much as I would like to stand up here and thank each of the people that helped in some way or form while growing up here, I cannot. I don't think I have enough time. There are so many stages in my life where you guys have helped me so much.
Whether it be kind words of wisdom, or a lesson that really taught me a lot, or helping me with my scouting accomplishments, the list goes on and on, but you all know who you are, and thank you!
But one of the most significant ways I've learned that most has to be the examples of each of you. Especially the youth i grew up with who are now serving a mission, Audrey, Michael, and Tyler. They set a great example for me.
I spent a lot of time with Tyler Jones as he was preparing for a mission and he gave me a lot of advice that i didn't understand at the time, but now i do! I cant wait to thank him in person!
Watching other youth return home after their missions is just amazing. Like Taylor Roberts, or Ashley Russell. Last week we heard from Ashley talk about the many things she has learned on her mission, and that made me even more excited for mine! You learn so much out in the mission field and i cannot wait to have as strong of a testimony as they do.
A lot of people, friends and family, have no idea what an LDS mission consists of, mostly just the fact that I will be in a different country, a very poor and dangerous country actually, having to talk to random people about a pretty touchy subject.
My friends are always messing around with me saying 'Well, it was nice knowing you'... But then they ask if i am nervous, and then are surprised when I tell them not really. I am not nervous of the environment or the dangers of that country. You need to remember why i am going and for who.
I am representing Jesus Christ teaching the people as if he were here this day. I am dedicating two years of my youth years to Him to do this, i know that he will be there protecting and helping me.
I will elaborate a little more on this reading The Missionary Commission:
I am called of God.
My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!
Another question that i get often, mostly from family is, Why? Why would i want to spend those two valuable years serving a mission when i could be getting a good job or in college getting a better education. Pretty much my only answer to that is, Love.
Love for our Savior, and what he has done for us on this earth. I love this gospel so much that i want to share it with everyone!
Remember Lehi's Dream in 1 Nephi? The angel shows Lehi the Tree of Life, he partakes of the fruit from the tree, that fruit was so delicious that he instantly desires his family to try it and be happy together.
When i think about why i want to go out on my mission so bad i think of the same way that Lehi felt after he tried the fruit. I want everyone to be happy, and partake of this fruit. This fruit representing the Love of our Heavenly Father.
( D&C 18:15-16).
“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!
“And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
This scripture doesn't only apply to full-time missionaries. All of us members are also missionaries. Just by loving everyone, like we are commanded to, people will eventually want to feel closer to our heavenly father, and we need to be ready when that happens so we can help them.
Many members and some missionaries often think to themselves, how will I know what to say, and when to say it?
You need to rely on the Holy Ghost. As a missionary you learn that you cannot teach without seeking inspiration through the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost will help you with what and when to say something, and will help the receiver know that what you are saying is true.
AP Camp Experience