Mosiah 5: 13
“For how knoweth a man the master who he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?”
Me Lo Wo Tso Dzi Me. (I love you with all of my heart.)
This is in Ewe, another local language in Ghana, and it is a statement I have been using this week for investigators, as well as for my companion and my Heavenly Father. But we learn that love, like faith, is action. You are either growing in love, or it is dying, just like your faith. This week I have been working on showing my love to my Heavenly Father and Savior as I show my love to those I have been called to serve.
I loved an experience Elder Hanberg and I had this week with my dear friends, and new members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gifty and Ezekiel. We stopped by Gifty's sewing shop around 5 in the evening, and it was closed. We went to the house to see if we could just say hello because we knew she would be busy cooking. We came around the corner and met her on the porch in front of her home and she was so excited to see us! Since we had been sick I hadn't seen her in a week , it was fun to be reunited. Her husband Ezekiel is usually gone during the week because of his work, construction work or POP work on ceilings. But out from the house came Ezekiel and he had a large smile on his face. It was getting late and time to cook, but Gifty set all that she was doing aside to sit down with us in the shop. The last week they had gone to the temple with Agbogba Ward and they were so happy. They kept speaking about how beautiful it was! We spoke about the temple and about the ordinances and blessings that are waiting for those that have prepared themselves to enter. Elder Hanberg and I shared a wonderful lesson on family prayer. We know that many families and couples feel like their family is not close to each other or to God. One way that we can feel the love of our Heavenly Father and the love of our family or spouse, is to get on your knees and to pray together. We gave Gifty and Ezekiel that challenge and they promised to start praying together each night. The next time we saw them was on Sunday. That Sunday they were both called to serve in Agbogba Ward. Ezekiel was called as the Young Men's Secretary and Gifty was called as a Primary Teacher. They were sustained holding hands and felt a joy that can only come from the presence of our Heavenly Father. As we act in faith, whether kneeling together to pray as a family or accepting a call to serve, we will feel the love of our Heavenly Father radiating in our lives.
Elder Hanberg and I are always being asked if we are twins... And how old we are... No one believes us when we say we are not twins and they especially do not believe us when we say we are 19 years old. I was with Elder Horne when a sister asked how old we were. I said I was 19. She said, "Obuwa!" Which means "You lie!" She finally said, well if you are 19 then Elder Horne is like 15! They think we look 30 or 35 because we are grown more than they are. This week we met a new friend named Joyce and I told her that I was 19. She just laughed and said, "You are babies! I am old enough to born you." We laughed at that one and it is very true! We really are young, men. Called to do a work that is helping us to grown into young, humble, faithful, and diligent men. It is great to be able to help everyone around us, even if they are about 3 times our age!
As I have been out serving as a full-time missionary, I have learned the importance of coming to know who you serve. That is, coming to know our Master. Each day we wake up and study about the Master, we go out and teach about the Master, often not noticing that we are in fact becoming like the Master, our Savior Jesus Christ. As a missionary it is rather simple for us, if we choose, to come to know our Savior. We have the time and opportunity to devote our attention to serving Him as we serve our brothers. But I know that many of you do not have this blessing of time in your life. I love the advice given by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, that we can come to know the Master as we keep Him close to our hearts and in our thoughts. The scriptures teach us that we should "always remember Him." I've been applying this principle and I can testify of the joy that comes from keeping the Savior in your heart and mind. We will all pass through the storms of life and we will often question "Why?" But when we stop to think of Him and the sacrifice that He gave for us, then we can find the strength to continue. Serve Him. Keep Him close to your Heart and always have Him in your Thoughts. His strength will flow into your mind and His joy will radiate from your heart.
I love you all and am thankful for the opportunity to serve alongside the Master.