Dear Elders and Sisters…a letter from home(ish) #2,
MTC Update and “Where Can I Turn for Peace?”
It has been another exciting week at the Missionary Training Center. This week the MTC Choir (of nearly 1,000) sang, “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” What a great missionary hymn! Although this hymn means many things to many people, to me it represents the ideal missionary lesson. The song begins with the investigator asking the million dollar question, “Where can I turn for peace?” They want to know where they can turn when they languish, or when they are filled with sorrow, spite, or anguish? When they have a broken heart, where can they turn? And what is your reply as a missionary? “He only One!” That is the answer! (Mosiah 3:17—There is no other name…)
You continue, “He answers privately, or in other words, personally. He knows you and your Gethsemane. He is your Savior and your friend.” “But,” says your investigator, “You don’t know what I have done. He can’t save me!” You remind them of when Peter walked on the water. When he began to sink he reached up his hand and said “Lord, save me!” Did the Lord hesitate? Not at all! He reached down, took him by the hand and pulled him up! Again the investigator replies, “But I have sunken too low for him to help me.” Then you turn them to DC: 122:8 and read, “The Son of Man hath descended below them all.” No matter how low they have gone, if they will reach up, he will “reach their reaching.”
Wow, what a message you carry! Understanding these truths, we need never approach teaching opportunities apologetically. When you arrive, you bring the gospel of Christ and Salvation with you. Don’t forget that you DO have the answers. As President Nelson said, “Ask the Missionaries!” If you happen to knock on their door, it is their lucky day! And you better believe it, because it is!
How Can a Young Man or Woman Leave Home and How Can Their Parents Let Them?
Just a quick thought about missionaries and their families. This week my older brother took his daughter to the airport where she would leave for an international MTC. He has always been a pretty tough guy. He makes a living in the world of MMA fighting, motorcycle racing, and Nitro-Circus. But, when it came to sending his daughter on a mission, he bawled just like the rest of us babies! (see picture) So, why as parents do we let our children go? And why as missionaries do you give up so much of your lives to serve? The world can’t understand it. They usually explain it as a “rite of passage.” But, that would never have been enough for me to let my daughter go (shout-out to Texas, McCallen Missionaries).
You go on missions, and we let you go, because we know that you have been “called of God, as was Aaron.” To paraphrase one of the Brethren recently at the MTC, “With the world getting increasingly dark, parents and families are coming out onto their porches. And here come the missionaries carrying the light! There has never been a more exciting time to be a missionary.”
In response to a revelation from the Lord, and to save the Church, Joseph Smith began to call missionaries to serve overseas. He approached Heber C. Kimball in the Temple and whispered his call to him. Heber was stunned. Even though his family was practically destitute, when He learned for himself that the call was from the Lord, it outweighed every other consideration. Eventually, Heber was called to serve in England with Brigham Young. The two Apostles and their families had been seriously ill. Brigham left a sick wife with a three week old baby and other ill children. Heber’s wife had not been out of bed for some time. In their still ailing condition, they needed assistance getting into the wagon and began to drive away. Heber asked the driver to stop and said to Brother Brigham, “This is pretty tough, isn’t it: let’s rise up and give them a cheer.” They arose, and swinging their hats three times over their heads shouted: “Hurrah, hurrah for Israel!”
Missionary work has a history of sacrifice, for the missionary and for their families. I feel like shouting “Hurrah” for the missionaries of Israel every time I walk into the MTC. I came down the hall of our church today and found a woman crying in the hall. “I’m ok,” she said, “I’ve just been talking about my missionary.” Tonight at the dinner table my wife said, “I still can’t talk about the day we took Bekah to the MTC (16 months ago) without crying.”
Hurrah, Hurrah for the Missionaries of Israel (and for their parents, too!)
Thank you for serving, we love you and pray for you day and night,
Brother Ryan Eggett
Hurrah for Isreal painting history.lds.org