Monday, July 12, 2010

We Are All God's Investigators: President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Counsels Taiwanese Missionaries

President Dieter F. Uctdorf visited the Taiwan Taipei Mission on Saturday, 10 July 2010 and Sunday, 11 July 2010.  Sister  Sister Mackenzie Ackerson wrote on her blog her general impressions about the visit:

We also had the much anticipated visit of President Uchtdorf!! It was the best ever! We ditched on church after sacrament meeting and made our way for the mission office. Sister Hintze and I got to sing in the missionary choir they organized so we practiced for a bit and then hitched the buses over to the Xinzhuang chapel (about 40 mintues south-eastish of the mission home, I think). We waited for him there and finally he showed up with his wife and two recently released Taipei and Taizhong mission returned missionary twin sons, the Elders Evans. Sister Uchtdorf is a hoot! She and President Uchtdorf both talked a lot about how missionary work had blessed their lives (because both of them are from convert roots) and diligence in the work. It was a great meeting. Then we hitched the bus over to a humongous sports arena in Xinzhuang for the general church membership meeting with President Uchtdorf. It was a great meeting as well, although attendance was a little bit low...he encouraged the members to keep all the commandments and have a temple recommend.

Sister Flora Bruno directly behind President Uchtdorf

My daughter Sister Flora Aimee Bruno reported an interesting concept that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf''s told the missionaries of the Taiwan Taipei Mission on Saturday, 10 July 2010:

You know what? Yesterday Dieter F. Uchtdorf came to our mission...and spoke to us...and between the meeting with us missionaries and the member meeting . . . Well, I would tell you all about what Uchtdorf told us missionaries...but there is too much. I'll give dad my planner with the notes in it next week and he can transcribe if he so wishes. But I will mention one thing he said that actually, I strongly agree with, because in my first interview with President Nielson...back in the day...he told me that we were all God's Investigators. I spent a long time understanding lesson one principle one in relation and terms to me. I wanted to know that my life and what I did was because I loved God...and to love God, I needed to truly understand my relationship with him. It was an interesting thing, and I'm still learning...but it really struck me when Uctdorf said, "Be your first and strongest convert." I know that I do not want to be a Sunday Latter-day Saint. I don't want to just act like a member, but BE a member. I'm still in a process. I think it will take a lifetime. I'm more used to reading my scriptures and praying daily, but sometimes it still isn't the most earnest I could be. I still have TONS of room for improvement. My whole life, I've believed that a mission is just another step in our spiritual growth. I doubt I will think this mission is the most spiritual stage of my life...because I believe every day I become better, but I've definitely learned a lot. I'm still the basic core of who I am and was in the past, but I'm better in some ways, and more experienced in others. This is a wonderful work. I'm grateful for my time here in Taiwan.
  On Sunday, 11 July 2011 he meet with the missionaries in the Taiwan Taichung Mission.  Elder Willi Vernon reported his experience with President and Sister Uchtdorf:
The whole mission gathered together in Taizhong, and it sure was fun to see my old MTC district again. We all had a lot to say to each other about missionary work and how our areas and companions are different. I was happy that most of them had seen baptism in the move call, and were expecting some more this week. haha, it's going to be so good to see what we can all do in two years. We had quite the group of ten missionaries there in my district. Every time I get a referral from one of them I get really happy. Then we took a mission picture with President Uchtdorf, all went inside and were really reverent while we got to shake his hand. It was awesome. President Bishop spoke for a little bit, gave a really solid talk about the doctrine that we are supposed to be teaching. I liked it a lot. It's great because when he interviews you he pulls his glasses up onto his nose and looks at you just like a doctor, and you feel like he's making a diagnosis. Then we heard from the Asia area authority President Perkins. He was amazing. He read out of Alma 16 and talked about how important it was to use the Book of Mormon in teaching. Then sister Uchtdorf spoke and she was so great. She talked about it was so hot in Taiwan (it does get pretty hot. What does 35 C translate into fahrenheit?) and how she admired us so much. Telling us her conversion story and how she answered the door as a little girl and let the missionaries in, and her mother read the Book of Mormon and knew it was true. She also told us the keep our apartments clean and have companionship unity. Then President Uchtdorf stood up and talked to us. He's pretty tall actually. He's a powerful speaker. He told us to follow the spirit. He based a lot of his address on D&C 90:11, and said that we were fulfilling this prophecy and that it was to be fulfilled in our lifetime. and then that we were to follow the spirit, and teach about Jesus Christ. he also told us to not settle for mediocrity. To never level off in learning the language but to strive to speak it as perfectly as possible to deliver the perfect message. He said that we have the ability to learn the language in ways that nobody else does. I also really enjoyed one thing he talked about. He said missions were like a treasure hunt. That got my attention I like treasure hunt. He said the Lord has placed treasures all around you in your mission, and we should seek those treasures. A couple of examples he gave us were President and Sister Bishop were a treasure that the Lord placed here. There are people we will meet that the Lord has placed there as a treasure, in each companionship there are things to learn that are treasures. Treasures in scripture study. He mentioned that overcoming homesickness was a treasure of the mission, and also learning the language and the culture was a treasure. I like that. I hope I can remember it. He also said this about who missionaries were "You are tuly the extended arm of the quorum of the twelve apostles. That is who you are," But I think the very best was when he read Doctrine and Covenants 58:42 and testifies that the Lord really won't remember our mistakes if we repent, and to teach our investigators how to repent, and also the truth that God will forgive. He said that it was Satan's plan to dig up old sins and feel sorry about them, and Satan likes to make us think that we haven't been forgiven. He testified three times in a row saying "I testify in the name of the Lord, that God will forgive." and it was one of the most powerful moments I've ever been in. The spirit was so strong. He said we will remember our own sins as a barrier, to protect us. But it is also a beautiful part of the plan that as we are forgiven and move on we won't be pained by those memories any more. I'm just real lucky to be able to hear an apostle speak. That's the fourth apostle I've heard so far on my mission. My times almost up.
It is interesting to me what resonates the different things that resonate to a missionary in a talk.  I firmly believe that the greatest convert that any missionary makes is herself or himself.

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