Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Homecoming Talk

My dear brothers and sisters it’s good to see your beautiful faces again. I just got back from serving a mission in the Mexico Torreon Mission, so if my English is really bad, you will all just have to use the gift of tongues to understand me. 

I hope I can speak with the spirit so we can all be uplifted. In the mission, we have a missionary purpose that every missionary comes to learn. The Lord has said that we are to: Invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. This missionary purpose applies not only to missionaries and non-members but to us as well.  The first part says we must invite others to come unto Christ.

The first person we have to invite to come unto Christ is ourselves. But what does it mean to come unto Christ. It means that we are going to work on becoming his True Disciples. I love what Matthew tells us that we have to do to become true disciples of Jesus Christ. He says:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples if any man will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. And now for a man to take up his cross is to deny himself all ungodliness and every worldly lust and keep my commandments. Break now my commandments for to save you lives. For whosoever will save his life in this world shall lose it in the world to come. And whosoever will lose his life in this world for my sake shall find it in the world to come. Therefore, forsake the world and save your souls for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

A true disciple is one who is willing to follow the path of Christ, who is willing to take up his cross or in other words to live the life he lived, to walk the way he walked. They are the people that live in the world, but are not part of the world. They are the people that keep his commandments and try to always do the will of God in their lives. This is not something that is easy to achieve, nor is it something that you can achieve in one day. It is a life-long process. However, it is a process that we have control over.

This process or pathway is exactly what is described in the missionary purpose. Invite others to come unto Christ, .........by helping them receive the restored gospel, through FAITH, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM, and ENDURING to the END. This is they pathway that our Heavenly Father and Christ have given us. And I testify, just as Nephi does, that this is the way and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now behold this is the doctrine of Christ and the only and true doctrine of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost which is one God without end amen. This is the only path that we can take to reach eternal happiness, to have eternal families and to have eternal progress. It is the way prepared and we have to decide to take it or leave it, there is no other secret entrance into the kingdom of God, his kingdom is more secure than fort Knox.   However I feel so blessed to know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who sent his son to show us the way. Our job then becomes to follow him out of love. And it is very important to remember that only through the restored church of Jesus Christ can we find the truths and covenants necessary to get us on the path. That is why it is so important that we accept the restored gospel of Christ so we can receive our blessings here on earth and in the eternities. And I know that this path brings the greatest joy and greatest blessings, because I have seen how it has worked so many miracles in the lives of the people in Mexico. I have seen how the gospel of Christ has the power to bring people from the gall of bitterness to the state of peace and happiness. It’s not magic, it’s just the power of Christ working in their lives and it can work in the lives of every one of us. It doesn’t matter what condition or circumstances we are in, we must all come unto Christ and start from where we are and the gospel of Christ will work miracles in our lives and help us to align our lives with Christ.

The first step we have to take is to have faith in our savior Jesus Christ. Faith is not just to believe that he exists, it is to act and obey our heavenly father.  Faith is an action word. If we have faith in him, we will show it with our actions, because actions speak louder than words. And if we act in faith I know that God will work miracles in our lives because he has promised it. The prophet Mormon said Behold I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth. However the key is that we have to act and doubt nothing. I know that when we do that, we will be able to receive whatever we ask.

Rooster Experience

Now when our faith has begun to grow through doing small and simple things, it plants in us a desire to be better and to become like our savior Jesus Christ. This feeling helps us to repent and change our way of being. I have come to learn that repentance is not just to clean my sins, repentance is a change. A change of mind, heart, and being that brings a new attitude toward God, oneself and life in general. This change is essential in our lives and it’s important that we do it daily. This change should come a love for our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the desire to be like them. However permanent change is only made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  When Christ atoned for us he not only atoned for our sins, he atoned for everything we would ever experience in our lives. The Prophet Alma tells us that he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people and he will take upon him death that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people and he will take upon him their infirmities that his bowels may be filled with mercy according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. He knows what we are going through because he has experienced it. He knows how you feel, he knows what it’s like and for that reason he knows exactly how to help us but only if we come unto him, repent and let him fully into our lives. When Nephi and Lehi were teaching the Nephites they taught them the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them IN their sins, but to redeem them FROM their sins.  They explain that we can only be helped with these things if we are willing to go through the work required to have a true and sincere repentance or change. Really I have seen the power of repentance in my life and the lives of others. When I arrived to the mission I began to recognize my faults and weaknesses because of my faith and desire to be like my savior. At times it was overwhelming how much I knew I had to change. One of the biggest things that I had to change was my pride. I never felt like I was a prideful person but when I got to the mission, God showed me differently. He taught me a new type of humility. And I was only able to make this change through repentance, through changing my attitude and the way I look at people and at life. I also saw the effects of repentance in one of my investigators. He had a big problem with the Law of Chastity. And at first he didn’t share this part of his life with us. But as time went on he confessed to us his problems and began to change. I have never seen such joy in someone’s face. The relief and peace that were evident in his face testified of the great power of repentance which enables the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our lives. There is no other way to receive peace and happiness in this life, only through repentance.

Baptism

Then once we have gained more faith in our savior and repented of past sins and we are repenting daily, we must make our fist covenant with God which is baptism. Nephi teaches us that baptism is the key to enter into the pathway to enter in the Kingdom of our father. It is what permits us to be clean of our sins and receive forgiveness. Repentance is the change, but Baptism is the cleansing. This ordinance is not a one time deal. Our baptismal covenant is something that should effect our day to day lives and decisions. And every week we have the amazing opportunity to renew this covenant by partaking of the Sacrament. We have the opportunity to be clean every single week. God promises us if we make this covenant with him and keep it that we will always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission our sins and we shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created us, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. And receive the gift of the holy ghost which is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us in this life. I know that these promises are true because of the great joy in the eyes of my investigators when they left the waters of the baptismal font. The great joy that can be seen on their face knowing that they are clean and one step closer to God is an indescribable sight. The people really are born again really do start a new life of happiness and peace.

After the baptism by water comes the baptism by fire which is the receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. The holy ghost is the greatest gift that God could give us. Because as God said to Ezekiel I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. Just imagine! We have a God to be with us always! To guide us to teach us to comfort us. He will be our companion in this life to guide us on this straight and narrow path so we can be part of the Kingdom of God. He will never lead us astray and will permit us to follow the will of God and the path that he has laid before us. I know that if we are worthy he will never abandon us and will guide us in many things, there were many times when the Holy Ghost guided us to the words to touch the hearts of the people, warned of dangers and guided us in every aspect of the mission work. So I know that he can guide us in every aspect of our day to day life as well. But we have to learn to listen and obey the promptings of the Holy Ghost if we want his continuing guidance.

However, I repeat the words of Nephi, My beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay? For ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus sith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. We cant stop where we are, we cant be satisfied with what we have achieved, we have to continue in this path until we can reach this eternal life which is the greatest gift of God. We have to press forward doing good works and coming closer to Christ. There was a recent convert that taught me this lesson. He was baptized and later on he broke his leg. He went through surgery, but it didn’t go well. His foot got infected and now it has to be amputated. However, even though he is passing through all these things, he still attends church with his crutches diligently. He talks about the gospel with everyone he is happy and positive and filled with faith that everything will turn out and that God will provide for him. He is faithfully enduring to the end.

Jorge and how he followed this path. Come the deepest parts.

Brothers and sisters. We have all started on this path of faith repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We are all at different stages, and points on this journey. However I testify that this is the only way to return with our Heavenly Father and have success in this life because when we follow this  path we will be continually coming unto Christ and receiving his guidance and power in our lives. Thomas S. Monson taught “We need not visit the Holy Land to feel him close to us. We need not walk by the shores of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked. In a very real sense, all can walk where Jesus walked when with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality.



Everyone can and needs to come unto Christ even more in their lives. As members we have the sacred responsibility to be those people that Invite others to come unto Christ, because we know that we are in this correct straight and narrow path. I challenge you all look for the people in need of following this path more faithfully in their lives or the people that do not even know that this path exists. Share it with your neighbors, friends, family, people you meet in the grocery store, everyone, because everyone must follow this path to come to eternal happiness. Testimony. Amen!

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