Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Elder Rife's message to his home ward

Michael was asked to share a five-minute message about missionary work with his homeward, the Heatheridge 9th Ward. Dad read his message to the ward.

Hello, everyone!

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to speak to you today, even though I’m not
actually there. But then again I smell pretty strongly of kimchee all the time, so
you're probably glad that I’m not there.

I’m always thankful for an opportunity to share my testimony, so my mission
has been so amazing for me because I have countless opportunities to bear my
testimony each day. One of my favorite quotes about bearing our testimonies is
found on p. 198 of Preach My Gospel. It is by President Monson, and it reads:

Regarding one’s testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he
keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses. . . . Teach and testify.
There is no better combination.

One of the ways we gain our testimonies is by showing our faith and asking God
to make things known unto us through the Holy Ghost. After we have received our
testimony, it is our job to share it! And in so doing, we can gain an even stronger
testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Regarding sharing the gospel, President George Albert Smith once said… “that
is your mission, my brethren and sisters of the church, that is your responsibility.
Freely have you received and our Heavenly Father will expect you freely to share
with His other sons and daughters these glorious truths.” The Lord blesses us with
so much and he expects us to share. There is a place for each one of us in this
work, and whether it is full time or not, we can all share the gospel with others.
The Lord needs each one of us to step up so that he can use our talents and abilities
in bringing his other children to the gospel.

Our mission (and I’m sure all the others) have been so blessed with amazing
senior couples who help us slightly younger missionaries learn and grow. Through
hearing their experiences and testimonies, we learn so much. The Lord needs all
of us to be bold and to share the gospel in any situation we are in. So my challenge
for everyone today is to pray to Heavenly Father and ask Him for opportunities
to share the gospel. If you do, I promise He will bless you with a chance to share

your testimony. We all have a place in the work, and the Lord needs our individual
efforts to bring His other children to the truth.

Whom the Lord calls he qualifies, and when He asks us to do something hard, He
provides us with a way to do it. Like it says in 1 Nephi 3:7: “I will go and do.” I
know that, as we seek opportunities to share the gospel and bear our testimonies,
we will find so much more happiness, and we will each progress in the gospel.

This week, my companion and I have been praying and working to find people
to teach and opportunities to bear our testimonies. Through doing this, we have
found so many people to teach, and I am happier than I have ever been. (Note
from dad: when Michael was transferred to the Ilsan area, the missionaries
had no investigators and no contacts. Now, about 2 months later, they have 11
investigators.) The gospel is so amazing! It has helped me and my investigators
to become so much happier. Making the decision to come on a mission wasn’t
a really hard decision for me because I have seen so many good missionary
examples in my life and how much they loved their missions. I have felt of that
same joy and have seen the changes that being a missionary has made in my life,
and I’m so thankful for it. I wouldn’t give up this experience for anything in the
world. So if there are any of you, young or not so young, who are wondering if a
mission is right for you, I promise you that if you pray about it with the intention to
act that God will tell you if it’s right for you.

It’s not always easy being a missionary, but it is worth it. I’m so thankful that I
have this privilege to serve the people of Korea, like my dad. It’s not always easy
being away from my family especially at this time but I know the Lord is blessing
my family and especially my mom. I am so comforted when I think about all of the
ward members who care so much about my family and take such good care of my
mom. Thank you so much.

I want to close by letting you know that I know this Church is true with all of my
heart. Living the gospel is the only way that we can be truly happy. I’m so thankful
that through the gospel I can live with my family forever. I know that the Book
of Mormon is the word of God and was translated through the latter day prophet
Joseph Smith. Real quickly, I want to share one of my favorite scriptures, Mosiah

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature,
for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the
very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to
quake and tremble.

We have such a special commission to share the gospel and help save the souls of
God’s other children—and in so doing, we will experience so much joy. I know
this gospel is true and I’m so thankful for it.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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