San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Lesson on Faith

Importance of Faith in the Mission Field . . .

A little while back we were very fortunate to receive an unexpected visit from a member of our . . .

Area President . . .

President Adrian Ochoa!

He happened to be in Honduras on a Church assignment and took time out of his busy schedule to visit both the East and West missions here in San Pedro Sula.  He met with youth groups in La Ceiba, spoke at a special District Conference in Tocoa, and met with missionaries that lived within a short distance of San Pedro Sula to share counsel and encouragement in their missionary efforts.

(Our Mission Leader Council had an opportunity to have a "working lunch" with President Ochoa . . . while they ate, he spoke . . . you'll see the photos included in the post here)

From 2014-08-13
(Our Mission Leader Council - June 2014)

Elder Ochoa is a prior Mission President here in San Pedro Sula, and has also served in the General Young Men's Presidency of the Church.  In April of 2013, he was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, and has been serving in our Area Presidency since August of 2013.

A Lesson on Faith . . .

He left our missionaries with many inspirational thoughts on the first principle of the gospel - Faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He quoted from much of the teachings of Elder Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on the subject of Faith.

The Apostle Paul defined faith as “the substance of things hoped for [and] the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Alma declared that faith is not a perfect knowledge; rather, if we have faith, we “hope for things which are not seen [but] are true” (Alma 32:21). Additionally, we learn in the Lectures on Faith that faith is “the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness” and that it is also “the principle of action in all intelligent beings.”

From 2014-08-13
From 2014-08-13

And particularly important for missionaries . . .

"Faith as the assurance of things hoped for looks to the future. This assurance is founded upon a correct understanding about, and trust in, God and enables us to “press forward” (2 Nephi 31:20) into uncertain and often challenging situations in the service of the Savior. "

Elder Ochoa counseled missionaries that their Father in Heaven knows their challenges.  He knows they arrive in the mission with many and various backgrounds.  Many missionaries arrive with little knowledge and experience in the gospel, without support of family members at home, varying levels of education.  But they can all teach with the Spirit.

He encouraged them to learn leadership skills well.  They need to be great leaders.  Elder Ochoa used the example of a small child learning to walk, because he see's other people walk, and knows it can be done, never giving up even though many falls occur.  And gradually the child learns to walk, even though there is fear in the beginning.  Elder Ochoa emphasized that doubts and fear come from the adversary, but FAITH comes from a witness of the Spirit.

From 2014-08-13

(Council enjoying lunch and Elder Ochoa!)

Don't Doubt!

Focus your mind on the Spirit and it's guidance, and put the doubts out of your mind.

For example . . .

For example, Nephi relied upon precisely this type of future-facing spiritual assurance as he returned to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of brass—“not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do. Nevertheless [he] went forth” (1 Nephi 4:6–7).

Elder Ochoa encouraged missionaries to make a special study of the Atonement, and learn to apply it in their lives.  Through a study of the Atonement, one can come to an increased knowledge of the Savior.  When we focus on becoming like the Savior, we experience more happiness, joy and greater success.  We need to be committed to live according to his will.

From 2014-08-13
From 2014-08-13

(An impromptu lesson from President Klein - it's a favorite of missionaries, they love to gather around and listen :)

"Faith in Christ is inextricably tied to, and results in, hope in Christ for our redemption and exaltation. And assurance and hope make it possible for us to walk to the edge of the light and take a few steps into the darkness—expecting and trusting the light to move and illuminate the way. 2The combination of assurance and hope initiates action in the present."

Elder David A. Bednar

“True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to righteous action. The Prophet Joseph Smith [affirmed] that ‘faith [is] the first principle in revealed religion, and the foundation of all righteousness’ and that it is also ‘the principle of action in all intelligent beings’ (Lectures on Faith [1985], 1). Action alone is not faith in the Savior, but acting in accordance with correct principles is a central component of faith.”
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Ask in Faith,” Ensign, May 2008, 95.

From 2014-08-13
From 2014-08-13
(At the end of the day - it's time to head back to their areas)

Be Responsible!

Elder Ochoa also taught about taking personal responsibility.  Make up your mind to do your best.  Be obedient.  Don't make excuses.  Take responsibility for yourself.  Don't justify your actions, don't complain, don't criticize your leaders.  Each missionary has personal responsibility.  A senior companion has personal responsibility to be a good leader, district leaders and zone leaders have personal responsibility for those in their stewardship.

From 2014-08-13

Exercise a Particle of Faith!

All you need is a desire . . . plant a seed in your heart, and in the heart of your investigators.  
 27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Soon you can have a beautiful tree that will grow from the seed.  Just as a plant needs light to grow, so do each of us need the light of the Savior.  We can't do it on our own.  

Miracles come AFTER the trial of your faith.  When you are ready to give up, after the many trials and challenges . . .  Take advantage of every minutes.  Your Heavenly Father sent you here to grow, to overcome challenges, to learn to become great leaders, better husbands, fathers, mothers and wives in the gospel.  

Make good use of your time!

(One last photo of our Mission Leader Council - June 2014)

From 2014-08-13
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