This week, Elder Nielson from the Quorum of the Seventy visited my mission. He is the executive director of the missionary department. We had a small zone conference where we received training from him and his wife. Sister Nielson shared a fantastic message on loving our companions. She first shared how when she was first married, she and Elder Nielson had to make adjustments. As they had children, and their children got married, further adjustments needed to be made. There were times that new members of the family had interests that the rest of the family didn’t have. As they worked over their dissimilarities, they found peace in allowing people to grow where they are. Nobody needs to change to be more like you, we all need to be more like Christ. In my companionship, I have found the most unity and harmony in choosing to ignore annoyances and learn from strengths. As I have done this, my companions have done the same. It culminates in two people learning from each other and not complaining about little petty things. This type of relationship allows all people within it’s influence to feel love and strength.
Elder Nielson trained the missionaries about Grace through the Atonement of Christ. As most people are familiar with the redeeming power of the Atonment, and some are familiar with the enabling power, he explained how it is used in the Gospel. The Gospel helps bad men become good through learning what is right and repenting, resulting in baptism. The Gift of the Holy Ghost helps us to become perfected as we endure to the end, relying on Grace of Christ. As we become more like Christ and endure with patience and humility, the burdens are made light. He also emphasized that trials are essential for our growth. Recalling Elder Bednar, we don’t make any progress in the snow without the load in our truck. But as trials are faced with optimism, the Holy Ghost is able to show us what to do.
Elder Nielson also trained us missionaries on finding people to teach. He shared a story when he was visiting another mission. The church was attempting to purchase land for a church building, but conditions required a real estate lawyer. The church leaders went to the missionaries and asked them to baptize a real estate lawyer. So the Elders worked and prayed hard to find, teach, and baptize a real estate lawyer. And it was done. At one time in the Philippines, the missionaries were asked to baptize people who owned cars. As the church at that time consisted of humble members who could not afford a vehicle, the missionaries were asked to find people with the resources to help the church grow. And it was done. As we identify righteous needs in our lives, ask the Lord for His help, then act, we receive what we asked for. As in the Singapore mission, we are focusing on Priesthood holders in an attempt to establish a Stake.
I am grateful for the rare privilege to hear from Elder Nielson, who works very closely with President Monson and the other church leaders. It is very clear that the Lord is in charge of His church. The Spirit confirmed to me that the Lord is very aware of every situation, and He has everything under control. As we press forward through trials, we are privileged to learn from the best teacher this world has to offer.