Words, talks, discourses, and quotes from the prophets and apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to missionary work and mission preparation.

Mission Prep Quotes from Oct 2020 General Conference

resourceful resilient remarkable missionaries
Moving Forward By President Russell M. Nelson

“Our missionaries and mission leaders have been resourceful, resilient, and truly remarkable. Although most missionaries have had to find new, creative ways to do their work, many missions have reported doing more teaching than ever.”

God Will Do Something Unimaginable By Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Many of our missionaries are busier than ever. Many are teaching more people than ever. There is an increased connection between members and missionaries. …In Latvia, a woman who had discovered the Church by clicking on an internet ad was so excited to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ that she showed up to her appointment an hour early, and before the missionaries ended the first lesson, she asked for a date to be baptized.”

Be of Good Cheer By President Dallin H. Oaks

“Even though the Saints were not settled in their new homes, at October 1849 general conference a new wave of missionaries was sent out to Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, and the South Pacific. At what could have been thought their lowest level, the pioneers rose to new heights. And just three years later, another 98 were also called to begin to gather scattered Israel. One of the Church leaders explained that these missions “are generally, not to be very long ones; probably from 3 to 7 years will be as long as any man will be absent from his family.””

I Believe in Angels By Elder Carlos A. Godoy

“The first angels that I will mention are the two sister missionaries who taught me the gospel when I was a young man: Sister Vilma Molina and Sister Ivonete Rivitti. My younger sister and I were invited to a Church activity where we met these two angels. I never imagined how much that simple activity would change my life.My parents and siblings were not interested in learning more about the Church at that time. They were not even willing to have the missionaries in our home, so I took the missionary lessons in a Church building. That small room in the chapel became my “sacred grove.””

We Talk of Christ By Elder Neil L. Andersen

“With those around us, let us be more open, more willing to talk of Christ. President Nelson said, “True disciples of Jesus Christ are willing to stand out, speak up, and be different from the people of the world.” Sometimes we think that a conversation with someone needs to result in them coming to church or seeing the missionaries. Let the Lord guide them as they are willing, while we think more about our responsibility to be a voice for Him, thoughtful and open about our faith.”

Let God Prevail By President Russell M. Nelson

“If we will allow it, there are many ways this Hebraic interpretation of Israel (“let God prevail”) can help us. Imagine how our prayers for our missionaries—and for our own efforts to gather Israel—could change with this concept in mind. We often pray that we and the missionaries will be led to those who are prepared to receive the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I wonder, to whom will we be led when we plead to find those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives?”

prayers for our missionaries let god prevail

Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work, and Count It All Joy! By Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi

“This past March, our second daughter, Emma, like many missionaries in the Church, went into mandatory isolation. Many missionaries came home. Many missionaries awaited reassignment. Many did not receive their temple blessings before departing to a field of labor. Thank you, elders and sisters. We love you.”

Highly Favored of the Lord By Elder Gary E. Stevenson

“When Sister Kaitlyn Palmer received her mission call last April, she was excited to be called as a missionary but felt it equally important and special to go to the temple to receive her endowment and make sacred covenants. Shortly after she scheduled her endowment, the announcement came that all temples would temporarily close due to the worldwide pandemic. After receiving this heartbreaking information, she then learned she would attend the missionary training center (MTC) virtually from her home. Despite these disappointments, Kaitlyn focused on keeping her spirits high.”

“On August 10, the First Presidency announced that Kaitlyn’s temple would reopen for living ordinances on the exact day her early-morning flight to her mission was scheduled. She would not be able to attend the temple and make her flight. With little hope for success, her family contacted temple president Michael Vellinga to see if there was any way the miracle they had been praying for could be realized. Their fasting and prayers were answered!”

“At 2:00 a.m., hours before her flight departure, Sister Palmer and her family, in tears, were greeted at the temple doors by the smiling temple president with the words, “Good morning, Palmer family. Welcome to the temple!” As she completed her endowment, they were encouraged to move quickly, as the next family was waiting at the temple doors. They drove directly to the airport just in time to make her flight to her mission.”

“The temple ordinances we have missed over several months seem sweeter than previously imagined as temples around the world reopen in phases.”

Mission Prep Quotes from April 2020 General Conference

compulsion compelling invitations expression of love christofferson

Spiritually Defining Memories by Elder Neil L. Andersen

“Sister Damasio told me that missionaries in her village had given a priesthood blessing to a critically ill baby who miraculously recovered. She wanted to know more. As she prayed about their message, an undeniable witness of the Spirit confirmed to her that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. At 103, she was baptized, and at 104, she was endowed. Every year after, she made the 14-hour bus ride to spend a week in the temple. Sister Damasio had received a heavenly confirmation, and she knew that God knew that she knew that the witness was true.”

“Here is a spiritual memory from my first mission to France 48 years ago. While tracting, my companion and I left a Book of Mormon with an elderly woman. When we returned to the woman’s apartment about a week later, she opened the door. Before any words were spoken, I felt a tangible spiritual power. The intense feelings continued as Madame Alice Audubert invited us in and told us she had read the Book of Mormon and knew that it was true. As we left her apartment that day, I prayed, “Heavenly Father, please help me to never forget what I have just felt.” I never have.”

The Power of the Book of Mormon in Conversion by Elder Benjamin M. Z. Tai

“As a young man beginning my missionary service, I boarded an airplane headed to Australia. Feeling very alone, anxious, and inadequate but having committed to serve, I desperately needed reassurance that what I believed in was true. I prayed and read my scriptures earnestly, but as the flight progressed, my self-doubt intensified and my physical condition deteriorated. After I had been struggling for several hours, a flight attendant walked down the aisle and stopped next to my seat. He took the Book of Mormon I was reading from my hands. He looked at the cover and said, “That’s a great book!” then handed the book back to me and kept walking. I never saw him again.”

“While his words echoed in my ears, I distinctly heard and felt in my heart, “I am here, and I know where you are. Just do your best, for I will take care of the rest.” On that airplane above the Pacific Ocean, I received a personal witness through my study of the Book of Mormon and the promptings of the Holy Spirit that my Savior knew who I was and that the gospel was true.”

He Goes before Us by President Henry B. Eyring

“Although missionary work was needed to gather Israel, the Lord inspired His leaders to teach the Twelve, who became some of our early missionaries, “Remember you are not to go to other nations, till you receive your endowment.” … In fulfillment of prophecy, preparatory temple ordinances began to be introduced… along with an outpouring of spiritual manifestations which armed those called on missions with the promised endowment of “power from on high” that led to a great gathering through missionary service. …The Lord had inspired Joseph and those faithful missionaries who went to work to achieve a harvest that must have, at the time, seemed beyond them. But the Lord, with His perfect foresight and preparation, made it possible.”

Fulfillment of Prophecy by Elder Ronald A. Rasband

“I remember when I received my mission call as a young man. I wanted to serve in Germany, like my father, brother, and brother-in-law. Not waiting for anyone to get home, I rushed to the mailbox and opened the call. I read that I had been called to the Eastern States Mission, headquartered in New York City. I was disappointed, so I went inside and opened my scriptures for comfort. I began to read in the Doctrine and Covenants: “Behold, and lo, I have much people in this place, in the regions round about; and an effectual door shall be opened in the regions round about in this eastern land.” That prophecy, given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833, was a revelation to me. I knew then I had been called to the exact mission the Lord wanted me to serve in.”

That They May See by Bonnie H. Cordon

“The second story is about Ella, a collegiate basketball player. Her example began when she received her mission call while away at school. She chose to open her call in front of her team. They knew almost nothing about the Church of Jesus Christ and didn’t understand Ella’s desire to serve. She prayed repeatedly to know how to explain her mission call in a way that her teammates might feel the Spirit. Her answer?

“I made a PowerPoint,” Ella said, “because I’m just that cool.” She told them about the potential of serving in one of 400-plus missions and possibly learning a language. She highlighted the thousands of missionaries already serving. Ella ended with a picture of the Savior and this brief testimony”

The Blessing of Continuing Revelation to Prophets and Personal Revelation to Guide Our Lives by Elder Quentin L. Cook

“Elder Holland and I “were companions as young missionaries in England in the early 1960s, and I had a great love for him. I considered the experience a tender mercy for me. In recent years, I have wondered if the Lord was preparing me to be junior in the Twelve to an incredible missionary companion who was my junior companion when we were young missionaries. I sometimes warn young missionaries to be kind to their junior companions because they never know when they might be their senior companion.”

Come and Belong by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“We invite all of God’s children throughout the world to join us in this great endeavor. Come and see! Even during this challenging time of COVID-19, meet with us online. Meet with our missionaries online. Find out for yourself what this Church is all about! When this difficult time has passed, meet with us in our homes and in our worship places!”

Sharing the Message of the Restoration and the Resurrection by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

In the Church, we have “hundreds of thousands [of stories], that speak of the time, treasure, and lives sacrificed over the last 200 years to share the message of the Restoration. Our aspiration to reach every nation, kindred, tongue, and people is undiminished today, as witnessed by the tens of thousands of young men, women, and couples currently serving under full-time mission calls; by Church members generally, who echo Philip’s invitation to come and see; and by the millions of dollars spent annually to sustain this effort across the world. While our invitations are without compulsion, we hope people will find them compelling. For that to be so, I believe at least three things are required: first, your love; second, your example; and third, your use of the Book of Mormon. Our invitations cannot be a matter of self-interest; rather, they must be an expression of selfless love.”

Mission Prep Quotes from October 2019 General Conference

People will notice the light and will be drawn to it

The Message, the Meaning, and the Multitude By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Such a quest for faith and conviction is our purpose in these conferences, and by joining with us today, you will realize that this search is a broadly shared endeavor. Look around you. Here on these grounds you see families of all sizes coming from every direction. Old friends embrace in joyful reunion, a marvelous choir is warming up, and protestors shout from their favorite soapbox. Missionaries of an earlier day look for former companions, while recently returned missionaries look for entirely new companions (if you know what I mean!). And photos? Heaven help us! With cell phones in every hand, we have morphed from “every member a missionary” to “every member a photographer.” In the midst of all of this delightful commotion, one could justifiably ask, “What does it all mean?”

Be Faithful, Not Faithless By Stephen W. Owen

However, through our Young Men activities, I was able to build relationships with the other members of my quorum, and they became my friends. In addition, members of the bishopric and Aaronic Priesthood advisers began to take a special interest in my life. They attended my athletic events. They wrote me encouraging notes that I have kept to this day. They continued to keep in touch with me after I went to college and when I left for a mission. One of them was even at the airport when I came home. I will be forever grateful for these good brothers and their combination of love and high expectations. They pointed me heavenward, and life became bright, happy, and joyful.

Spiritual Capacity By Michelle Craig

Recently, I read in the scriptures about another great missionary who obtained his errand from the Lord. Aaron was teaching the king of the Lamanites, who wondered why Aaron’s brother Ammon had not also come to teach him. “And Aaron said unto the king: Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another way.”

The Spirit spoke to my heart: each of us has a different mission to perform, and at times the Spirit may call us in “another way.” There are many ways to build the kingdom of God as covenant-making, covenant-keeping disciples of Jesus Christ. As His faithful disciple, you can receive personal inspiration and revelation, consistent with His commandments, that is tailored to you. You have unique missions and roles to perform in life and will be given unique guidance to fulfill them.

They chose to be baptized and confirmed

Unwavering Commitment to Jesus Christ By Elder Dale G. Renlund

Brother and Sister Banza were greeted warmly at the branch. They asked some of the persistent questions they had about the nature of God, such as, “If God is a spirit, like the wind, how could we be created in His likeness? How could He sit on a throne?” They had never received a satisfactory answer until the missionaries explained restored doctrine in a brief lesson. When the missionaries left, the Banzas looked at each other and said, “Isn’t this the truth that we have heard?” They continued coming to church and meeting with the missionaries. They knew that baptism in the restored Church of Jesus Christ would have consequences. They would be stripped of their scholarships, their visas would be revoked, and they and their two young children would be required to leave Switzerland. They chose to be baptized and confirmed in October 1979.

Found through the Power of the Book of Mormon By Elder Rubén V. Alliaud

Just before I turned 15, I was invited by my uncle Manuel Bustos to spend some time with him and his family here in the United States. This would be a great opportunity for me to learn some English. My uncle had converted to the Church many years before, and he had a great missionary spirit. That is probably why my mother, without my knowing, spoke with him and said she would agree to the invitation on one condition: that he did not try to convince me to become a member of his Church. We were Catholics, and we had been for generations, and there was no reason to change. My uncle was in complete agreement and kept his word to the point that he didn’t want to answer even simple questions about the Church.

Of course, what my uncle and his sweet wife, Marjorie, could not avoid was being who they were. I was assigned a room that contained a large library of books. I could see that in this library there were roughly 200 copies of the Book of Mormon in different languages, 20 of them in Spanish. One day, out of curiosity, I took down a copy of the Book of Mormon in Spanish.

It was one of those copies with a sky-blue soft cover, with the figure of the angel Moroni on the front. When I opened it, on the first page there was written the following promise: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

And then it added: “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” It is difficult to explain the impact that these scriptures had on my mind and heart. To be honest, I was not looking for “the truth.” I was just a teenager, happy with his life, enjoying this new culture.

Nevertheless, with that promise in mind, I secretly began reading the book. As I read more, I understood that if I really wanted to get anything from this, I had better start to pray. And we all know what happens when you decide not only to read but also to pray about the Book of Mormon. Well, that is just what happened to me. It was something so special and so unique—yes, just the same as what has happened to millions of others around the world. I came to know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon was true.

I then went to my uncle to explain to him what had happened and that I was ready to be baptized. My uncle could not contain his astonishment. He got into his car, drove to the airport, and returned back with my plane ticket to fly back home, with a note addressed to my mother that simply stated, “I had nothing to do with this!”

Consistent and Resilient Trust By Elder L. Todd Budge

Our son Dan got very sick on his mission in Africa and was taken to a medical facility with limited resources. As we read his first letter to us after his illness, we expected that he would be discouraged, but instead he wrote, “Even as I lay in the emergency room, I felt peace. I have never been so consistently and resiliently happy in my life.”

As my wife and I read these words, we were overcome with emotion. Consistently and resiliently happy. We had never heard happiness described that way, but his words rang true. We knew that the happiness he described was not simply pleasure or an elevated mood but a peace and joy that come when we surrender ourselves to God and put our trust in Him in all things. We too had had those times in our lives when God spoke peace to our souls and caused us to have hope in Christ even when life was hard and uncertain.

Get into my car youre coming home to teach me

Finding Joy in Sharing the Gospel By Cristina B. Franco

At the Salt Lake airport, my mother and brother met a seven-year-old girl who was returning home from a skiing trip with her family. Her parents noticed how long she had been talking to my mom and brother and decided to join them. They introduced themselves and their daughter as Eduardo, Maria Susana, and Giada Pol. There was a natural and warm connection to this sweet family.

Both families were excited to be traveling together on the same flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. As their conversation continued, my mother noted that until that moment, they’d never heard about the restored Church of Jesus Christ. One of the first questions Susana asked was “Would you tell me about that beautiful museum with the golden statue on top?”

My mom explained that the beautiful edifice was not a museum but a temple of the Lord where we make covenants with God so we can return to live with Him one day. Susana confessed to my mom that before their trip to Salt Lake, she had prayed for something to strengthen her spirit.

During the flight, my mom bore her simple but strong testimony of the gospel and invited Susana to find the missionaries in her hometown. Susana asked my mom, “How will I find them?” My mom replied, “You can’t miss them; they are either two young men dressed in white shirts and ties or two nicely dressed young women, and they always wear a tag showing their name and also ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’”

The families exchanged phone numbers and said goodbye at the Buenos Aires airport. Susana, who since then has become my good friend, has told me many times that she felt so sad to leave my mom at the airport. She said, “Your mom glowed. I can’t explain it, but she had a brightness about her that I didn’t want to leave behind.”

As soon as Susana got back to her hometown, she and her daughter, Giada, went to share this experience with Susana’s mom, who lived just a few blocks away from their home. As they were driving, Susana happened to see two young men walking down the street dressed as my mom had described. She stopped her car in the middle of the street, got out, and asked these two young men, “Are you by chance from the Church of Jesus Christ?”

They said, “Yes.” “Missionaries?” she asked. They both replied, “Yes, we are!” She then said, “Get into my car; you’re coming home to teach me.”

Two months later, Maria Susana was baptized. Her daughter, Giada, was also baptized when she turned nine. We are still working on Eduardo, whom we love no matter what. Since then, Susana has become one of the greatest missionaries I have ever met. She is like the sons of Mosiah, bringing many souls to Christ. In one of our conversations, I asked her, “What is your secret? How do you share the gospel with others?”

She told me, “It is very simple. Every day before I leave my house, I pray, asking Heavenly Father to direct me to someone who needs the gospel in their life. I sometimes take a Book of Mormon to share with them or pass-along cards from the missionaries—and when I start talking to someone, I simply ask them if they have heard about the Church.”

God does not need you to sell the restored gospel

Your Great Adventure By Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

May I remind you that God does not need you to “sell” the restored gospel or the Church of Jesus Christ. He simply expects you not to hide it under a bushel. And if people decide the Church is not for them, that is their decision. It does not mean you have failed. You continue to treat them kindly. Nor does it exclude that you invite them again.

The difference between casual social contacts and compassionate, courageous discipleship is—invitation! We love and respect all of God’s children, regardless of their position in life, regardless of their race or religion, regardless of their life’s decisions. For our part, we will say, “Come and see! Find out for yourself how walking the path of discipleship will be rewarding and ennobling.” We invite people to “come and help, as we try to make the world a better place.”

And we say, “Come and stay! We are your brothers and sisters. We are not perfect. We trust God and seek to keep His commandments. “Join with us, and you will make us better. And, in the process, you will become better as well. Let’s take this adventure together.”

…And to those who have not yet begun, why delay? If you want to experience the wonders of this great spiritual journey, set foot upon your own grand adventure! Speak with the missionaries. Speak with your Latter-day Saint friends. Speak with them about this marvelous work and a wonder. It’s time to begin!

Knowing, Loving, and Growing By Elder Hans T. Boom

It is that love, that light that needs to shine and brighten our surroundings as we go about our daily lives. People will notice the light and will be drawn to it. That is the kind of missionary work that will draw others to “come and see, come and help, and come and stay.” Please, when you have received your witness about this great work and our part in it, let us rejoice together with our beloved Prophet Joseph Smith, who declared, “For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it.”

Mission Prep Quotes from April 2019 General Conference

Answers to Prayer by Brook P. Hales

“Our youngest son was called to serve as a missionary in the France Paris Mission. In preparation to serve, we went with him to purchase the usual shirts, suits, ties, and socks, and an overcoat. Unfortunately, the overcoat he wanted was not immediately in stock in the size he needed. However, the store clerk indicated that the coat would become available in a few weeks and would be delivered to the missionary training center in Provo prior to our son’s departure for France. We paid for the coat and thought nothing more of it.

“Our son entered the missionary training center in June, and the overcoat was delivered just days before his scheduled departure in August. He did not try on the coat but hurriedly packed it in his luggage with his clothing and other items.

“As winter approached in Paris, where our son was serving, he wrote to us that he had pulled out the overcoat and tried it on but found that it was far too small. We therefore had to deposit extra funds in his bank account so that he could buy another coat in Paris, which he did. With some irritation, I wrote to him and told him to give the first coat away, inasmuch as he couldn’t use it.

“We later received this email from him: “It is very, very cold here. … The wind seems to go right through us, although my new coat is great and quite heavy. … I gave my old one to [another missionary in our apartment] who said that he had been praying for a way to get a better coat. He is a convert of several years and he has only his mom … and the missionary who baptized him who are supporting him on his mission and so the coat was an answer to a prayer, so I felt very happy about that.”

“Heavenly Father knew that this missionary, who was serving in France some 6,200 miles (10,000 km) away from home, would urgently need a new overcoat for a cold winter in Paris but that this missionary would not have the means to buy one. Heavenly Father also knew that our son would receive from the clothing store in Provo, Utah, an overcoat that would be far too small. He knew that these two missionaries would be serving together in Paris and that the coat would be an answer to the humble and earnest prayer of a missionary who had an immediate need.”

dragging your feet when it comes to sharing the gospel

Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Some members of the Church seem to have a gift for [missionary work]. They love being ambassadors of the gospel. They boldly and gladly serve and lead the work as member missionaries.

“However, others of us are more hesitant. When missionary work is discussed in Church meetings, heads are slowly lowered until submerged behind the pew, eyes focused on the scriptures or closed in deep meditation to avoid eye contact with other members.

“…But remember, the Lord has never required expert, flawless missionary efforts. Instead, “the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.”

“If you are already happily doing missionary work, please continue, and stand as an example to others. The Lord will bless you.

“If, however, you feel that you have been dragging your feet when it comes to sharing the gospel message, may I suggest five guilt-free things anyone can do to participate in the Savior’s great commission to help gather Israel?”

  1. First, draw close to God.
  2. Second, fill your heart with love for others.
  3. Third, strive to walk the path of discipleship.
  4. Fourth, share what is in your heart.
  5. Fifth, trust the Lord to work His miracles.

when necessary use words

“…What I am asking is that you always look for opportunities to bring up your faith in natural and normal ways with people—both in person as well as online. I am asking that you “stand as witnesses” of the power of the gospel at all times—and when necessary, use words.”

“…Pray not only for the missionaries to find the elect. Pray daily with all your heart that you will find those who will come and see, come and help, and come and stay. Keep the full-time missionaries in the loop. They are like angels, ready to help!

“…In whatever ways seem natural and normal to you, share with people why Jesus Christ and His Church are important to you. Invite them to “come and see.” Then encourage them to come and help. There are numerous opportunities for people to help in our Church.

“Pray not only for the missionaries to find the elect. Pray daily with all your heart that you will find those who will come and see, come and help, and come and stay. Keep the full-time missionaries in the loop. They are like angels, ready to help!

“As you share the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, do so with love and patience. If we interact with people with the sole expectation that they soon will don a white jumpsuit and ask for directions to the nearest baptismal font, we’re doing it wrong.”

don a white jumpsuit and ask for directions to baptismal font

A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells by Henry B. Eyring

“Our family members will grow in their desire to share the gospel as they feel the joy of forgiveness. That can come even as they renew covenants when they partake of the sacrament. The missionary spirit will grow in our homes as children and parents feel the joy of forgiveness in the sacrament service. By their example of reverence, both parents and children can help each other feel that joy. That joy can go far in turning our homes into missionary training centers. All might not serve missions, but all will feel the desire to share the gospel, which has brought them to feel forgiveness and peace. And whether currently serving full-time or not, all can feel joy in offering the gospel to others.”

turning our homes into missionary training centers

The Quorum: A Place of Belonging by Carl B. Cook

“All 12 young men were gathered and baptized within two years of each other. Each was the only member of the Church in his family. But they were supported by their Church family.

“…Together they set a goal that they would all serve missions. Since they were the only Church members in their families, they had many obstacles to overcome, but they helped each other through them.”

“One by one, the young men received mission calls. Those who left first wrote letters home to those still preparing, sharing experiences and encouraging them to serve. Eleven of the young men served missions.

“These young men shared the gospel with their families. Mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, as well as people they taught on their missions, were converted and baptized. Miracles occurred and countless lives were blessed.”

Great Love for Our Father’s Children by Quentin L. Cook

“As General Authorities assigned to work on Preach My Gospel 15 years ago, we concluded that the attribute of love was essential to missionary work in our day, just as it has always been. Chapter 6, on Christlike attributes, including charity and love, has consistently been the most popular chapter among missionaries.

“As emissaries of the Savior, most missionaries feel this kind of love, and when they do, their efforts are blessed. When members gain a vision of this kind of love, which is essential in assisting the Lord in His purpose, the Lord’s work will be accomplished.”

Preparing for the Lord’s Return by D. Todd Christofferson

“President Nelson has repeatedly emphasized that the “gathering [of Israel] is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty. And if you choose to, … you can be a big part of it.” The Latter-day Saints have always been a missionary people. Hundreds of thousands have responded to mission calls since the beginning of the Restoration; tens of thousands currently serve. And, as Elder Quentin L. Cook has just taught, all of us can participate in simple and natural ways, in love, inviting others to join us at church, visit in our homes, become part of our circle. Publication of the Book of Mormon was the signal that the gathering had begun. The Book of Mormon itself is the instrument of gathering and conversion.”

Exercising Our Spiritual Muscles by Juan Pablo Villar

“When I was 16 years old, my oldest brother, Ivan, who was 22 at that time, came home one day and shared some news with the family. He had decided to get baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our parents looked at him somewhat skeptically, and I remember not completely understanding what was going on. A year or so later, he gave us more surprising news: he had decided to serve as a missionary of the Church, which meant that we were not going to see him for two years. My parents were not thrilled with this news; however, I saw in him a clear determination that increased my admiration for him and the decision he had made.

“Months later, while Ivan was serving his mission, I had the opportunity to plan a vacation with some schoolmates. We wanted to celebrate the end of our high school years and spend a few days at the beach.

“I wrote a letter to my missionary brother, mentioning my summer vacation plans. He wrote back that the town he was serving in was on the way to my destination. I decided it would be a good idea to stop by and visit him. It was not until later that I learned that missionaries are not supposed to be visited by family.

“I made all the arrangements. I remember sitting on the bus thinking of all the fun Ivan and I would have together on this beautiful sunny day. We would have breakfast, chat, play in the sand, sunbathe—what a great time we were going to have!

“As the bus arrived at the terminal, I saw Ivan standing next to another young man, both in white shirts and ties. I got off the bus, we hugged each other, and he introduced his companion. Without wasting another minute, I told my brother my plans for the day, but little did I know what Ivan had scheduled. He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Sure! However, we need to do some errands first. Would you come with us?” I agreed, thinking that we would have enough time to enjoy the beach afterward.

“That day, for more than 10 hours, I walked through the streets of that town with my brother and his companion. I smiled at people all day. I greeted people I had never seen in my life. We talked to everyone, knocked on the doors of strangers, and visited people my brother and his companion were teaching.

“…Looking back, I realize that my faith grew that day because my brother gave me the opportunity to put it in action. I exercised it as we read from the scriptures, looked for people to teach, bore testimony, served others, and so on. We never got around to sunbathing that day, but my heart was bathed in light from heaven. I did not see even one small grain of sand at the beach, but I felt my faith grow like a small grain of mustard seed.4 I did not spend the sunny day as a tourist, but I gained wonderful experiences, and without realizing it, I was a missionary—without even being a member of the Church!

“… I am grateful for my brother Ivan, who not only shared the gospel with me but also indirectly invited me to live it and recognize my weaknesses. He helped me to accept the invitation of the Master: “Come, follow me”6—to walk as the Savior walked, seek as the Savior sought, and love as the Savior loves us. Months later, after my missionary experience, I decided to get baptized and to serve my own mission.

Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing by David A. Bednar

“Let me summarize a few basic implications of gospel learning becoming increasingly home centered and Church supported. The ultimate missionary training center is in our homes; secondary missionary training centers are located in Provo, Manila, Mexico City, and in other locations. Our most instructive Sunday School classes should be our individual and family study in our places of residence; helpful but secondary Sunday School classes are held in our meetinghouses.”

Mission Prep Quotes from October 2018 General Conference

missionary work ministering to the spiritual needs of others

Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by Elder Quentin L. Cook

“There is so much more to this adjustment than just shortening the Sunday meetinghouse schedule. President Nelson has acknowledged with gratitude how much is being accomplished as a result of your faithfulness to previous invitations. He and the entire leadership of the Church desire to bring greater gospel joy—to parents, children, youth, singles, the elderly, new converts, and those people the missionaries are teaching—through a home-centered, Church-supported, balanced effort.”

Lift Up Your Head and Rejoice by M. Joseph Brough

“Young people, God requires hard things of you. One 14-year-old young woman participated in competitive basketball. She dreamed of playing high school basketball like her older sister. She then learned that her parents had been called to preside over a mission in Guatemala.

“Upon arrival, she discovered that a couple of her classes would be in Spanish, a language she did not yet speak. There was not a single girls’ sports team at her school. She lived on the 14th floor of a building with tight security. And to top it all off, she could not go outside alone for safety reasons.

“Her parents listened to her cry herself to sleep every night for months. This broke their hearts! They finally decided they would send her home to her grandmother for high school.

“When my wife entered our daughter’s room to tell her our decision, she saw our daughter kneeling in prayer with the Book of Mormon open on the bed. The Spirit whispered to my wife, “She will be OK,” and my wife quietly left the room. We never heard her cry herself to sleep again. With determination and the Lord’s help, she faced those three years valiantly.”

“At the conclusion of our mission, I asked my daughter if she was going to serve a full-time mission. Her answer was “No, Dad, I have already served.” I was just fine with that! But about six months later, the Spirit awoke me in the night with this thought: “I have called your daughter to serve a mission.”

“My reaction was “Heavenly Father, she has given so much.” I was quickly corrected by the Spirit and came to understand that her missionary service was required of the Lord.

“I soon took my daughter to lunch. From across the table, I said, “Ganzie, do you know why we are here?” She said, “Yes, Dad. You know I have to serve a mission. I do not want to go, but I am going.”

“Because she gave her will to Heavenly Father, she served Him with all of her heart, might, mind, and strength. She has taught her father how to do a hard thing.”

Laying the Foundation of a Great Work by Elder Steven R. Bangerter

“Our lives have been blessed by setting aside time on a regular basis to enjoy personal interviews with each of our sons. During one interview I asked our son about his desires and preparation to serve a mission. After some discussion, there was a moment of reflective silence; then he leaned forward and thoughtfully declared, “Dad, remember when I was little and we started having father’s interviews?” I said, “Yes.” “Well,” he said, “I promised you then that I would serve a mission, and you and Mom promised me that you would serve a mission when you got old.” Then there was another pause. “Are you guys having some problem that will stop you from serving—because maybe I can help?”

Truth and the Plan by President Dallin H. Oaks

“We are a missionary people. We are sometimes asked why we send missionaries to so many nations, even among Christian populations. We receive the same question about why we give many millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to persons who are not members of our Church and why we do not link this aid to our missionary efforts. We do this because we esteem all mortals as children of God—our brothers and sisters—and we want to share our spiritual and temporal abundance with everyone.”we are missionary people

Believe, Love, Do by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Just think about missionary work; the courageous, humble, and confident sharing of the gospel is a wonderful example of ministering to the spiritual needs of others, whoever they are.”

Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel by President Russell M. Nelson

“In our worldwide youth devotional last June, I spoke about a young man whose life changed when his parents exchanged his smartphone for a flip phone. This young man’s mother is a fearless woman of faith. She saw her son drifting toward choices that could prevent him from serving a mission. She took her pleadings to the temple to know how best to help her son. Then she followed through with every impression.

“She said: “I felt the Spirit guiding me to check my son’s phone at specific times to catch specific things. I don’t know how to navigate these smartphones, but the Spirit guided me through all the social media that I don’t even use! I know the Spirit helps parents who are seeking guidance to protect their children. [At first] my son was furious with me. … But after only three days, he thanked me! He could feel the difference.”

“Her son’s behavior and attitudes changed dramatically. He became more helpful at home, smiled more, and was more attentive at church. He loved serving for a time in a temple baptistry and preparing for his mission.”

The Role of the Book of Mormon in Conversion by Elder Shayne M. Bowen

“As a young missionary going to Chile, I learned a life-changing lesson about the conversion power of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Gonzalez served in a respected position in his church for many years. He had extensive religious training, including a degree in theology. He was quite proud of his biblical expertise. It was obvious to us that he was a religious scholar.

“He was well aware of the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they went about their work in his home city of Lima, Peru. He always wanted to meet with them so that he could school them in the Bible.

“One day, almost as a gift from heaven, so he thought, two missionaries stopped him in the street and asked if they could come to his home and share the scriptures with him. This was his dream come true! His prayers had been answered. Finally, he could set these misguided young boys straight. He told them that he would be delighted to have them come to his house and discuss the scriptures.

“He could hardly wait for his appointment. He was ready to use the Bible to disprove their beliefs. He was confident that the Bible would clearly and articulately point out the error of their ways. The appointed night came, and the missionaries knocked on the door. He was giddy. His moment had finally arrived.

“He opened the door and invited the missionaries into his home. One of the missionaries handed him a blue book and bore a sincere testimony that he knew the book contained the word of God. The second missionary added his powerful testimony of the book, testifying that it had been translated by a modern prophet of God named Joseph Smith and that it taught of Christ. The missionaries excused themselves and left his home.

“Mr. Gonzalez was so disappointed. But he opened the book, and he started to leaf through its pages. He read the first page. He read page after page after page and didn’t stop until late into the afternoon of the next day. He read the whole book and knew that it was true. He knew what he had to do. He called the missionaries, received the lessons, and gave up the life he had known to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Mission Prep Quotes from April 2018 General Conference

Young Women in the Work by Bonnie L. Oscarson

“As we consider the roles that our young women will be expected to assume in the near future, we might ask ourselves what kind of experiences we could provide for them now that will help with their preparation to be missionaries, gospel scholars, leaders in the Church auxiliaries, temple workers, wives, mothers, mentors, examples, and friends. They can actually begin now to fill many of those roles.”roles that our young women will be expected to assume

Teaching in the Home—a Joyful and Sacred Responsibility by Devin G. Durrant

“As parents, we introduce our children to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. We help our children say their first prayer. We offer guidance and support as they enter the covenant path through baptism. We teach them to obey God’s commandments. We educate them about His plan for His children, and we help them recognize the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. We tell them stories of ancient prophets and encourage them to follow living ones. We pray for their triumphs and ache with them during their trials. We testify to our children of temple blessings, and we strive to prepare them well to serve full-time missions.”

What Every Aaronic Priesthood Holder Needs to Understand by Douglas D. Holmes

“When I was a new mission president, I was excited to receive our first group of new missionaries. A few of our more experienced missionaries were preparing for a brief meeting with them. I noticed that they had arranged children’s chairs in a semicircle. “What’s up with the little chairs?” I asked. The missionaries, somewhat sheepishly, said, “For the new missionaries.” I believe the way we see others significantly impacts their perception of who they are and what they can become. Our new missionaries sat on adult chairs that day.”

“…In much the same way that angels are authorized messengers sent by God to declare His word and thereby build faith, we who hold the Aaronic Priesthood have been ordained to “teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.” To preach the gospel is a priesthood duty. And the power associated with this duty is not just for prophets or even just for missionaries. It is for you!”increase your desire and prepare you to teach

“…Young men, as you diligently engage in your priesthood duties, you participate with God in His work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Experiences like these increase your desire and prepare you to teach repentance and baptize converts as missionaries.”

“…Parents and priesthood leaders, can you sense the importance of President Monson’s counsel to help young men understand “what it means … to be bearers of the priesthood of God”? Understanding and magnifying the Aaronic Priesthood will prepare them to be faithful Melchizedek Priesthood holders, power-filled missionaries, and righteous husbands and fathers. Through their service, they will understand and feel the reality of priesthood power, the power to act in the name of Christ for the salvation of God’s children.”

Prophets Speak by the Power of the Holy Spirit by Elder Ulisses Soares

“There is a third important lesson in Ensign Blair’s story. Could he have prayed with such calm assurance if he had not received guidance from the Spirit on previous occasions? The arrival of a typhoon is no time to dust off the gift of the Holy Ghost and figure out how to use it. This young man was clearly following a pattern he had used many times before, including as a full-time missionary. We need the Holy Spirit as our guide in calm waters so His voice will be unmistakable to us in the fiercest storm.”

“Eighteen years ago, my wife and I received a phone call from President James E. Faust, then Second Counselor in the First Presidency. He called us to serve as mission president and companion in Portugal. He told us that we had only six weeks before we started the mission. Although we felt unprepared and inadequate, we accepted the call. Our most important concern at the time was to obtain the visas required to serve in that country because, according to past experience, we knew the process took six to eight months to complete.

President Faust then asked if we had faith that the Lord would perform a miracle and that we would be able to solve the visa problem faster. Our answer was a big yes, and we started making the arrangements immediately. We prepared the documents required for the visas, took our three young children, and went to the consulate as fast as we could. A very nice lady met with us there. In reviewing our papers and getting acquainted with what we were going to do in Portugal, she turned to us and asked, “Are you really going to help the people of my country?” We firmly answered yes and explained that we would represent Jesus Christ and testify of Him and His divine mission in the world. We returned there four weeks later, received our visas, and landed in the mission field within the six weeks, as a prophet of the Lord had asked us to do.”

Prepare to Meet God by Elder Quentin L. Cook

“Today almost 70,000 missionaries are spread across the earth preaching His gospel to gather His elect. This is the commencement of the fulfillment of the great and marvelous work Nephi foresaw among both the Gentiles and the house of Israel. Nephi saw our time when the Saints of God would be upon all the face of the earth, but their numbers would be small because of wickedness. However, he foresaw that they would be “armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.” When viewed across the brief history of the restored Church, the missionary effort has been most remarkable. We are seeing the fulfillment of Nephi’s vision. Though our numbers are relatively few, we will continue our effort and outreach to those who will respond to the Savior’s message.”

“…Missionaries humbly serve where called. They do not attempt to serve based on worldly standards of status or preparation for future careers. They serve with all their heart, might, mind, and strength wherever they are assigned. They do not choose their missionary companions, and they seek diligently to develop Christlike attributes,29 which are at the heart of the culture of Jesus Christ.”

Mission Prep Quotes from October 2017 General Conference

I Have a Work for Thee” by Elder John C. Pingree Jr.

“As God works through us, the adversary may tempt us to take credit for any accomplishments. However, we can emulate the Savior’s humility by deflecting personal praise and glorifying the Father (see Matthew 5:16; Moses 4:2). When a reporter tried to recognize Mother Teresa for her life’s mission to help the poor, she retorted: “It’s [God’s] work. I am like a … pencil in his hand. … He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used.”

Repentance Is Always Positive by Stephen W. Owen

“Recently I visited a missionary training center when a group of brand-new missionaries arrived. I was deeply moved as I watched them and observed the light in their eyes. They seemed so bright and happy and enthusiastic. Then a thought came to me: “They have experienced faith unto repentance. This is why they are filled with joy and hope.”

“You who are preparing for full-time missions and you who are returning, take note! It is not enough just to gain a testimony; you have to maintain it and strengthen it. As every missionary knows, if you stop pedaling a bicycle, it will fall, and if you stop feeding your testimony, it will weaken.”

church service requires humility cook oct 2017 gen conf

The Eternal Everyday by Elder Quentin L. Cook

“The humility that undergirded this incredible missionary effort allowed the Lord to establish His Church in a remarkable way. Gratefully, we continually see this in the Church today. Members, including the rising generation, give up their time and defer education and employment to serve missions. Many senior members leave employment and make other sacrifices in order to serve God in whatever capacity they are called. We do not allow personal issues to distract or divert us from accomplishing His purposes. Church service requires humility. We humbly serve as called with all our might, mind, and strength. At every level of the Church, it is important to understand the Christlike attribute of humility.”

By Divine Design by Elder Ronald A. Rasband

“The Lord placed me in a home with loving parents. By the world’s standards, they were very ordinary people; my father, a devoted man, was a truck driver; my angel mother, a stay-at-home mom. The Lord helped me find my lovely wife, Melanie; He prompted a businessman, who became a dear friend, to give me an employment opportunity. The Lord called me to serve in the mission field, both as a young man and as a mission president; He called me to the Quorum of the Seventy; and now He has called me as an Apostle. Looking back, I realize I did not orchestrate any of those moves; the Lord did, just as He is orchestrating important moves for you and for those you love.”

The Truth of All Things by Elder David F. Evans

“There came a time, early in my mission, when I knew that I had to know whether the Church was true and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. …I knew what was necessary. I needed to read the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart, with real intent, and ask God whether it is true….I started at the beginning of the book and read every day. Some receive a witness very quickly. For others, it will take more time and more prayer and may include reading the book several times. I needed to read the entire book before I received the promised witness. However, God did manifest the truth of it unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost.

In my missionary journal, I described my joy in knowing the truth as well as my personal expression of commitment and real intent to act on the truth I had received. I wrote: “I have pledged with my Father in Heaven and with myself to do my very best, to give it 100 percent for the rest of my life, whatever I am asked, I’ll do, but for now I have the rest of my mission and I am going to make it a great mission, one that I won’t feel bad about, but not for me, for the Lord. I love the Lord, and I love the work, and I just pray that that feeling will never leave me.”

…Over the years I have asked missionaries and young people around the world how they started in their personal effort to seek truth and gain a testimony. Almost without exception, they respond that their own effort to gain a personal testimony started with the personal decision to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning and ask God if it is true.”

assisting our missionaries ballard oct 2017 gen conf

The Trek Continues! by Elder M. Russell Ballard

“Please remember there is no blessing anyone can share greater than the message of the Restoration, which, when received and lived, promises everlasting joy and peace—even eternal life. Let us use our energy, strength, and testimonies in assisting our missionaries to find, teach, and baptize God’s children so they may have the power of the gospel doctrine guiding their daily lives.

We need to embrace God’s children compassionately and eliminate any prejudice, including racism, sexism, and nationalism. Let it be said that we truly believe the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are for every child of God.”

Do We Trust Him? Hard Is Good by Elder Stanley G. Ellis

“Looking back, I learned some of the best lessons during the hardest times—whether as a youth, on a mission, starting a new career, striving to magnify my callings, raising a large family, or struggling to be self-reliant. It seems clear that hard is good!”

Neil Andersen Gen Conf know enoughThe Voice of the Lord by Elder Neil L. Andersen

Quoting himself from his October 2008 General Conference talked called You Know Enough, when he was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy: “Nearly 40 years ago as I contemplated the challenge of a mission, I felt very inadequate and unprepared. I remember praying, “Heavenly Father, how can I serve a mission when I know so little?” I believed in the Church, but I felt my spiritual knowledge was very limited. As I prayed, the feeling came: “You don’t know everything, but you know enough!” That reassurance gave me the courage to take the next step into the mission field.”

Mission Prep Quotes from April 2017 General Conference

Return and Receive by Elder M. Russell Ballard

It is good to have goals and plans for our careers, for our education, even for our golf game. It is also important to have goals for our marriages, our families, and our Church councils and callings; this is especially true for missionaries. But our greatest and most overriding goals should fit into Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”(3 Nephi 13:33)

goals for missionaries ballard

Called to the Work by Elder David A. Bednar

The [mission call] letter is signed by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the first two sentences read as follows: “You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the ______ Mission.”

Please note that the first sentence is a call to serve as a full-time missionary in the Lord’s restored Church. The second sentence indicates an assignment to labor in a specific place and mission. The important distinction expressed in these two sentences is essential for all of us to understand.

In the culture of the Church, we often talk of being called to serve in a country such as Argentina, Poland, Korea, or the United States. But a missionary is not called to a place; rather, he or she is called to serve. As the Lord declared through the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1829, “If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.”(D&C 4:3)

…As missionaries strive to be ever more worthy and capable instruments in His hands and do their best to fulfill faithfully their duties, then with His help they “cannot go amiss” (D&C 80:3)—wherever they serve. Perhaps one of the lessons the Savior is teaching us in this revelation is that an assignment to labor in a specific place is essential and important but secondary to a call to the work.

assignment to labor secondary to call to work

…Three interrelated words define a pattern of preparation and progression for sons of God: priesthood, temple, mission. Sometimes as parents, friends, and Church members, we focus so extensively upon missionary preparation for young men that we may neglect to a degree the other vital steps along the covenant pathway that must be fulfilled before beginning full-time missionary service. Working as a missionary certainly is one but not the only important building block in the process of creating a strong foundation for a lifetime of spiritual growth and service. Priesthood and temple blessings, both of which precede arriving in an assigned field of labor, also are necessary to fortify and strengthen us spiritually throughout our entire lives.

…Young men, each of you is a missionary now. All around you, every day, are friends and neighbors “who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” As you are directed by the Spirit, you can share a thought, an invitation, a text or tweet that will introduce your friends to the truths of the restored gospel. You need not and should not wait for your official call to become anxiously engaged in missionary work.

young men each of you is a missionary now

…In our homes and at church, we should give balanced emphasis to all three elements of the Lord’s pattern of preparation and progression for faithful sons of God: priesthood, temple, mission. All three require us to love being and remaining worthy. Be worthy. Stay worthy.

Prepare the Way by Bishop Gérald Caussé

Allow me to share the true story of Alex, a quiet, thoughtful, and bright young priest. One Sunday, Alex’s bishop found him alone in a classroom in a state of great distress. The young man explained how painfully difficult it was for him to attend church without his father, who was not a member. Then he tearfully said it would probably be better for him to leave the Church.

With genuine concern for this young man, the bishop immediately mobilized the ward council to help Alex. His plan was simple: to keep Alex active and help him develop a heartfelt testimony of the gospel, they needed to “surround him with good people and give him important things to do.”

Quickly the priesthood brethren and all the ward members rallied around Alex and expressed their affection and support. The high priests group leader, a man of great faith and love, was chosen to be his home teaching companion. Members of the bishopric took him under their wings and made him their closest associate.

The bishop said: “We kept Alex busy. He ushered at weddings, ushered at funerals, assisted me at graveside dedications, baptized several new members, ordained young men to Aaronic Priesthood offices, taught youth lessons, taught with the missionaries, unlocked the building for conferences, and locked up the building late at night after conferences. He did service projects, accompanied me on visits to elderly members in hospices, gave talks in sacrament meeting, administered the sacrament to the sick in hospitals or in their homes, and became one of only a very small handful of people that I could totally rely on as bishop.”

Little by little, Alex changed. His faith in the Lord increased. He gained confidence in himself and in the power of the priesthood that he held. The bishop concluded: “Alex has been and will always be one of my greatest blessings in my time as bishop. What a privilege it has been to associate with him. I genuinely believe that no young man has ever gone into the mission field more prepared by his priesthood service.”

Let the Holy Spirit Guide by Elder Ronald A. Rasband

While serving as a mission president in New York City, I was with some of our missionaries in a restaurant in the Bronx. A young family came in and sat near us. They appeared golden for the gospel. I watched our missionaries as they continued to visit with me, then noticed as the family concluded their meal and slipped out the door. Then I said, “Elders, there’s a lesson here today. You saw a lovely family come into this restaurant. What should we have done?”

One of the elders spoke up quickly: “I thought about getting up and going over to talk to them. I felt the nudge, but I didn’t respond.”

“Elders,” I said, “we must always act on our first prompting. That nudge you felt was the Holy Ghost!”

To the Friends and Investigators of the Church by Elder Joaquin E. Costa

Today, I would like to share some lessons I learned on my path to baptism—lessons that I hope may help those of you listening who are not members of the Church yet.

…From my first lesson, I say to you friends and investigators of the Church: once you meet the missionaries, please take them seriously; they are giving up important years of their lives just for you.

…Let me put this lesson in one sentence: if you are confused, don’t worry—remember the feelings you have experienced; they come from God.

…the third lesson, in one sentence: when you receive these things—the Book of Mormon—and you are exhorted to read and ask God if they are true, please just do it!

…the last lesson, in one statement: experience repentance; nothing draws you closer to the Lord Jesus Christ than a desire to change.

…So please consider my experiences, and (1) take the missionaries very seriously, (2) go to church and remember spiritual feelings, (3) read the Book of Mormon and ask the Lord if it is true, and (4) experience repentance and be baptized.

lessons I learned on my path to baptism

How Does the Holy Ghost Help You? by Elder Gary E. Stevenson

During this time, I worked closely with President Reid Tateoka of the Japan Sendai Mission. As part of his usual mission routine, President Tateoka planned a meeting for missionary leaders in the southern portion of his mission. A few days prior to the meeting, President Tateoka had an impression, a feeling in his heart, to invite all missionaries of that zone to the leadership meeting, instead of the prescribed small number of elder and sister leaders.

When he announced his intention, he was reminded that this meeting was not designed for all missionaries but only for mission leaders. However, setting convention aside in order to follow the prompting he had received, he invited all missionaries serving in several coastal cities, including the city of Fukushima, to the meeting. On the appointed day, March 11, 2011, the missionaries gathered together for the expanded mission meeting in the inland city of Koriyama.

During this meeting a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the region of Japan where the Japan Sendai Mission is located. Tragically, many coastal cities—including those from which the missionaries had been gathered—were devastated and suffered great loss of life. And the city of Fukushima suffered a subsequent nuclear event.

Although the meetinghouse where the missionaries were meeting that day was damaged by the earthquake, through following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, President and Sister Tateoka and all missionaries were safely assembled. They were out of harm’s way and miles from the devastation of the tsunami and the nuclear fallout.

…In order to describe the valuable role of the Holy Ghost as witness, I will continue the story of Fernando and Bayley. If you remember, I shared that Fernando and his brother had been baptized, but his parents and three younger brothers had not. And, despite receiving numerous invitations to meet with the missionaries over the years, each time the family declined.

Upon the painful passing of Bayley and her baby daughter, Fernando’s family was inconsolable. Unlike Fernando and unlike Bayley’s family, they found no comfort or peace. They could not understand how their own son, along with Bayley’s family, could bear their heavy burden.

Eventually, they concluded that what their son possessed and they did not was the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and this must be his source of peace and comfort. Following this realization, they invited the missionaries to teach their family the gospel. As a result, they received their own witness and testimony of the great plan of happiness, which brought them the sweet peace and calming comfort they were desperately seeking.

Foundations of Faith by Elder Quentin L. Cook

An experience I had when I was 15 years old was foundational for me. My faithful mother had valiantly tried to help me establish the foundations of faith in my life. I attended sacrament meeting, Primary, then Young Men and seminary. I had read the Book of Mormon and had always prayed individually. At that time a dramatic event occurred in our family when my beloved older brother was considering a potential mission call. My wonderful father, a less-active Church member, wanted him to continue his education and not serve a mission. This became a point of contention.

In a remarkable discussion with my brother, who was five years older and led the discussion, we concluded that his decision on whether to serve a mission depended on three issues: (1) Was Jesus Christ divine? (2) Was the Book of Mormon true? (3) Was Joseph Smith the prophet of the Restoration?

As I prayed sincerely that night, the Spirit confirmed to me the truth of all three questions. I also came to understand that almost every decision I would make for the rest of my life would be based on the answers to those three questions. I particularly realized that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was essential. In looking back, I recognize that, primarily because of my mother, the foundations were in place for me to receive the spiritual confirmation that evening. My brother, who already had a testimony, made the decision to serve a mission and ultimately won our father’s support.

Mission Prep Quotes from Oct 2016 Gen Conf

The Perfect Path to Happiness By President Thomas S. Monson

Our Father’s plan for our happiness and our salvation is shared by our missionaries throughout the world. Not all who hear this divine message accept and embrace it. However, men and women everywhere, just like my young friend at the New York World’s Fair, recognize its truths, and they plant their feet on the path that will lead them safely home. Their lives are forever changed.

Fourth Floor, Last Door by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

missionaries fourth floor last door uchtdorfFaith comes to the humble, the diligent, the enduring. It comes to those who pay the price of faithfulness. This truth is illustrated in the experience of two young missionaries serving in Europe, in an area where there were few convert baptisms. I suppose it would have been understandable for them to think that what they did wouldn’t make much of a difference. But these two missionaries had faith, and they were committed. They had the attitude that if no one listened to their message, it would not be because they had not given their best effort.

One day they had the feeling to approach the residents of a well-kept four-story apartment building. They started on the first floor and knocked on each door, presenting their saving message of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His Church. No one on the first floor would listen to them. How easy it would have been to say, “We tried. Let’s stop right here. Let’s go and try another building.”

But these two missionaries had faith and they were willing to work, and so they knocked on every door on the second floor. Again, no one would listen. The third floor was the same. And so was the fourth—that is, until they knocked on the last door of the fourth floor. When that door opened, a young girl smiled at them and asked them to wait while she spoke with her mother.

Her mother was only 36 years old, had recently lost her husband, and was in no mood to talk with Mormon missionaries. So she told her daughter to send them away. But the daughter pleaded with her. These young men were so nice, she said. And it would take only a few minutes. So, reluctantly, the mother agreed. The missionaries delivered their message and handed a book to the mother to read—the Book of Mormon.

After they left, the mother decided she would read at least a few pages. She finished the entire book within a few days. Not long after, this wonderful single-parent family entered the waters of baptism. When the small family attended their local branch in Frankfurt, Germany, a young deacon noticed the beauty of one of the daughters and thought to himself, “These missionaries are doing a great job!”

That young deacon’s name was Dieter Uchtdorf. And the charming young woman—the one who had pleaded with her mother to listen to the missionaries—has the beautiful name of Harriet. She is loved by all who meet her as she accompanies me in my travels. She has blessed the lives of many people through her love for the gospel and her sparkling personality. She truly is the sunshine of my life.

How often have I lifted my heart in gratitude for the two missionaries who did not stop at the first floor! How often my heart reaches out in appreciation for their faith and work. How often have I given thanks that they kept going—even to the fourth floor, last door.

“Come, Follow Me” by Practicing Christian Love and Service By Elder Robert D. Hales

missionaries grow faithfully living consecrated lifeYouth, you are some of our most effective gospel teachers. You come to church to learn so that you can go home to teach and serve your family, neighbors, and friends. Don’t be afraid. Have faith to testify of what you know to be true. Think how full-time missionaries grow because they are faithfully living a consecrated life—using their time and talents and bearing testimony to serve and bless others. As you share your testimony of the gospel, your faith will grow and your confidence will increase!

A Witness of God By Elder Neil L. Andersen

Be open about your faith in Christ. When the occasion presents itself, speak of His life, His teachings, and His incomparable gift to all mankind. Share His powerful truths from the Book of Mormon. He has given us this promise: “Whosoever … shall confess me before men, him will I confess … before my Father … in heaven.”10 I promise you that as you pray often and sincerely for opportunities to “stand as a witness of God,” those opportunities will come, and those who seek more light and knowledge will be put before you. As you respond to spiritual promptings, the Holy Ghost will carry your words to the heart of another, and one day the Savior will confess you before His Father.

missionaries timing conversion not up to youThe spiritual work of helping someone come into the kingdom of God is a group effort. Enlist the missionaries as soon as you can, and pray for heavenly help. But remember, the timing of another’s conversion is not fully up to you.

Kamla Persand was from the Mauritius island, attending medical school in Bordeaux, France, when we met her in February of 1991. We had prayed as a family to be able to share the gospel with someone who was seeking the truth, and we taught her in our home. I was privileged to perform her baptism, but we were not the most significant influences in Kamla joining the Church. Friends, missionaries, and even family members had been “witnesses of God” in her home country, and one day in France, when the time was right for Kamla, she made the decision to be baptized. Now, 25 years later, the blessings of that decision are all around her, and her son is a missionary in Madagascar.

Be Ambitious for Christ by Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

mormon missionaries ambitious for ChristWhat does it mean to “be ambitious for Christ”? Being ambitious for Christ means being motivated, focused, and dedicated to His work. Being ambitious for Christ will seldom mean that we are singled out for public honor. Being ambitious for Christ means that we serve faithfully and diligently in our wards and branches without complaint and with joyful hearts.

Our missionaries serving throughout the world are beautiful examples of those who are truly ambitious for Christ. …I am proud not only of Elder Cowan but also of all the missionaries throughout the world who serve willingly without murmuring or complaining. Thank you, elders and sisters, for your faith, your focus, and your strong ambition for Christ.

…My dear brothers and sisters, we are ambitious for Christ when we serve faithfully, accept humbly, endure nobly, pray fervently, and partake worthily. May we be ambitious for Christ as we accept our difficulties and trials with patience and faith and find joy in our covenant path.

Sharing the Restored Gospel by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Nearing the end of His earthly ministry, our Savior, Jesus Christ, commanded His disciples: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). All Christians are under these commands to share the gospel with everyone. Many call this the “great commission.”

…Today we have many resources to share the gospel that were not available in earlier generations. We have TV, the internet, and social media channels. We have many valuable messages to introduce the restored gospel. We have the prominence of the Church in many nations. We have a greatly increased number of missionaries. But are we using all these resources to maximum effect? I believe most of us would say no. We desire to be more effective in fulfilling our divinely appointed responsibility to proclaim the restored gospel in all the world.

…Sharing the restored gospel is our lifelong Christian duty and privilege. Elder Quentin L. Cook reminds us, “Missionary work is not just one of the 88 keys on a piano that is occasionally played; it is a major chord in a compelling melody that needs to be played continuously throughout our lives if we are to remain in harmony with our commitment to Christianity and the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

…we can pray for inspiration on what we can do in our individual circumstances to share the gospel with others. This is different than praying for the missionaries or praying for what others can do. We should pray for what we can do personally. When we pray, we should remember that prayers for this kind of inspiration will be answered if accompanied by a commitment—something the scriptures call “real intent” or “full purpose of heart.” Pray with a commitment to act upon the inspiration you receive, promising the Lord that if He will inspire you to speak to someone about the gospel, you will do it. …As we demonstrate our faith, these opportunities will come without any “forced or … contrived response. They will flow as a natural result of our love for our brothers and sisters.”

…Our efforts to share the gospel should not be limited to our circle of friends and associates. During the Olympics we learned of an LDS taxi driver in Rio de Janeiro who carried copies of the Book of Mormon in seven different languages and gave one to whoever would receive them. He called himself the “cab driving missionary.” He said, “The streets of Rio de Janeiro … are [my] mission field.”

…Sharing the gospel is not a burden but a joy. What we call “member missionary work” is not a program but an attitude of love and outreach to help those around us. It is also an opportunity to witness how we feel about the restored gospel of our Savior.

Joy and Spiritual Survival By President Russell M. Nelson

That is why our missionaries leave their homes to preach His gospel. Their goal is not to increase the number of Church members. Rather, our missionaries teach and baptize to bring joy to the people of the world!

The Great Plan of Redemption By Linda S. Reeves

When I served with my husband as he presided over a mission, we went to the airport to pick up a large group of missionaries one morning. One particular young man caught our eye. He seemed sad, weighed down, almost distraught. We watched him carefully that afternoon. By evening, this young man made a belated confession, and his leaders determined that he needed to return home. Although we were very sad that he had been dishonest and had not repented before coming on his mission, on the way to the airport we sincerely and lovingly praised him for having the courage to come forward, and we pledged to stay in close contact with him.

This great young man was blessed to have wonderful parents, great priesthood leaders, and a supportive, loving ward. After a year of working hard to fully repent and partake of the Savior’s Atonement, he was able to return to our mission. It is difficult for me to describe the feelings of joy we felt as we picked up this young man from the airport. He was full of the Spirit, happy, confident before the Lord, and anxious to fulfill a faithful mission. He became an outstanding missionary, and later my husband and I had the privilege of attending his temple sealing.

By contrast, I’m aware of another missionary who, knowing her unconfessed sin from before her mission would surely cause her to be sent home early, made her own plan to work extra hard during her mission and confess to the mission president just days before completing her mission. She lacked godly sorrow and tried to circumvent the plan that our loving Savior has offered each one of us.

During our mission, I once accompanied my husband when he went to interview a man for baptism. While my husband conducted the interview, I waited outside with the sister missionaries who had taught this man. When the interview was finished, my husband informed the missionaries that the man would be able to be baptized. This dear man wept and wept as he explained that he had been certain that the serious sins he had committed in his life would prevent him from being able to be baptized. I have seldom witnessed the joy and happiness of someone coming out of the darkness and into the light equal to what I witnessed that day.

Mission Prep Quotes from April 2016 Gen Conf

Trust in That Spirit Which Leadeth to Do Good, by President Henry B. Eyring

go and serve“The first thing you must commit to do is to go and serve, knowing that you do not go alone. When you go to comfort and serve anyone for the Savior, He prepares the way before you. Now, as the returned missionaries here tonight will tell you, that doesn’t mean that every person behind every door is prepared to welcome you or that every person you try to serve will thank you. But the Lord will go before your face to prepare the way.”

Where Are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood? by Elder Gary E. Stevenson

“My young brothers and sisters, you may not realize it, but the keys of the gathering of Israel, restored by Moses, enable missionary work in our dispensation. Consider the full-time missionary force of approximately 75,000 laboring in the field under the direction of these keys. With this in mind, remember it is never too early for you to prepare for missionary service. In For the Strength of Youth, we read, “Young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, … work diligently to prepare yourself to represent the Lord as a missionary.” Young women can prepare also, but you “are not under the same mandate to serve.” All of your preparation, however, whether you serve as a full-time missionary or not, will accrue lifelong benefits to you as a member missionary.”

Standing with the Leaders of the Church by Elder Ronald A. Rasband

come serve amission“You too will have your many moments to respond to frequent invitations to “come unto Christ.” Isn’t that what this mortal life is all about? The call may be to come rescue a family member; come serve a mission; come back to church; come to the holy temple; and, as we have recently heard from our wonderful youth in the Face to Face event, come, please help me answer my question. In due time, each one of us will hear the call “Come home.””

The Greatest Leaders Are the Greatest Followers by Stephen W. Owen

“Isn’t it inspiring to see how a seemingly ordinary young man can accomplish great things through priesthood service, even when he feels inadequate? I recently learned that this young elder has received a mission call and will enter the missionary training center next month. I believe he will lead many souls to Christ because he has learned how to follow Christ in his priesthood service.”

find, teach, and baptize familiesEternal Families by President Henry B. Eyring
“What can the young elder do to help in the creation of eternal families? He may be about to go into the mission field. He can pray with all his heart that he will be able to find, teach, and baptize families.”

The Holy Ghost by Elder Robert D. Hales

“The Holy Ghost provides personal revelation to help us make major life decisions about such things as education, missions, careers, marriage, children, where we will live with our families, and so on. In these matters, Heavenly Father expects us to use our agency, study the situation out in our minds according to gospel principles, and bring a decision to Him in prayer.”

“In early 2005, I was guided to prepare a general conference message about senior missionary couples. Following the conference, a brother recounted: “As we listened to conference, … immediately the Spirit of the Lord touched my very soul. … There was no mistaking the message for me and for my sweetheart. We were to serve a mission, and the time was now. When I … looked at my wife, I realized that she had received the very same impressions from the Spirit.” What had brought this strong simultaneous response? The Holy Ghost.”

Opposition in All Things by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“God rarely infringes on the agency of any of His children by intervening against some for the relief of others. But He does ease the burdens of our afflictions and strengthen us to bear them, as He did for Alma’s people in the land of Helam (see Mosiah 24:13–15). He does not prevent all disasters, but He does answer our prayers to turn them aside, as He did with the uniquely powerful cyclone that threatened to prevent the dedication of the temple in Fiji; or He does blunt their effects, as He did with the terrorist bombing that took so many lives in the Brussels airport but only injured our four missionaries.”

The Power of Godliness by Elder Kent F. Richards

“In many temples, temple presidents are welcoming newly called and endowed missionaries, young men and women, to serve for just a short time as ordinance workers before going to the MTC. These young people are not only blessed to serve, but “they enhance the beauty and spirit for all serving in the temple.””

Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“The author of Hebrews warned us of this when he wrote, “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” That post-illumination affliction can come in many ways, and it can come to all of us. Surely every missionary who has ever served soon realized that life in the field wasn’t going to be quite like the rarefied atmosphere of the missionary training center.”