RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Powered by Blogger

Aug 16, 2010

“Emotional Aftershocks”

Excerpts of João's homecoming talk in Sandy, Utah:

I was called to New York City. I was sent there with a purpose, to invite others to come to Christ. In preparation, I remember well reading the commandment and promise to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations, tongues, kindred and people. I quickly found that in New York City this promise is fulfilled. It was all nations, tongues, kindred and people that make NYC their home. I do not recall talking to a single New Yorker my first day.

In Brooklyn, I taught people of Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, Haiti to name but a few of the Caribbean islands. On the 12th of January an earthquake hit our highly populated area. The actual event occurred in Haiti, where the earth shook and buildings fell, but the emotional aftershocks were periodically felt by the Haitian community. I remember well taking time from our day to kneel in our chapel to pray for the families in our ward, the people we taught and were yet to teach. We also prayed for those in Haiti, to cope well with the brutal adversity of destruction and death. We were sensitive to the Spirit and changed our approach to the teachings of the Plan of Salvation. We soon began to be messengers of hope. Michelle Fequierre was one of the many in search of hope. She had moved like many after the earthquake to New York to escape the destruction found in their homeland. Michelle brought her two daughters to join family and find consolation.

It is interesting to me the stark contrast between destructions and miracles. During this difficult time, people’s hearts were softened, and their soul was open to embrace truth. There were many other Haitians that came and entered into the waters of Baptism and allowed adversity bring them to faith.

At the conclusion of my missionary service, I had the chance to visit the Sacred Grove and other church historical sites surrounding Palmyra. This gave me the opportunity to think and meditate over the work of Restoration and the coming forth of The Book of Mormon. I found in the written account Oliver Cowdery’s words and feelings toward the divine translation of the Book of Mormon and receiving of the Priesthood parallel my service in the New York South Mission. “ What joy! what wonder! what amazement! While the world was racked and distracted—while millions were groping as the blind for the wall, and while all men were resting upon uncertainty, as a general mass, our eyes beheld, our ears heard, as in the ‘blaze of day’…I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion; but you will believe me when I say, that earth, nor men, with the eloquence of time, cannot begin to clothe language…Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance, and blots it forever from the mind…These were days never to be forgotten” The streets of New York will always touch my heart in a special way, for I have walked them differently than the world.

I learned Christ in the last two years because it was Him whom I chose to serve. I know He Lives. We will also feel emotional aftershocks in our lives, may we turn our adversity to faith, and stand firm as the earth shakes beneath us and buildings fall.

Related Links: The Returned Missionary - João: Slide Show


Post a Comment