Gifts to Bring Home from the Mission Field

Quite a few years ago President Gordon B Hinckley was in an airport and happened to meet some
returning missionaries. Their families were there. They were picking up their baggage, and he said to
one of them, “What’s all this you have?” He answered, “These are gifts I am bringing home.” And that
experience was what gave him the title for his message of: “Gifts to Bring Home from the Mission Field.”

1. A knowledge of and love for God our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”
(John 17:3) There is no greater gift that comes to anyone in this world than a certain, reassuring
conviction that God, our Eternal Father, lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I believe that. I think it is so
very, very important.
The Lord has also called you to His work, and He invites you to follow Him. The invitation to follow his
example and to become like him.
- Who would like to share their personal moment when they gained a testimony and love for God
our Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ?

2. A knowledge of and love for the scriptures, the word of the Lord.

President Hinckley said “As a missionary, I read each evening before going to bed a few chapters of
the Book of Mormon, and there came into my heart a conviction which has never left: that this is the
word of God, restored to the earth by the power of the Almighty, translated by the gift and power of God
to the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile that Jesus is the Christ. I thank the Lord for the testimony
which I have of the truth of the word of God as found in these sacred revealed books. I would hope that
every missionary would leave his or her field of labor with a conviction in his or her heart that these
things are true.”
-The scriptures teach us about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and how to return to them.
-The Bible and the B of M testify of Jesus Christ.
-Book of Mormon and Bible Stories teach me how to live the Gospel.
How has the Savior’s teaching influenced you?
From the beginning, Jesus Christ has revealed the gospel, which tells us what we must do to return to
our Heavenly Father. At the appointed time He came to earth Himself. He taught the plan of salvation

By following his teachings we can inherit a place in the celestial kingdom. – Brigham Young The scriptures describe Christlike attributes that are essential for you to eventually develop as a missionary and throughout your life. Boys who had been careless and indifferent stand on their feet and with tears in their eyes thank the Lord for their fathers and their mothers.and exaltation by His word and by the way He lived. or five thousand years ago? Do you read them as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus. I have attended hundreds of missionary meetings over the years. He established His Church and His priesthood on the earth. Every boy and girl ought to come home with an increased love for parents. He took our sins upon Himself. An increased love for parents. Joseph Smith once said referring to a book of scriptures “He who reads if oftenest will like it best. . love and teachings of quality parenting. Share a favorite scripture story or person in the scriptures that inspires and motivates you or has taught you something significant. what a salutary and wonderful thing it is to hear a strong young man stand up and speak with great feeling concerning his father and his mother. He did His part to help us return to our heavenly home. that you may be familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God… When you can thus feel. two thousand.” . In these days. I love to hear missionaries speak of their love for the Lord. then you may begin to think that you can find out something about God. Now I know there are many among us who had a rough upbringing or were not fortunate enough to have the support. Christlike attributes are abundant in the lives of men and women in the scriptures. Can you give an example of one? 3. it is your privilege to do so. (Gospel Principles pg 16) Do you read the scriptures… as though you were writing them a thousand. It is now up to each of us to do our part and become worth of exaltation. and begin to learn who he is. . saying things he would never have said before in all of his life. And we recognize that you are will be responsible to break that cycle and start a new with your own families when that time comes. but I also love to hear them speak with great appreciation and love concerning their parents. We hope you look for those examples that will inspire you and direct you as you parent your own children. Christlike attributes are gifts from God.

Share briefly a lesson you learned from them that has served you well here in the mission. You will come to feel a sincere concern for the eternal welfare and happiness of other people. I spent 11 years among them. among them. .When did you recognize that you truly love the people you are serving/teaching here in Mision Mexico Pachuca? Charity is a gift from God. I learned to know their hearts. and concern for them all of the days of their lives.For those who were fortunate to have those quality examples: . It means to help them preserve their dignity and self-respect in their declining years. I lived with them. I have learned to love the people of Asia. Share a reason why you appreciate them so much more now that you are serving so far away from your home. I love them as much as I love anybody because of the experience I have had as a missionary. The prophet Mormon said that we should “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart. . and I love them. and you will labor in their behalf. To me. You will see them as children of God with the potential of becoming like our HF. I love the English people.” – James E Faust Story of President Hinckley’s Fathers response to when he wanted to return home from his mission. No one can sell the English short in my mind because I labored with them. A love for the people among whom they labor. especially those among who you labor.” (Moroni 7:48) As you follow his counsel and strive to do righteous works. kindness. . your love for all people will increase. I was in their homes at their firesides. 4. as it were. There’s something wrong if a missionary doesn’t come back with a great love for the people among whom he labored. thoughtfulness. that we may be filled with his love. and I learned to love them. It means to honor their wishes and desires and their teachings both before and after they are dead. “To honor parents… means to show love.

When have you worked with someone that has impressed you with their work ethic and diligence in their responsibilities? . the key to success in life. we have a good reason to get out of bed in the morning. Life is more enjoyable when we are productive. for getting up in the morning and getting at it and staying with it to get the job done. . he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. Every missionary ought to come to realize that work. we always feel better when we try. consistent. he will get the Spirit.When did you witness your companion demonstrate a selfless or sincere act of love for others? 5. he will teach by the Spirit. Hard work add meaning. no worrying about families. You will develop charity as you look for opportunities to serve others and give of yourself. Hare work earns self-respect. Work. Hard work earns the respect of others. Fulfillment is the result of wholehearted effort. Whether we win or lose. work. and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work” and that means any work.Look at your name tag… when you stop and consider who you represent. work is the key to getting things done. (PMG pg 121) . like faith. work. especially in missionary work. 6. There is no substitute for work. leads to action. I don’t know of a greater asset for whatever lies ahead in life than the capacity to discipline oneself to work. Consistently giving our best also helps us develop respect for ourselves.Charity. 5. and if he teaches by the Spirit. for all time and talents and interest are centered on the work of the ministry. 3. 8. Hard work makes us feel good. (PMG Pg 118) . An appreciation for hard work. Hard work helps us face up to life.there is no satisfactory substitute. As long as we have goals and purpose. Enduring/honest effort brings out the best in us. Hard work helps us realize our potential 2. 7. 4. It has other rewards and benefits. earnest. work. if he gets the Spirit. President Ezra Taft Benson “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works. Diligence in missionary work is an expression of your love for the Lord and His work. Life is hard and challenging but hard work and a good attitude are the best tools we have. Here are ten of them: does it change your perspective on how obediently and diligent you work in the mission? The best thing about hard work is that it does more than make our dreams come true. Hard work gets the best results.” Diligence can be defined as a “steady. A diligent missionary works effectively and efficiently. Hard work builds character. There will be no homesickness.

and by fire. Hard work is healthy. He lightens our minds and fills our soul with joy . . The availability of inspiration—each of us. seen only as dramatic when we look back at the changes they brought. if we cultivate it. we have available to us that which comes by the power of the Holy Spirit. He guides us to truth and shows us things to come . the remission of sins comes through the Atonement “By baptism. “No one of us can survive in the world of today.” -How can we use this heavenly gift as a vital compass for our daily actions? The Holy Ghost works daily in the lives of missionaries and are numerous and inspirational. Hard work is good for us mentally and physically. More important. . By His power we may know the truth of all things . The Holy Ghost teaches us all things and brings all things to our remembrance . He will unfold the mysteries of God unto us . yea. He inspires those we teach . We all know that habits are the key all success. 6. daily.” Elder Boyd K Packer said. by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost” (DC 121:26) What a precious gift to bring home—the assurance. 9. Its proven hard workers are healthier and live longer. allowing us finally to be sanctified by his gift and to stand spotless before Christ at the last day. “As disciples of Christ. without personal inspiration. Hard work becomes a habit. The Holy Ghost… beareth record of the Father and of the Son . even the Holy Ghost”. 10. The assurance that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is available to each of us when we live for it. can have it. if we live for it. He shows us what we should do . these words of promise: “God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit. Most are quiet and personal. I love these great words of revelation. we must make the gift of the Holy Ghost a conscious. yea. much less in what it soon will become. the certainty that if we live for it. prayerful part of our lives.

wise men and women obey.” That really is one of the big reason we have them. “We watch. the world’s most successful people have shown respect in four ways. but only one team or companion had to obey them? How would you feel if you were the team or companion that was obeying the rules? One time a text book defined rules and laws as “Regulations for human relations. 1. Language. and what a marvelous thing it is to learn to work with other people.” Think of you own experiences here in the mission… of when did you keep your heart open to the Holy Ghost and responded to a prompting and the blessings that came because of this gift? .” (Aristotle) Imagine for a minute what a professional soccer games would be like with no rules. etc… our manners are who we are. And the way we treat others will always be a key factor in determining how successful we become. We wait. Manners.. Since the beginning of time. “No one can do this work alone. Good people build their lives on a foundation of respect. There is no place for prima donnas in the mission field. President Monson has counseled us to “Never postpone a prompting”. We work together. graciousness.they are made to be . “Thank you for being kind. small voice.we. Our efforts are largely team efforts.” In 99% of life you work with others.Call them anything you want. Chaos? Mayhem? How about a mission with no guidelines or no handbook? Unproductive? Ineffective? Chaos? Wonder if there were rules. thoughtfulness. We’ll always be known by the way we treat others.” “When it speaks. politeness.“When….to help us be more considerate of one another. kindness. respect. etiquette.even as the big boss of any company your ability to work with others is vital. We do not postpone following promptings of the Spirit. Luke 6:45 3. Rules aren’t made to be broken. as individuals.A man’s words will always express what has been treasured in his heart. “In the mouth of two or more witnesses shall [all things] be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1). We listen for that still. obey laws that direct us to behave for the welfare of the community as a whole.” Pg 24 of President Monson’s story. “Heavenly Father Knows…” Page 21 story of President Monson as a bishop. consideration. We work in pairs. An understanding of the importance of teamwork. we are indirectly helping to promote the pursuit of happiness by our fellow human beings.. 2.courtesy. 7. Honoring the rules.

(T. The people who succeed in life are the ones who show respect in all its forms. If we can change this in our life it will have a powerful effect.Merton) We have heard great talks about the dangers of judging others. 8. And then the promise: “Thy confidence [shall] wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45). In PMG on pg 118 it says “Virtue originates in your innermost thoughts and desires. Good people and team players build their lives on a foundation of respect. individually. Since the Holy Ghost does not dwell in unclean tabernacles.The truth never becomes clear as long as we assume that each one of us. 4. It is a pattern of though and behavior based on high moral standards. That’s the promise to those who walk in virtue. Appreciating differences. Something I have struggled with my whole life.something I work on continually. It also means that life will be simpler and more peaceful. honored. It will give you a more positive perspective of other people and improve relationships at the same time. Virtuous people are clean and pure spiritually. and saying positive things. We are treated better by other people We improve our feelings of self-worth We build a solid reputation. So simple put. I think there is no greater thing concerning future integrity that a missionary can learn than the value of personal virtue.” That’s the commandment. Join me in looking for the good in other. What you choose to think and do when you are alone and you believe no one is watching is a strong measure of your virtue. They focus on righteous. So understanding the importance of teamwork begins with treating others the way we’d like them to treat us: We develop effective social skill and habits We make other people feel good We earn the respect of others. The value of personal virtue. overcoming self-centeredness and our narrow way of looking at life will help us appreciate others and the differences and uniqueness we each possess. uplifting thoughts and put unworthy . Obeying the rules means we want to play fair. virtue is pre-requisite to receiving the Spirits guidance. I think there are fewer words greater than the promise given under the inspiration of the Lord as set forth by the Prophet Joseph Smith: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. is the center of the universe.

9. This counsel to “act” contains a promised blessing—additional light and knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost. We must experiment upon the word of God and actually do something with our understanding. more important than any other act. We must act on it in faith. As you learn doctrinal truth you must do more than simply accept it intellectually said Sister Marriott. They quickly repent of any sins or wrongdoings. But what a marvelous thing that they try. By controlling the stage of your mind… you can become pure and virtuous. Bringing forth blessings requires particular actions. Emma Smith created our first hymnbook. but a doer of the work. “Young people increasingly need to be learners who act”. Nephi made a new bow. thereby acting on the truth we learn. even when we don’t know all the results our actions may bring. In the New Testament. Joseph Smith applied the principles in James 1:5. Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled. It is so hard for shy and insecure young people to do the things we sometimes ask them to do. In order for truth to bring blessings and personal conversion. for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men.thoughts that lead to inappropriate actions out of their minds. We ask tremendous things of missionaries. “he being not a forgetful hearer. The faith to act. They have the faith to do. They live worthy of a temple recommend. They pray for the strength to resist temptation and do what is right. . not a passive one. the faith to act. And what a marvelous gift that is to bring home. James speaks of the man who continues in the law. the Savior Jesus Christ completed the Atonement for all mankind. the faith to go forward and make the effort. We must take action and place our hand firmly and steadfastly on that iron rod. All of these noble men and women—most of all the Lord—acted. save he shall prepare a way … that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth” (1 Nephi 3:7). President Thomas S. Ours is a living. this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1 :35) Understanding that the iron rod is the word of God is not a guarantee that it alone will “safely guide [you] through”. we must live by that truth. Monson acts on promptings to rescue the lonely. active faith. They obey Gods commandments and follow the counsel of Church leaders. Your mind is like a stage of a theater…. and. Rebekah watered 30 camels. They understood and brought blessings to mankind. “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.

and that there is a source of power to which he can go with the assurance that he will be listened to and that there will be a response. he is not strong enough for all of the things which he will face in life. We can ask Him for the important things that mean so much to us in life. and while doing so.10. He stands ready to help. to help us realize our righteous ambitions. that no matter how strong he is. he is not good enough. that no matter how good a man is. The humility to pray. We should not hesitate to ask Him to bless us. wonderful things. God bless you to keep the faith. but these great. . What is one specific time that you have experienced Heavenly Fathers direct answer to a prayer while serving here in the mission? These are 10 gifts that I would hope every missionary would bring home with him or her—not a lot of tinsel. . strengthen and comfort. that no matter how wise he is. he is not wise enough. enduring. not a lot of rugs or furs or dresses or plates. it is the most intimate communication between us and our Father. enjoy with great happiness that which you are called to do. Recognize that there is a power greater than ours. not a lot of dolls. The marvelous thing about prayer is that it is personal. it is individual.