Dear Brothers & Sisters,
It is with great humility and love, that we thank each of you for the many kind acts of service you are doing as you minister to family, friends, neighbors and to one another during this time of uncertainty. The reports we have received so far have been remarkable. Phone calls, texts, Just Serve volunteers, online discussions and drive by birthday wishes are but just a few of the things you are doing to lift others.
With the world rapidly changing around us each day, it is of great comfort to know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows all things and sees all things. Just being a witness of the tremendous work being done to safeguard our missionaries around the world and bringing some of them home is an experience never to be forgotten.
As you are aware, missionaries are travelling home to find themselves being released a little earlier than they normally would be, and some are being released with options to continue serving at a later time. The Sisters and Elders who have returned home are wonderful, strong missionaries who love the Lord and want to serve him with all their hearts. Many of you have welcomed them home by driving by with signs as well as letting them know you love them through other means.
Last Monday night, we met with the missionaries who had returned home at that point in time in an online meeting. The spirit we felt was palpable as we listened to them bear testimony of the Savior and the Restored gospel and studied the scriptures together.
The Savior in Matthew 4:18-22 called his disciples to be “fishers of men”. Verse 20 says “And they straightway left their nets and followed him.” They each gave up much to follow the Savior.
It took time for the disciples to become proficient in their roles as “fishers of men”. They were tutored by the Savior while he dwelt among them, they were taught by the Spirit after the Savior’s resurrection and they became great missionaries and leaders
Missionaries throughout the world follow a similar pattern. They are called by the Lord to gather the elect. They put their lives on hold for a time.
In the beginning, missionaries are learning how to be “fishers of men”. They learn how to teach, how to receive and act on personal revelation, they invite others to follow the Savior, they serve with love and humility. By the time, they come home, they are powerful teachers and testifiers of Christ and his Atonement as well as the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. How we love each of them and their families for the time they have spent in serving their brothers and sisters throughout the world.
We have a strong wonderful stake and together, we can do much good in serving all of God’s children.
As we watch and listen to General conference this weekend, may we be taught by the Spirit those things that we each need to hear and to learn as we travel the path of discipleship together. It will be a wonderful blessing for each of us as we listen to a prophet’s voice.
We testify that the Savior lives, he trod the wine press alone and paid the price for each of us in the Garden of Gethsemane and through His grace he makes up the difference between what we can do after our own efforts and what he want us to become. He was lifted on the cross and crucified by those who despised him. He rose the third day in majesty and glory as a resurrected and perfect being. He overcame death that all inhabitants of the earth might have the gift of eternal life. Let us remember him always and be the true followers he would want us to be each day.
May our Heavenly Father watch over you always and pour out His tender mercies upon you and your families.
The Corona Stake Presidency.