During orientation for the new missionaries I had them read Alma 17:11. I know that the true text of this scripture contains the word "Lamanites", but to apply it to our missionaries serving in Cavite, I changed it to "Filipinos'." It reads:
"And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Filipinos', thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls."
Our missionaries may not be asked to suffer the same afflictions that Ammon or the sons of Mosiah did, but they will have days of discouragement, despair, and days of affliction. In this scripture, the Lord promises them that if they are patient, He will make an instrument of them in His hands unto the salvation of many souls. I took out my Thesaurus and looked at all the words that are synonyms for the word Patience. Just a few are:
Fortitude, Grit, Composure, Perseverance, Poise, Restraint, Backbone,
and in the footnotes to this scripture it gives us Forbearance.
Satan would rather us give up, get angry, or be filled with fear.
I love how the Lord asks Ammon and his brethren to be good examples while suffering affliction. Last month during Missionary Leadership Council, two of our Zone Leaders stood and talked about the discouragement they faced while trying to be an example to the rest of their Zone and yet not getting any new investigators themselves. Their grief and despair was compounded every day as each appointment would be cancelled or no one would be home. Yet they were patient and prayed with all their might. In tears, one of these elders bore witness of how the Lord blessed them, and perhaps had been testing their patience to see how strong they were. At the end of yet another discouraging day they decided to stop at the home of a past investigator. This family was in their area book, a family that had been contacted by other missionaries but there had been no success. The Zone Leaders decided to stop by and visit - it was a "why not?" visit. This time the family was ready and that visit changed their lives. The Zone Leaders now call this family 'Golden' and by telling others of their experience, they have become better Examples of faith, perseverance, and patience.
In Alma 26:27 it says, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, . . . and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success."
I know that we can find peace in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my scriptures and I know that I can open them and find help and guidance to any problem or trial within its pages. I know that the Lord watches over and blesses His missionaries in all that they do. This truly is a marvelous work and a wonder and I am so blessed to be a part of it.