Sunday, October 18, 2015

Jeremy Pukahi Farewell Talk October 18, 2015

Brothers and Sisters, Aloha

My topic for today is about how missionary work has blessed and will bless me and my family.

For a moment I want to focus on the word missionary work. In my head there are two types of missionary work. The first type can be described by
1.a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work to persuade or convert others.

The second type will be described later on in the talk.

From the October 1983 General Conference The Blessings of Missionary Service by James M. Dunn, he talks about the blessings he has seen and received from missionary work.

He says,
1“The interpersonal relationships between missionaries are among the choicest blessings we receive as the result of missionary service. The friendships and the positive influence of one missionary upon the other can be eternal.”
2“With respect to his personal challenges, every missionary will tell you, as I tell you now, that as he presses on and exercises his faith there comes the most extraordinary spiritual sensation: a flow of confidence, courage and power to overcome, a knowledge that God is with him and that he cannot fail with God on his side—regardless of the nature of the problem or even the results.
3“Above all the benefits and blessings of missionary service that come into the life of a missionary—and that which brings unparalleled peace and comfort to the soul—is the testimony which comes to him, perhaps not all at once, perhaps line upon line.”

In D&C 66 The lord is telling Joseph smith to send certain missionaries to places and tells him of the blessings.

5 Behold, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should proclaim my gospel from land to land, and from city to city, yea, in those regions round about where it has not been proclaimed…
Continue in these things even unto the end, and you shall have a crown of eternal life at the right hand of my Father, who is full of grace and truth.”

God wants us to serve each other and by serving each other he has promised us blessings.

Now I want to share a story that I will relate to later on in my talk.

As many of the ward members know, this summer the young men of this ward decided to go on a camping trip down to Goblin Valley. Little did we know that we would be tested of our strengths as well as our weaknesses. Our hike into a canyon turned from a six hour hike to approximately 10-12 hours. But I don’t want to talk about us who went on the trip. I wanna talk about the parents, the families, the ward members who cared so much for the safety of these young men and leaders. When we got out of the canyon and called letting people know we were safe, we didn’t realize what was happening. On facebook, many of the parents and ward members were getting nervous and scared. They were talking to each other, informing each other on everything that was happening through the night. Through it all  they were comforting each other. Many people in this ward and outside saw these posts and commented “we are praying for their safety. Hope they are okay!”. One family in our ward even drove down and met us because little did we know that one of our cars would shut down. I know of some families in the ward brought food to other families who had kids on this trip. We were blessed throughout this trip. We blessed each other. Our ward is amazing! and I love you guys!

Now keep this story in mind while I talk about the second type of missionary work which can be described by these two quotes.

The first one is the missionary purpose in the Preach My Gospel, it says, "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end"

The second quote is from the October 2005 General Conference Becoming a Missionary by David A Bednar, he says,

" As holders of the priesthood, we are missionaries always. If you truly progress in the process of becoming a missionary, both before going on a mission and in the mission field, then when the day arrives for your honorable release as a full-time missionary, you will depart from your field of labor and return to your family—but you will never cease your missionary service. A priesthood holder is a missionary at all times and in all places."

By what these two quotes are saying we can now say that we are all missionaries and a missionary is a person who teaches truth and brings people to Christ. We are helping each other receive this restored gospel and We are helping each other return to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Everyone who knows me knows I'm a people person. I love talking to people. I think People are interesting. not in the weird way but in the real way. Everyone has story, everyone has trials, everyone has something they've gone through. And I, LOVE hearing about them. I love connecting with someone. I love leaving a conversation realizing I know that person and I know who that person is, and they know me!

For me, this is the way I learn about the gospel. Its through people.

In the 2004 September New Era. Elder dallin h. Oaks of the twelve apostles gave a talk "8 ways God can speak to you"
He says "Revelation is communication from God to man. It can occur in many different ways. Some prophets, like Moses and Joseph Smith, have talked with God face to face. Some persons have had personal communication with angels. Other revelations have come, as Elder James E. Talmage (1862–1933) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described it, “through the dreams of sleep or in waking visions of the mind.”

God knows how each one of us can obtain a greater understanding in different ways. He knows the best for us. God knows this and he has sent many missionaries in my life that have helped me come closer to God. They have blessed me.

The biggest blessings in my life has been my family. They’ve taught me, shown me the true purpose of this Gospel. Like all missionaries are suppose to do.

The only way I can show you guys this purpose, this truth that drives us to serve is if I open my heart to you guys.

This last year, as many of you know, my brother was diagnosed with cancer. He died January of this year. If you have talked to me you know I reference this time in my life a lot because in this point of my life I grew. I learned and  I was blessed tremendously. God showed me what the true purpose of serving is. I learned it by serving my brother.

Through my brothers battle with cancer.  he was sick. he was sick. It was heart breaking to watch him go through something like that every day. It was exhausting having to stay by his side through the night. It was agonizing watching and not being able to help. Nobody prepares you for the trials of life. Nobody shows you how to live. But the hardest was after he passed. Through it all. We were by his side. When he called we were there in an instant. We dropped everything for him. But then suddenly it was gone. We had no one to take care of.

Now I come to the question of why do we serve? What has us drive down 2 hours away from our home to help some young men? what has us thinking of making food for someone hoping it will help? what makes us drop everything for one person? what makes us leave our family for two years to serve in a place with no understanding of the place or language?

What I realized through this trial and this blessing was that I loved my brother and he loved me. He gave his life for me so I could grow. LOVE. Love is everything. With out it we are nothing. And the ultimate love is Christ' Love. I can tell you today, I have felt Christ' love. And he loves each and everyone of you. He gave his life for us. His love drives us to do good and serve.

This Love that I learned and now cherish is what I will take with me on my mission. I know if I can share my love and my heart with one person no matter if they accept the gospel or not. I have done my purpose. I have done what god has asked and he will bless me and my family like he has through my whole life.

In Mosiah 4:15 it says " But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another"

I know if you walk with Christ' love in your heart and serve your fellow men, you will be happy. I know! And Happiness is what we all need.

I bear testimony that this Gospel is true and it is perfect. I know if you trust in the lord he will guide you. I know that the atonement is the single greatest thing we have in our lives. I know that the book of mormon is truth and it is the word of God. I love each and every one of you. And I know that Love is the reason I am serving a mission. 

I say these things in the name of thy son jesus christ, Amen.