Hello everyone, one week has passed away again and it feels like yesterday that I was whisked out the door. My parents told me I had been away for around 5 months. It has felt more like 5 days. Similar to last week we've been so busy all the time. It's absolutely wonderful but truly exhausting. We have so many kind families that we're visiting, and we have had the blessed opportunity of bearing our testimonies to many people.
I would like to take a moment to reflect on a wonderful lesson I was taught as a young man. One day in young men’s quorum our teacher, Brother Murdock, told us to avoid using the word 'like'. He instructed us to count how many times someone would say the word 'like' while talking. The results were like... astounding. All of these years later I still have an uneasiness every time I use that word in a sentence. (Ignore the first paragraph)
With that being said, I've had to completely throw that lesson out the door in the Philippines. There are so many ways to say 'like' that it is hard to fathom. The few that I can think of off the top of my head are Kuwan, morag, parehas, and sugad. They throw them in at random places and sometimes completely replace verbs with them. These filler words are so devastatingly hard to deal with that my brain sometimes shuts down. Any skill I have seemed to gather in the language goes out the window when five strategically placed kuwans riddle the sentence. Once you get used to them they can be fun to slip into conversation but receiving them is always frustrating.
The more I learn about other languages, the more I learn the power of the word. For our word should be our testimony. The testimony of our gifts, our kindness, and of our Savior. This last general conference was riddled with so many talks about being kind to others. Using our language for good rather than evil. A very wise man once told me that of all the things he had done in his life, the times he had regretted the most were when he was not kind to people when he could have been. I echo this thought and regret. I have been truly unfairly hateful to some people in the past, and those are times I can never take back. I have lost so many friends in the pursuit of my own pride.
It has, however, shown me the importance of one’s words. On the mission I have had so many opportunities to bear my testimony and witness as a disciple of Christ. When me and my companion finish a lesson and bear our testimony, the Spirit is always the strongest. When we edify others, we edify ourselves. In the story of Alma, we learn that he could not reclaim his people.
"Save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them." Alma 4:19
The power of one’s testimony is real. When we bear witness of the Father and His Son, we are blessed and bless others. Pure testimony is pure power and there is no other way about it. It was our primary weapon before this life, and it continues to be the same in this one. The sword of truth knows no equal. In the end when all mortal form is stripped away we will be left with nothing but our testimony. I leave you mine that Jesus is the Christ. Our Savior and Redeemer. That the Great Atonement was made by Him. That we need not fear, only trust in Him. He loves you, more than you can know. I say these things in his name, even Jesus Christ, amen.