On a cool, sunny morning, the missionaries in the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo West Mission gathered in the San Geronimo chapel in Santo Domingo. This special occasion brought them together to listen to an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and other authorities of the Church and be “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine...' (1 Timothy 4:6).
Elder Christofferson arrived early, accompanied by his beloved wife, Sister Katherine Jacob Christofferson, Elder José L. Alonso, of the Seventy and his wife, Rebecca Salazar, and Elder Cándido Fortuna, Area Seventy and his wife, Sister Damaris Rosario. They were received by President Santos, who presides over the mission, also accompanied by his wife.
The meeting began with a beautiful prelude after which Elder Christofferson and those who were with him greeted and shook the hand of each missionary.
A missionary choir performed a hymn in English and Spanish, creating an atmosphere of peace and preparing everyone present for this special gathering.
Elder Christofferson asked those who accompanied him to share a brief message. The messages focused on their feelings about the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the gospel, missionary work, and the sacred mission of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
'A missionary must be constantly inviting people to act,' Elder Fortuna said while addressing the missionaries.
In his message, Elder Alonso made reference to the words found in 1 Nephi 3:7. He taught that Heavenly Father provides us with a way to fulfill what He has commanded us. When concluding his remarks, he thanked the missionaries for what they do in the work of the Lord.
Sister Christofferson addressed the missionaries, speaking both in English and Spanish so that the message she shared was understood in its entirety by the new missionaries and those who already had spent some time in the mission field. She shared with them the scripture found in 2 Kings 4:1-7 and taught them that at that time it was customary for creditors to take the children of debtors as part of the payment of the debt as was the case in this scripture.
The woman in the scripture story obeyed Elisha and borrowed all the vessels she could from her neighbors. She filled them from her one pot of oil and noted that the oil stopped flowing only when there were no more vessels to fill. It is interesting to note that not only was she given enough to pay the debt she had, but also to cover her living expenses in the future. 'There are two important teachings here,' Sister Christofferson said. 'First that the Lord will provide for those who have faith in Him and second that we must be prepared to receive what God wants to give us.' Sister Christofferson concluded her remarks by thanking everyone for their missionary service in this country.
In his concluding remarks as the keynote speaker, Elder Christofferson addressed the missionaries in Spanish. He highlighted the messages shared by each of those who preceded him. He told them: 'As my wife indicated, we receive everything we are prepared to receive.' Then he asked the missionaries what things we can do to prepare ourselves to receive the blessings that have been promised to us.
'Be obedient,' replied one of the missionaries to which Elder Christofferson added that we can take advantage of what God has already given us, that is, the commandments. He said, 'The commandments are like stairs that help elevate us each step” to be closer to Him.
He continued by inviting the missionaries to fast once a month, as this will help them have the Spirit and open their minds and hearts to have greater revelation. He also told them: 'By studying the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, I not only learn, but I also correct myself.' He indicated that one can be better when studying the scriptures. He stressed that also by sharing our testimony, 'we receive testimony.' 'The Spirit testifies to you that what you share is true.' He added that we should 'ask in prayer' showing that we want more. 'We can ask, according to His will, for more, for what we need,' he concluded.
At the end of his remarks, he left them with a special blessing. He told them: 'I bless you so that you may have greater power in your teaching, by teaching the principles of the gospel, greater capacity and greater convincing and persuasive power in your teaching.” “May people feel that deep love that you have for them, whether members or non-members, that you get answers to your prayers.” He concluded his remarks sharing his testimony about the truthfulness of the gospel, that Jesus Christ directs His Church and, just like the Prophet Joseph Smith, President Nelson was also called by God.
The meeting concluded with hymn #138 'Lord, I Would Follow Thee.'