My Farewell Talk

Hello everyone! Wow. It's actually here! I received my call all the way

back in October and now things are happening! The time has come! And I'm

thankful for having these past 4 months to prepare myself for the Cape Verde,

It's kind of funny actually. When I first read my mission call out loud with

my family, I couldn't even pronounce the name of my mission. Not to mention

the fact that I had no idea where this place was located! And then I opened up

the map and it's this big picture of all these islands and everyone's freaking out

but we still had no idea where it was and then I saw this other little picture of all

of Africa and these teeeny tiny little specks off the west coast of it and everyone

gasped and cheered and I heard my mom somewhere saying, "That's too far

awaaaay". Everyone was surprised though, not just my mom. I mean, I've heard

that people get sent to places where their ancestry hails from or depending on

what languages they've been studying. I studied Mandarin very diligently while

I was at school in Idaho and I had gotten pretty good at it and people were

telling me that if I included that in my mission papers, I would have a really

good chance of getting called to serve in Taiwan or New York City or Australia

Mandarin speaking and crazy places like that! So when I read that I would be

teaching the gospel in the Portuguese language in Africa I was duly surprised.

But, I will go where the Lord wants me to go. Plus, I mean Africa. That's just

crazy awesome. I've had that mission call for months now and I still don't think

After reading my call I looked up pictures of Cape Verde right away and

at first I saw all of these pictures of lush beaches and fancy resorts and I

thought, "Whooaaah cool I'm going to a luxurious tropical paradise" but then I

steered myself away from the touristy resort websites and started looking at

pictures that the missionaries have been posting from over there and the first

picture that I saw was of this flat landscape of dust with the sun beating down

and then there's this starving cow standing alone out in the middle of it, not a

green thing in site and then I thought, "Woaaaahhhh I'm gonna come back home

this super tan and tough grisly woman" which is kinda exciting if you think

about it. Luckily I'm still just as excited with it being a desert as I was when I

thought it was a paradise which is more than I think a lot of people could say

and I'm thankful for how I feel about Cape Verde and living there for 18 months.

I was also noticing a lot of pictures of the people over there and every

time I see them I tear up and I feel the spirit so strongly. It's an incredible

feeling, loving someone that I've never even met before and I know that there is

no more fitting place for me to be serving than in Cape Verde. Seeing their faces

makes me want to be the best missionary I can possibly be.

Now, let me share how this all came to be and why I'm speaking here to

all of you today. I've always really respected people who serve missions.

Especially girls. Because a little over a year ago, girls couldn't go on missions

until they were at least 21 and even then, it's not required for them to go. And I

thought, maybe I could wait that long. Maybe not. I wasn't sure. And none of

the women in my immediate family have served missions, so I wasn't feeling

any family pressure to go. Not to mention the sacrifices I would have to make

such as leaving my family, my friends, school (or warm showers and deodorant

in my particular case), but I didn't even need to worry about it because 21 years

of age was a long ways away. Then in October of 2012, the prophet Thomas S.

Monson announced a mission age change. So now men can go when they turn

18 rather than 19 and girls when they're 19 rather than 21. Wowee! That

changed things! Now this whole mission thing was pretty relevant in my life. So

I thought about it and prayed about it, but I didn't receive an answer right away

so I didn't worry about it. Then I went to school at BYU Idaho and there were

girls leaving for their missions left and right and all the men grumbled about it

and I knew that I didn't want to just jump onto the band wagon without knowing

for sure. So every night when I pray, I ask for the opportunity to serve others, as

well as being able to recognize those opportunities and one night while I was

praying it hit me like a ton of bricks. The biggest and best opportunity was right

there in front of me. A mission! What better way to serve the Lord's greatest

gift: his children. It just about knocked the wind out of me! And I knew that this

was divine revelation. Which just happens to be the topic of my talk today.

So, I think a good simple definition of divine revelation is that it is

inspiration or ideas that come to us from a divine entity such as God or the Holy 

Ghost. And for those here who might not know, "Modern apostles and prophets

are a distinctive characteristic of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 

Saints [which is the full title of our church]. Church members view senior

Church leaders — Joseph SmithBrigham Young and the presidents of the

Church that followed — as prophets of God in the same way they view

AbrahamMosesIsaiah and the apostles in the day of Jesus Christ. Thomas S. 

Monson is the current president and prophet of the Church." And probably the

biggest and most important role of a prophet is to receive divine revelation, and

lead individuals and families toward whatever the Lord wants us to do/who he

wants us to be so that we can be happy and receive salvation.

In the October 2009 issue of the Ensign, a church magazine, Elder Larry

W. Gibbons of the Seventy wrote a wonderful article called: Guided by Modern 

Revelation. In this article, he states that, "We can gauge our willingness to

receive modern revelation by asking ourselves the following questions:

1. Do I read and study the conference addresses of the apostles and prophets and

make them my guide for the next six months?

2. When I raise my hand to sustain the General Authorities, do I think about

what I am doing and silently pledge to pray for them and uphold them in every

3. Am I willing to follow the counsel of the prophet even when doing so might

4. Do I value the words of the living prophets just as I value the words of the

5. Do I seek a confirming witness from the Holy Ghost when the prophet

On January 14, 1847, at Winter Quarters, the Lord gave President Brigham

Young (1801–1877) the following instructions: “Let all the people of the Church

of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … be organized … under the direction of the

Twelve Apostles” (D&C section136: verses2–3).

In your own journey to Zion, is your life organized under the direction of the

apostles and prophets? All of us are acutely aware that we live in perilous times.

The forces of evil are attacking our homes, our communities, and our standards.

How can we withstand the attack? The Lord has said:

“Wherefore, … thou shalt give heed unto all [the prophet’s] words and

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you” (D&C

That's such a comfort to me to know that that promise of protection is

there if I listen and abide by what the prophet tells us.

Revelation isn't just something that the prophets get though and we don't

just follow him blindly. Anyone and everyone can receive revelation, and we

are encouraged to seek that kind of divine guidance in our lives, though some

people are more spiritually sensitive than others, and spiritual sensitivity is a

blessing given to us when we follow the Lord's commandments amongst a

number of other things. Take me for example, I received revelation that I needed

to go on a mission. So did my cousin. And I hear stories all the time of people

who receive revelation for different issues and reasons ranging from where they

put their car keys to who they're supposed to marry. It's a very real thing, and

sometimes it can come on its own, though usually it comes after you've prayed

about a specific thing. And I'm so thankful that I've been living my life so that I

could get that kind of spiritual confirmation. Our Heavenly Father has a plan for

all of us and if we strive to follow Christ's footsteps, He will guide us, and He

My favorite example of modern day revelation would probably have to be

the revelation received by our prophet Joseph Smith. I found an excerpt from

the church website that I think summarizes it pretty nicely and it says, "As a

young boy in 1820, Joseph Smith wanted to know which church was true. As he

searched the Bible for help, he read that he should ask of God. Acting on this

counsel, Joseph went into the woods near his home and prayed. Suddenly, a

light shone above him and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him.

When Joseph asked which church he should join, the Savior told him to join

none of the churches then in existence because they were teaching incorrect

doctrines. Through this experience and many others that followed, the Lord

chose Joseph to be His prophet and to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ and His

Brothers and Sisters, I would like to share with you my testimony that God is

our Heavenly Father and that we are his children. And He loves each and every

one of us so much, that he has prepared a way for us to experience life on earth,

and be made clean so that we can be happy and return to live with Him again

through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

He has given us scripture and prophets to guide us and to communicate with us,

and He wants us to communicate with Him through sincere prayer.

I know that he has a plan for each of us and that in order for us to be blessed, we

need to be pure and clean and obedient to the Commandments he has given us.

I know that our prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that he

translated the Golden Plates into the Book of Mormon, and restored the true

I know serving a mission is what I need to do, and that I am meant to serve a

I know that the Lord’s blessings have come in abundance in my life when I have

listened to and followed the counsel of those called in our day to speak for Him.

May we all listen more intently and follow counsel more fully.

And I just want to say how grateful I am that all of you could be here today and

how thankful I am for your support. And that I'm going to miss you all so much.

And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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