From teaching children about their role in the Church to encouraging missionaries at the Missionary Training Center in Manilla, Church leaders recently ministered in the Philippines the week of Aug. 21-28.
Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, and Sister Amy A. Wright, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, spoke to missionaries. Sister Wright also spoke at devotionals for children and their parents and Sister Craven at meetings for youth and their parents.
Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy also spoke at the MTC in an earlier devotional.
Missionaries: Focus on the Savior
To missionaries at the Missionary Training Center in Manilla, Philippines, the leaders emphasized focusing on the Savior during a devotional on Tuesday, Aug. 23, according to the Church’s Philippines Newsroom.
Sister Craven pointed to the principle of squares and how squares are an essential part of the gospel, such as raising the hands in a square means making and keeping covenants.
These are seen during the ordinance of baptism, where the baptizer raises the right hand in a square.
She said that Heavenly Father wants missionaries to be square. “To be square means to be honest, direct, true and strict,” she said.
Sister Wright highlighted that the scriptures have power to give comfort and guidance. In Jeremiah 16:16, it says that the Lord will “send for many hunters.”
Being a hunter requires hard work and patience. “Your mission is tailor-made, uniquely hard for you,” she added.
Sister Wright promised, “When righteous men and women come together, united in the cause of Christ, there is no mountain we can’t move.”
In an earlier devotional on Sunday, Aug. 21, Elder Kearon encouraged them to “forget about themselves and focus on the Lord’s work.”
“Like Nephi, you will have desperate days. You will struggle. But that’s OK,” Elder Kearon said. “You are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are loved and treasured. As you serve the Lord, as you reach out, as you struggle, as you become the message, as you look ... more like the message you carry — a picture of light, a picture of joy; a picture of peace; a picture of strength and in more countless ways — you will become more effective missionaries.”
Primary: Live, care, unite and invite
After playing a tune on a small xylophone, Sister Wright asked the audience, including Primary children and their parents and leaders, what the song was that she played.
It was “I Am a Child of God.”
“Sometimes music is the way the Holy Ghost speaks to us. Words of comfort, words of peace, words to guide and direct, to warn of danger, ‘don’t do this,’ ‘don’t do that,’ and teach truth, such as you are a child of God,” she said.
Those from the Balanga and Lubao stakes attended the Sunday, Aug. 21, meeting in the Lubao Philippines Stake center, and it was broadcast to those in the Olongapo, Iba, San Antonio, Santa Cruz and Orion stakes.
She also taught them how to say “Holy Ghost” using American Sign Language.
The children also drew how they felt about living the gospel, caring for those in need, uniting and inviting others. Several children shared what they had drawn.
“You have an important role as you live, care, unite and invite. You have an important role as we prepare for the Second Coming. He loves you, knows you and trusts you. It is an opportunity and responsibility to be part of this great work. You are needed in this kingdom of God,” Sister Wright said.
Sister Craven also spoke to youth in the Mabalacat Philippines Stake and photos of the devotional were shared on the Church’s Philippines Facebook page.