In his priesthood session address, Elder Randy D. Funk of the Seventy told of one of the missionaries over whom he presided in the India Bangalore Mission, Elder Ashish Pokhrel of Nepal. Elder Pokhrel, by his own admission, was not well prepared for his call. He had never seen a missionary, did not have the appropriate clothing, did not speak English well, found the work challenging and was often hungry, tired and homesick.
"Though missionary work was new and challenging for Elder Pokhrel, he served with great faith and faithfulness, seeking to understand and follow what he was learning from the scriptures, the missionary guide Preach My Gospel and his mission leaders," Elder Funk said.
"He became a powerful teacher of the gospel – in English – and was an excellent leader."
After his mission and some time in Nepal, he returned to India to resume his education and has been a branch president in New Delhi since January.
"How did a young man who had never seen a missionary become one with such spiritual strength?" Elder Funk asked. "How will you receive spiritual power as a missionary to open the doors, inboxes and hearts of those in the mission where you serve? As usual, the answers are found in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets and apostles."
Citing scripture, Elder Funk said that a missionary must be humble, obedient and have the ability to hear and follow the Spirit.
"If you are burdened by sin and need to repent, please do so immediately," he urged. "To be healed of your spiritual afflictions, please accept His invitation to rise up. Without delay, talk to your bishop, branch president or mission president and begin the process of repentance now."
The healing power of the Atonement will bring peace and the ability to feel the Holy Spirit, he said.
Newer members of the Church or some who have recently returned to full activity may feel they don't know enough, he said. "How reassuring it is to know that through our obedience we gain knowledge."
Others may feel their talents, abilities or experience are limited. "Prepare as well as you can and know that our Heavenly Father will magnify your humble and obedient efforts," he counseled.
"My young fellow servants, doors and hearts open daily to the gospel message – a message that brings hope and peace and joy to the children of God throughout the world," Elder Funk said.