President George Albert Smith has declared, 'your mission, my brethren and sisters of the Church, […] is your responsibility. Freely you have received and our Heavenly Father will expect you freely to share with His other sons and daughters these glorious truths. We will attain our exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom only on the condition that we share with our Father's other children the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and observe the commandments that will enrich our lives here and hereafter.'
I have been given so very much; more than I deserve. Both Sister Revillo and I can truly say, as Elder Holland has, in that, “[e]verything [we] cherish in this world [we] have because of this church, and everything [we] have because of this church seems to have begun with the blessing of [our] mission”. My wife and I had served as full time missionaries in the Philippines Cebu and Bacolod mission 26 years ago. The greatest convert I had from that experience was myself. That decision to serve has shaped our spiritual destinies. All the blessings of family, blessings of service in the church, friends, profession, and all the good things in our lives have come as a result of that single decision to serve a full time mission.
What a great blessing to be able to serve a mission again, to represent the Savior Jesus Christ, this time with my wife as a chosen companion. It is an added bonus to have our daughter, Karlmaine, serve at the same time with us.
I felt very humbled and overwhelmed when President Eyring extended the call to me and my wife. I am comforted by the thought that the Lord is in command and that whoever he calls he qualifies. I am thankful for my children’s willingness to make sacrifices in order for us to be able to serve at this time. They had always been supportive as we have lived in three different countries (Japan, USA and Singapore) in the past 13 years.
Sister Revillo are I are both fruits of missionary labors. My parents were converts when I was six years old in the southern island of the Philippines, while Sister Revillo was baptized when she was 12 years old, after five years of investigating the Church. We recall how new the Church was back then in largely-Catholic Philippines, and the ridicule that we often received from relatives and friends because of our beliefs. At that time of our baptism, there was only 1 mission in the whole Philippines and there will be 21 missions come July 2013. Today, we are happy to say that the Church in the Philippines is well respected, and has earned a good reputation in the community as well as in government circles. It is truly a marvelous work and a wonder. The work of the Lord is hastening on. As President Hinckley said: “The Lord is fulfilling His promise that His gospel shall be as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands which would roll forth and fill the whole earth, as Daniel saw in vision (Daniel 2:31–45; D&C 65:2). A great miracle is taking place right before our eyes.”
Sister Revillo and I are grateful to be part of this great missionary work. We know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. His Church has been restored. Fervently, we pray that God may bless all of us and each of our precious missionaries. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.