One more, busy week in Bulgaria! This week included Zone Conference. As we watched the day unfold, we were amazed to see how smoothly the transition had been made from one president to the next. Although everyone loved the Roths and were devoted to them, I could see how they were connecting with President Wilstead. One of the missionaries referred to President Roth’s departure as that of Elijah when he was taken up in a chariot of fire. President Roth disappeared from their view at the airport as he ascended the escalator, no chariot of fire, but it was a shiny conveyance. President Wilstead was compared to Elisha who took on the mantle of Elijah.
When the topic “not tearing down, but improving” was introduced they were excited about building more on the foundation that was established by President Roth and lifting the mission to the next level.
Another theme was “obedience and hard work bring blessings.” From this we were reminded that we had been set apart as missionaries. This indicates to be made different – different than you were as well as different than those around you. In the case of missionaries this means to be dedicated to something - to a holy something or purpose. As usual the event was very uplifting. Those missionaries who will soon be returning home expressed regret that they will not be here to take part in the future of the mission. When a young man is sad to return home for fear of missing something, you know that hearts have been touched.
Watching as they taught one another, facilitating discussions, leading districts and zones, you can’t help by realize what an incredible opportunity this is for them. They will return home not only more mature, more knowledgeable, and more motivated; they will be prepared to be the leaders and teachers of the future. It can be said of them as of Peter and John in Acts 5:40-42
40 …they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
We are so blessed to be part of this work and get to associate with so many fine young men and women. They truly are the leaders of the church a few short years from now.
Love Elder and Sister Segeberg