I Shall Return
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Philippines Area  | January 2010 | General Douglas MacArthur’s famous saying, “I shall return,” took on a new meaning for the City of Tacloban on July 28, 2009. Bishop Pedro Bimbo B. Tan of Tacloban 2nd Ward summoned 16 well-rested returned missionaries of the ward back to the vineyard. Inspired by Elder L. Tom Perry’s last general conference address, these Return Missionaries (RMs) left school, work and family for the day.

Reminiscing their full-time missionary days, they studied, planned, prayed and left two by two. Putting their complete trust in the guidance of the Holy Ghost, they went out sharing the message of the Restoration and eternal families. They were led to college professors, business owners, barangay officials, old friends and many more.

As the day progressed the excitement did not wane. Stopping only for a quick meal, they continued trying to find ready hearts. Even the pains of typical missionary blistered feet did not stop their determined minds.

When evening came, the participants shared tears and laughter as they reported on the day’s events. The full-time missionaries scrambled to record all the new families and individuals whom they will now teach.

These RMs took the challenge of President Edwin Malit, Philippines Tacloban Mission president, who said, “To achieve things never been achieved, we must do things that have never been done!” Amidst all the excitement, the participants learned that they are still essential in missionary work even if they are no longer wearing their name tags. With renewed enthusiasm, they expressed readiness to work with full-time missionaries in finding, teaching and baptizing to move the work forward.

I shall return to the vineyard of the Lord;
I shall rekindle the fire of missionary work in my heart;
I shall relive the days of my discipleship.
I shall sacrifice one day to seek even but one soul;
I shall renew my commission to proclaim the gospel.
I shall go where the spirit leads me;
I shall fear no man for God shall be with me.
I am a returned missionary;
I was once called, and with joy gave heed.
I am called again, I shall return to the field.
(RMs creed of Tacloban 2nd ward during the one-day missionary activity)