I had a life-changing experience when President Eyring bore his testimony. I'd never experienced anything like that. He bore his testimony in a way that I could not not believe him. I felt something that was unique. And I have a testimony. And I've had one before I joined the church; the testimony came. My testimony continues to grow. I know Jesus is the Christ. I know we're led by prophets and apostles. And every time I hear, I feel. I am so grateful for who they are. You see so many different backgrounds. We see people that come from broken homes that had no hope to those that they know Jesus is the Christ. They come from all types of divergent backgrounds. I was in Canada just a few weeks ago and the strength of those Saints was just remarkable. I didn't meet any nonmembers up there at that point. But in my area, down in Colombia, where I actually live, they're just good people. The economy is interesting. The area that I work in a $20,000 income is common. And that's just not very high above subsistence. And then you have the contrast where you have people that make so much. But they're just good, loving, accepting. It's the Bible Belt. They're great people. I have a true testimony of the apostles and the prophet. When President Monson was called prophet in that session in April, 2008, his last talk when he asked, he said, "I love all of you. I pray for you. Please pray for me." At that moment I received a testimony of our prophet. And I thought, if he is so humble and still a prophet of God and wants us to pray for him, I'm going to do this. So it's special to have prophets and apostles to help us in our mission here in this earth. In the time of Noah, Heavenly Father is able to tell people to command Noah up to make ark. These days we meet many problems in our lives. The living prophet always tells us about the Heavenly Father's mind and what He wants to do. So I'm always thankful for the living prophet. When I was growing up, as I studied the scriptures I wondered how it would have been to live in the days of Peter, James, and John. When I joined the Church and when I was called and [? seated at the feet of ?] the apostles and the prophet, I knew the Lord had answered my prayers. So the only thing left for me to do is listen to their words. In doing that, I am listening to the Lord. There's nothing greater in this world of turmoil to bring peace and joy to one. We were privileged to be sitting at conference when President Monson was sustained. And we felt as we sat there the mantle of the call of the prophet fall on President Monson. We just felt that great spirit as he stood and spoke. And we knew for sure that he was a prophet of God. And then to see the prophets and apostles, I think it's great to hear what they say. But each time we come to these meetings, I feel privileged to see how they act and interact with each other. There are so many little things that you notice about how they counsel together, how they respect each other, how they support each other. These are the things that tell me that these are prophets of God. And they teach us how we should act in our families, in our councils, in church. We have some challenges in working with the members of the Church in our area. But I'm grateful because we have revelation and we have prophets that help us, guide us, and direct us to solve those problems. I remember how [? Elder Becker ?] said, when you have problems, kneel down, pray to our Father in Heaven. He is our Father. We are His children. He will help us. He will listen to us to solve our problem. Elder Hales said, if you have a problem go to the scriptures, that scriptures will help us solve the problems. And that's how I am doing it in my area. I know without the shadow of doubt that President Monson is a prophet of God. His two counselors, the Quorum of the Twelve have been called by God to lead the Church in these last days. And I have a firm testimony. This is the Church. That Joseph Smith saw what he saw and said what he said. He saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. And I have firm testimony that President Monson today is the only one in this world who has all the keys of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I have the responsibility of three countries: Indonesia (my own country), Cambodia, and East Malaysia. In these three places the Church is relatively new. And to see these members applying the teaching of the gospel, seeing families changing, overcoming their old tradition, and change themselves to live with the tradition of the gospel has been very gratifying to me. To see the Church in these hills and mountains, it was just good to see how the Church gave them hope. The gospel gave them hope. So I'm grateful for the opportunity to visit them, be with them, to be in their homes. They are humble homes. But when I see them, they're just happy. They smile. And they're excited about life. So for me that's the blessings from receiving this calling. I'm grateful for our living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. His entire life has been rescuing people. I'm following him. And all others, the First Presidency, the Twelve, they focus on family. And I'm so grateful and have a strong testimony that they are men of God inspired to help not only the Church but the world to return to our Heavenly Father. And it is a great blessing for me. Where I grew up, when I moved to Mexico with my parents when I was 10 years old, when we moved to Mexico, we went to a rented house as a chapel. There were two missionaries. One was a branch president. And there were 12 chairs, of which my family used six. And now there are multiple stakes. And the feelings we have for the members are of total brotherhood. We seek their welfare.
We seek to build up the kingdom. We seek to protect. Many, many are converts. Most of the stake presidents are converts. And it's beautiful to see what the Lord has done in such a short time. And I know that President Monson is the Lord's anointed and that he speaks what the Lord would speak. And his words, to me, are the Lord's words. And I know that the Twelve are prophets and apostles and revelators. And I sustain them as such. Well this is an amazing time in which we live, where prophets, seers, and revelators again are on the earth. I have been deeply honored to have talked to many prophets in the past. But now I can say that I know beyond any doubt that President Thomas S. Monson is our present prophet that is called by God to guide us in these very times. In the Europe area where I have a priesthood assignment, we find members that have had the privilege of being raised in LDS families. So they might be members of the third or fourth or even fifth generation. And on the other side, in various places there are members that are fairly new in the Church. Now it is a joy to see how they change their lives because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now as I serve in other countries, for example in Albania where the Church is fairly young, I long to find a way to help how young people can get not only a good education but also can find work where they can sustain their own families, where they can have their own homes, which is not always easy for them. I know that God speaks through prophets nowadays.
I know of the safety that we have in our families as we implement those words that are given to us by God in these days. I rejoice in the gospel of Jesus Christ that has the power to turn to light everything that is dark. Everything that is unhappy can be made joyful. And we can be prepared to return to our Heavenly Father. To know that is very special and dear to me. As a convert to the Church, all this is new to me. I mean, I've been in the Church now for four decades, over four decades. But it's still new, in many respects. And one of the absolute things that I find so valuable in this Church is the knowledge that we have a living prophet and apostles that continue to receive revelation. I mean, I love the scriptures. I love the New Testament and those teachings that are found therein. But to live in today, where we deal with new problems, and new challenges, and new difficulties and to know that there was someone who can receive guidance for me and my family and my life is just such a gift.
And I hope I'm smart enough to follow it. I serve in the Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and then the Atlantic provinces in Canada. So the geography is huge. As a matter of fact, I can't get by car to my assignments. I have to get on a plane to travel to some of them. And so the people are quite diverse. I'm so grateful for that common understanding that we have of the Savior, of the restoration of the gospel, of what it means to each of us. Because we're far apart geographically from one another, we sometimes don't have that ability to call on one another readily. But when we come together and when we serve and labor together, there's a great sense of joy and happiness. And that's very distinctly different. And I think that's, in one way, both a challenge living so far apart from one another. It's a privilege because you recognize the differences there. And what a blessing it is to live in a time when we have those who speak with God and can provide words of clarity, so we know the path to walk in this day. And so the blessing of having apostles and prophets, to me is very profound. As having not grown up with it, I think I cherish it very greatly and appreciate all that they do for us. I know that perhaps we don't get a chance to see them as frequently as we'd like. But when we read the "Ensign" or when we study from other messages they've given, and we have a privilege to, as President Packer taught today, feel their words and feel the word of our Father in Heaven.