Monday, October 12, 2015


I was ordained to the office of Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by my dad, Terrell Sweat, on September 6, 2015 in Pocatello, Idaho.

I was able to take out my endowments on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at the Oakland Temple.  My grandparents, Doug and Connie Gallup and Bob and Gayle Sweat were in attendance.  We were so blessed to have Elder Tripp and Elder Freeman share this special day with us.

Buenos dias! I’m Dietrich Sweat soon to be Hermano Sweat
As most of you know I will be leaving on my mission October 13th to Guatemala for a period of 2 years.

I was asked to speak today and my topic was to speak on missionary work. As Brandon Woolf told me this, one example found in the Book of Mormon came to my mind,  Alma the Younger.

Destroyer of church
An angel appears to him
Is in his lowest point
Uses the atonement (Jesus suffered the sins of everyone that has, is or will come to the earth so that by this power we will be able to get clean from our mistakes and be able to return to our father in heaven again)
Turns around his life
Becomes a great missionary

We will each have our time where we hit rock bottom. The question is, will we stay in the pit of sorrow and remorse or will we rise up and reach for the helping hand that is constantly outstretched to us? Sometimes we can be destroyers of the church and maybe not even realize it. It’s like the phrase, “If you are not doing something to improve, you are getting worse.” So the act of not doing anything to improve your spirituality is actually hurting you rather than being a constant flat line of where you left off.
One of my coaches said, “ someone is always watching and taking note of what we do.” This is a very true statement, not only for sports but for life. Whatever we decide to do today will affect generations to come. We must realize that every person has the power to change and influence the world, either for better or for worse. Alma, when he has this powerful experience of an angel appearing unto him and the sons of Mosiah, finally comes to the realization that he is on a slippery path that would not lead to lasting happiness. He and the sons of Mosiah have a change of heart and turn their whole life around. They use the atonement and then go out and begin to teach those they had led away and others their experiences and the truthfulness of the gospel. I find Alma inspiring because he started out with probably not the best intentions but then recognizes what he has been doing wrong and changes it. He then becomes a very righteous leader and positive influence to countless others. This is a great example for us to be able to apply to our lives. With God’s and Jesus’ help we can right the wrongs we have committed and become better sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. One of my priesthood leaders explained this to us in a way I found comforting and understandable. Imagine a line that has you on one side and Jesus on the other. Sometimes we might think that we have to reach a certain point to receive help but that can be misinterpreted. There is no halfway point that Jesus meets you at. You do as well and as far as you can. And with the help of the atonement, he will fill the rest of the way that we need to return back to heaven again.
I would like to share some examples in my own life that have helped me to become a better person and more mission ready. In Zion’s camp(a week long activity where we do outdoor activities and focus on parts of our church’s teachings and try to get more in depth on them). We had a guest speaker who talked about the saving power of the atonement in our life. He gave us an object lesson to draw from. Let’s say that we receive $1 bill for
the worth of pleasure we receive from committing a sin or mistake. When we use the atonement and ask for forgiveness the feeling is like receiving a $100 bill. The feeling is obviously going to be much better when you have a $100 bill rather than a $1 bill. So I learned to use the atonement in my life.
  1. One of my biggest influences in my latter life have been my youth leaders. They helped show me what having a good attitude can do, which is change everything. They have always shown up in a positive mood no matter where we were; church, a service activity, playing sports or games, anything. One of my football coaches would always talk about setting the tone from the very first hit of the game. My youth leaders helped set the tone for me in church and in life. In the words of Peyton Manning, “The attitude with which we approach the situation can determine our success or failure.” I learned to have a positive attitude in whatever I do.
  2. The third and final example I will share is my linebackers coach. Not only did he teach me countless things in football but he also taught me about life. My coach carries a passion that burns bright. From the 1st day I met him I knew he was the real deal. He taught to love, care, and respect for what you do. He would always say, “This right here, what you’re doing right now should be the most important thing in the world to you.” I found this statement very powerful to me. It made me adjust my priorities and see that whatever I’m doing, do my best and have some passion about it. He also taught me to work hard and to learn to enjoy it. When I lived on a farm we did hard work, the difference from then and now is that I hated whatever work I was doing, especially if it was hard or pushed me. My mindset was lazier than it should have been when it came to adversity. Now I have a competitive edge on me that helps me to learn to enjoy the grit of hard work and the success that comes later from pushing myself to my limits. The final thing I will touch on is I learned how to learn. Know what the heck you’re doing before you go running around half speed like a chicken with its head cut off. Take some time to comprehend, ask questions, and digest what you are doing. Don’t just go through the motions. If you are not working hard or knowing what you are supposed to be doing, then you or your teammate could end up getting stranded or hurt.
The same thing applies to missionary work. If you recall a frequently mentioned phrase is that we are all missionaries, not just me or the countless others that are or will be serving missions. In the book, “The Champion’s Mind” the motto of the United States olympic committee sums it up pretty good. “It’s not every 4 years. It’s everyday.” Think about that. Rather than being a missionary only when you are called to be for the next 2 years or so, why not be a missionary now all the time? This does not mean we religion down people’s throats or not respect someone else’s beliefs. Being a missionary is as simple as being an example to others on how a follower of Christ acts like. This does not mean you don’t defend your beliefs. Always defend what you know to be right but be respectful while doing so. Like I mentioned earlier about we are always being watched, we our not only being observed by our peers but God is also watching. Remember Jesus’ teachings and try everyday to be better.  Sometimes we make mistakes which is natural but when you make a mistake make sure you quickly correct so you do not get into a bad habit. Missionaries stand out as upholders of God and doing the right thing. Do not be the person to help kick another down, be it verbally or physically. Be the 1st to extend a helping hand to raise them up. Help those in need. By being friends, standing up for your beliefs, and “loving thy neighbor”, we can all be active, daily missionaries.
Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer in this past general conference talked about missionary work. What General Conference is... “During the conference, Church leaders speak on a variety of spiritual topics. They address Latter-day Saints as well as government, faith and community representatives and other conference guests. Speakers include the worldwide leader of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson, and his counselors in the First Presidency, the governing body of the Church. Talks are also given by the members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and other leaders. General conference talks vary in length from about 5 to 20 minutes. Topics are not assigned; each speaker chooses his or her own subject matter. Talks usually cover basic gospel principles or address significant issues of the day, with speakers encouraging individuals and families in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ.” “If ever there was a time when the world needs disciples of Christ who can communicate the message of the gospel with clarity and from the heart, it is now. We need the clarion call of the trumpet. Christ was certainly our best example. He always demonstrated courage to stand up for what was right. His words echo through the centuries as He invites us to remember to love God and our fellowman, to keep all of God’s commandments, and to live as lights to the world. He was not afraid to speak against the earthly powers or rulers of His day, even when such were opposing His mission given to Him by His Heavenly Father. His words were not designed to confuse but to move the hearts of men. He clearly knew His Father’s will in all He said and did.”One of my friends, Hermano Walker, who is serving a mission right now in the Dominican Republic, was relating a story of when he was giving a talk in a small branch. He says,” I talked about the importance of members in the work. Comparing missionary work to a potato field. ‘(He’s from Idaho if you couldn’t tell)’ The field is white and ready to harvest. I compared the missionaries to the two crossovers in the field. They dig the potatoes and can dig a couple of rows solo. And this is good. But when the crossovers are followed by the digger, the work is so much better. The digger picks up the potatoes the crossovers dig and also can harvest four more rows by itself. This digger is like the branch.(in our case the ward) If we want more people to join ur church, the branch plays a huge role. Together we can harvest so much more effectively.
One simple way I have tried to be a better daily missionary is by being there for others. In this day and age it’s hard for us to slow down and take the time to just have a conversation or see how someone is doing. In Mosiah 18:8-9 it reads ” ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens that they may be light. yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in..” I have noticed as I have tried to do this I have become closer with the people I interact with and feel a love and care for them I might not have felt as much before.
I have also found that constant scripture study, prayer, and going to church has also greatly helped me in being a daily missionary. When others have questions about the church, having the knowledge to be able to help them is much simpler when you have been diligent in keeping the commandments and being active in the gospel. Some people think missionaries are only sent out to get more people in the church, strictly boosted stats. I was on splits with some missionaries when the investigator asked this same exact thing. The missionary responded by saying that he was not here to boost the church’s number or anything like that. He was out here serving because he knew of the happiness this gospel has brought to his family. I want to echo his words in saying that this gospel does bring lasting happiness and comfort. It helps us understand why we are here and where we are going.
Before I close I would like to point out that what I have said is true. In saying so do not think that I am anything close to perfect. Humans have imperfections and we all struggle at times. That is why the gospel is there to help us be able to learn and grow from our mistakes and strive to be better and a more perfect person. I know that missionary work is a work that can bless individuals and their families for countless generations. I challenge all of you to put your best foot forward and be a daily missionary. In the words of Dan Millman, “The time is now, the place is here.”

President Dow Wilson set me apart and a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve for a period of 2 years in the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at our home.

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