"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
--Ether 12:4

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Had to Do

Hola Familia y Amigos,

Well I am off to the office and other things---I have no idea what will go on but imagine an interview and dinner, etc.  This week has been AWESOME and full of miracles and tender mercies and my heart is SO full of gratitude and love for my Savior and His love for me and this work and the people here.

I have been in a trio since Wednesday with Hna Diez and Hna Welch!!!!  We knew we would be comps someday :) Hna Welch stays here, Hna Diez has transfers and that was way hard for her but I know it's all according to the Lord and His will.

I've been in and out of feeling like this is all a lie, and I don't believe it, and then bawling because it hits me at random times and my heart breaks into a million pieces.
But before I wanted to go, I wanted to express a final testimony.  And this is the final testimony that I give as a representative of Jesus Christ on the earth.  He lives.  He knows us and loves us.  I have come to know my Savior and my Lord and God and see how they work and how their mercy and love extends to me at all times.  I have come to fully trust them and their will and rely fully on them for everything in my life.  I KNOW that Jesus Christ lives.  He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my best friend, my comfort and guidance and I love love love learning about His doctrine every day and trying to apply it to my life.  I KNOW that this is the true church.  There isn't another with the Priesthood authority of God and I know the miracles and importance of the priesthood.  I know that we have a living prophet here on earth today to lead and guide us.  I know that families can be together forever.  What a blessing and a miracle!!  I know the meaning of true repentance and forgiveness and what it means to apply the Atonement in my life.  I know that by giving Heavenly Father our hearts and will, we give Him all, and our lives are blessed beyond measure.  I know that charity is a true gift and attribute of Christ and that He will help us develop His attributes to become like Him.  That is our potential.  We can become like Him!  Missionary work is real life.  Many people say I am going back to real life, but missionary work and temple work---that is real life.  That is what it is all about.  True joy comes from sharing the gospel.  I know what it is to share my heart and soul with strangers.  I know that without the influence of the Spirit, we can't make decisions, but with the Spirit, we have success and help not only ourselves but everyone else around us.  I know that we can be a light to the world and share love and happiness with everyone we meet.  This gospel brings true happiness!!!!  This is the truth.  The Book of Mormon is true.  Christ lives and wants to bless us.  Obedience is the key to every blessing we receive, and enduring to the end with faith will be the challenge of a lifetime but ultimately the one thing that brings us eternal life and salvation.

What a miracle and privilege for me it has been to serve in Ecuador, love, and grow.  It was never a sacrifice---it is a privilege.  How blessed I feel.  For as much as people think we give when we serve, we always end up leaving much more blessed, and that is how I feel.  I received WAY more than what I could give.  I am my best convert.  I have grown to know my Savior.  I have tried every single day to be better and more diligent and give the Lord my heart.  He blesses us when we do that.

Thank you for being here every step of the way.  It's hard putting a mission into words.  I can't do it justice.  But this has been the best decision I have ever made in my life and leaving is without a doubt, the hardest most heart-breaking and painful thing I have ever done.
But that's when all these lessons learned and spiritual strength found in the mission come in handy, right?  It's time to put it all into practice :)

I love you so much.  Thank you.  The church is true.  What a miracle.

Representative of Christ and missionary July 2011-December 2012

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