How’s it going, family? How has your week been? Have you been reading and praying?
I can't believe that I hit my halfway point in my mission this week! Chacho! That was the fastest 9 months of my life!! I can't believe that I left the house and was in the Dominican Republic only 9 months ago! Sometimes, it feels like that was just yesterday but then other days, it feels like a century ago. I have come so far in Spanish, in my testimony, and in my faith.
In this past 9 months, the biggest thing I have learned is that miracles do exist! This week, I was studying in Mormon. I absolutely love this chapter because it gives us hope it gives us the knowledge that we have faith in a God, we have faith for miracles. I love that it isn't just blessings but that we can make miracles come to pass in our every day lives.
“15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?
17 Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?
18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.”
How amazing is it to think that we can have these blessings just by having faith in the Lord God. I have really tried to focus on this. One of the biggest miracles is my companion. On Friday, she started to get the biggest blisters I have ever seen on her foot. She has about 5 or 6 on one foot. So, we had to walk a lot slower so she could try to limp to relieve the pressure. Wow, literally I feel like she is a miracle in herself. She not once did she say “lets go home and sleep” or she wanted to wait for her foot to get better. She kept on working. We, of course, needed to take short breaks but she keep on pushing us to keep up the work!
One big blessing is that the people that we had planned to teach that usually are never in their houses were actually there! We also had the opportunity to teach two different people that seem to live in the street.
Another thing that I learned in my 9 months is that without my mission, I don't think that I would ever be as strong in the gospel as I am now. I am so grateful for the less-actives I have taught for their help specifically. I have seen the missionaries that have fallen, I have seen the testimonies that weren't strong enough to face a trial, and I now have the knowledge that with Christ by my side, I can really conquer all. One of the recent converts here has really been the greatest example. From the start, he really looks like a scary dude. He has a horrible background with drugs, prison, and doesn't have a solid home to live in. But with all these trials, he is the one person that I see reading everyday for several hours in the Book of Mormon. He wants to share the gospel with others. He knows that if he was able to turn his life around that anyone else can too. It is that kind of faith that I have gained on my mission. I know that whatever trials lay ahead if you simply put your faith first, the Lord will ease the pain. I will and everyone else can come out triumph on the other side. Just like Mormon said in chapter 9 verses 13-14.
“13 And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.
14 And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.”
We can be happy forever! We can be with our families for the Eternities. We can choose to be happy. With all the different trials that come our way, if we just choose to be positive, choose to see the green hill on the other side, we will make it. Our eternal destiny is what we make of it. We really do need to choose this day who we will serve because if we choose Christ we can have the promise of eternal happiness. Mormon chapter 9 verses 21-30 states:
“21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
22 For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;
23 And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned;
24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;
25 And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.
26 And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.
27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things so ever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.
28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.
29 See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out.
30 Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words.”
I love the inspiring words that are in the Book of Mormon. Truly in these past months, I have gained a love for the scriptures. I have no doubt that with the words of the prophets that we can find peace, we can seek the good out of every situation and we have all the truth!
I love you all so much and hope that you choose this week to take the positives more then the negatives. Pick up the Book of Mormon again and start reading. It really is the answers to all the hardships you are facing. It has been the key to helping everyone gain a testimony, not only a testimony, but a conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ!!
Con Amor Siempre,