Wednesday, October 1, 2014

(545) FOR OUR JOY IS FULL

                                          29 Sep 2014

Alma 26:

1 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we astarted from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?

 13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of ahell; and they are brought to bsing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?

 16 Therefore, let us aglory, yea, we will bglory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his cmercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

 30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our ajoy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

 35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apower, ball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmerciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

 36 Now if this is aboasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a bbranch of the tree of Israel, and has been clost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, dwanderers in a strange land.

 37 Now my brethren, we see that God is amindful of every bpeople, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

            I wish I could put it all into words. There is nothing to describe how it feels. How it feels to hear someone pray for the first time in their life. How it feels to walk into a baptismal service. How it feels to not only be a part of someone's conversion, but six months later see them the day they get their patriarchal blessing. To see a family for the first time in six months at their children's baptism, preparing to enter into the temple and be sealed together forever. When a less-active member walks into church for the first time in years and is swarmed by members who have missed them.
            I wish you could experience it all. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church of Jesus Christ back on the earth. I promise that it's worth it. Reading the Book of Mormon, going to church, saying family prayers....it's all worth it. I've seen enough broken families, broken hearts, broken lives to know that the only true source of peace in this world comes from faithful obedience to covenants made with God, through his priesthood authority that is back on the earth. Jesus Christ lives, He is real, and He loves you. It's never too late to start over and to change what you don't like about yourself, your weaknesses, your sins. The Lord doesn't expect perfection-- just progress. When in doubt, ask the missionaries. Their only reward for their service is seeing someone come closer to Christ. There is so much good in this world, so much light, but there is only one church that's been organized by Jesus Christ and I promise you that this is it. If you have any doubts, get on your knees and ask God. He always answers.
            We definitely went out with a bang this week....full of broken down Malibu's...loaner trucks from the Chevy dealer...ceremonially destroying the sister missionary shoes...crazy contacting adventures...If you are even considering serving a mission, go for it. Just do it. I've never had so much fun in my life. It's taught me that true happiness comes from living the commandments. Missionaries have the most rules of anyone that they are expected to live and I haven't missed a thing from the world. No movie, tv show, music, job, class, can even match one day as a missionary. You learn more about yourself from three weeks with a companion than you did your whole childhood. What I've really learned is that the hardest part of the Atonement wasn't the suffering in the garden-- it was every day of the Savior's life, when he had the choice to choose the right, every moment of every day. And He did it. All for us. If we only loved ourselves as much as the Savior loves us...would we do good? share the gospel? be obedient? If we truly loved our souls, we would.
            I love all of you so much. Thank you to everyone who sent letters, packages, prayers, anything my way this past year and a half. It means everything to a missionary. The only way I can think to give back is to lend you my testimony. If you struggle with your faith, please lean on mine. I know that God is real and he will help you through anything. Please have the faith to ask Him for help, ask Him if he's there, because I know He will respond.

Obrigada por tudo; que Deus vos guarde!