Without question, the first thing that popped into my mind was family. And I'm not just saying that because I am writing you. Seriously, you mean the world to me! Heavenly Father knew I needed all of you. I need your teasing, I need your hugs, I need your laughs and smiles, I need your words of encouragement. I need every single part of each of you that has helped me become who I am today. Most importantly, thank you so much for loving me.
"For a wise and glorious purpose, thou hast placed me here on earth..."
Heavenly Father has been blessing us in finding a lot of people to teach. I want to tell you about a couple of them:
H.R. (ya, that is his first name) is a Marine that the other missionaries referred us to. He works with a Marine who is Mormon, and before he was deployed to Japan, he took the missionary discussions, but he was not interested. He has been back for a few months and is really interested in the Church and has accepted a baptismal date for October 29th, and is so excited to be baptized. I can't believe the change in him. It is so amazing what this Gospel does for people!
Kerry is a friend of Michael's (our investigator that can't get baptized yet). She comes from a broken home, and has had a rough life, but every time we meet with her, she can't stop talking about the peace she feels. It is such a testimony to me, hearing people who do not know what the Holy Ghost is, talk about it. More and more I am reminded that we are not teaching these people. We are reminding them of who they are — of their divine worth and the potential they have. How could anyone forget living in the prescence of God? They can't. I am so grateful for the tender mercy of Heavenly Father sending the spirit to touch our hearts and remind us of where we came from and who we can become. Those moments are priceless.
Archie is a referral from the Elders. His mom and sister were baptized a year ago, and he never wanted to "barge in" on their lessons, so he has no idea what they believe, but as he has been learning about the love Heavenly Father has for us by restoring His Church here on the earth, and as he has been reading the Book of Mormon, his heart has been changing and he wants to find out if what we are teaching is true.
I wanted to share a little bit about these people, because each of them came to find out about the church through an example of a friend or family member. (That could be and definitely is all of you!)
As I have been on my mission, I am learning more and more what God expects of me and what promises I made to Him in Heaven. Oh, how I wish I wouldn't have wasted so much precious time before my mission when I could have been lifting a burden, mending a heart, sharing the truth of this Gospel, giving a smile. Life on earth is the time to prepare to meet God — what better way to prepare to meet my Father than to follow the example of His son, Jesus Christ, and serve His children.
I have a quote in my journal from Elder Holland that I have been thinking about.
"I believe we have all been created for greater things than we can comprehend. The times call for great things, but great things in the noblest and most redemptive sense are predicated upon tolerance, love, respect, understanding, dignity, prayer and God."
I want anyone reading these words to know that I add my testimony to that of Elder Holland's. You are created for great things. You have divine worth. Don't hold back the love that God has given you — go share it with the world!
I know this letter is a short one this week. I'm really sorry, I just am kind of at a stupor of thought. I don't know what to share with you, which has not happened before because usually I put you through reading long letters of which I'm sure most of it is boring. Is there anything you want to know about? Sometimes I get into the missionary groove and forget that you might have questions or curiosities. Let me know, I would be happy to share. For now, just know that I love ya. I'm doing well, and trying my best to move the work forward.
Love you all. Thank you for your prayers.