This letter is simple, but I know with all my heart that God loves us. Every night before I go to bed, I go out on our balcony and look up at the stars. The heavens are unfathomable, unending, multitudes upon multitudes, but how incredible is it that the One who created the universe, loves YOU? With a love that is unending, eternal and unconditional. Despite all that He has, His deepest desire is for us, His children, to return to Him again one day. I feel that love every time I look at the sky, or see the fruits of the gospel in my life and the lives of those around me. It confirms my testimony every day that this is the only way- there's no other way and I'm so grateful that I have this in my life.
We had a lesson with 'Alicia', the other night, and we were teaching about faith an repentance. I'm realizing more and more that this gospel is not just for us to be happy temporally and make great friends, this is much much deeper than that. It was so neat- here we were, two missionaries far from home and 3 teenagers that could be doing anything else that night, but here we were - talking about what we need to do in this life in order to live in eternal happiness FOREVER. We are not here on earth to have a mere human experience, we are here to prepare to live with God again. How beautiful is that??
I wish I could express the true feelings of my heart, but it's so hard to describe this peace. But I know there is no greater joy than trying to live the way the Savior would. My favorite scripture verse is 3 Nephi 27:27 which says "...what manner of men ought ye to be?...EVEN AS I AM." Before, when I first got out on the field, I was overwhelmed by all the tasks and lists on the mission...I was discouraged because my teaching and language skills weren't that great. But this week I've realized that as long as you love God and the Savior with all your heart, things will work out. You're living the Gospel!! What could go wrong?? We have His help and He will never leave us and there is no greater joy than this gospel, I promise you that. No matter how hard things are, how frustrating things might be or how much you just want to take a break and for the day, remembering the Savior and doing your best to serve Him with all your might will give you the capacity and the ability to do what He needs you to do.
I've also seen the way that the gospel blesses families. The families here in our area are incredible and the gospel is what makes it that way. Again, it's such a joy for me to see families coming together and talking about the gospel- about the plan for them to live together forever. And I'm realizing more and more the blessings of the gospel in my own family- both right now and in the future. I'm grateful for my parents and an incredible legacy of hardworking, faithful people. And I'm grateful for the promised blessings that will come to my future family because of the gospel and my mission. What a great life we have!!!
An update on our 'golden' family:) They are amazing. I love them so much. Our ward mission leader gave them DVDs of the stories of the early Church and they watch them every night before they go to sleep. Before, we weren't sure about their dad's desire to be baptized, but we had a lesson with them the other night, and he is awesome! He's got it! Before he wasn't really reading the Book of Mormon even though we talked about it a lot and just wasn't 'on fire', but something happened, and it sure wasn't us! He is so full of light and he read the Book of Mormon! And even more than we had assigned him! And the kids are great too- one of them was reading the Book of Mormon at school and one of his friends asked what he was doing so he explained and testified about it, and now that friend wants a Book of Mormon! :)
I am so grateful for this chance to serve. This is not about me, and the happiness I feel isn't even for me- it's gratitude for the privilege to serve God and build the Church and to talk about Christ and help others come unto Him. Wow:)
Love you all!!! :) Remember God loves you!