So, I didn’t get a letter off to you, Kacey, or anyone else for that matter, so I think I will continue on with the things I learned so far in my short time on the mission. These are the things I wish someone would’ve told me before, but I think I wouldn’t have understood until I got here and got out and about the world among the people.
3. Learn to love the scriptures. You probably think you do love the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, but let me tell you, you have no idea what it means to love the Book of Mormon until you testify of it every day. One of my favorite lessons we teach is to families, especially recent convert families who have gone inactive or missing in the last 6 months, is just the first verse in the Book of Mormon. The first verse says so much. It talks about the central role of the family, it talks about prophets and the need to have guidance from on high, and it also talks about the need to seek our own personal revelation. It is incredible to think about how Nephi wrote a seemingly little introduction to his words that has such veracity to our days. The Book of Mormon is so true, and if one professes to be Christian than they should not be afraid to open another testament of Jesus Christ and just give it a try. I am reading a blue copy of the Book of Mormon and highlighting all of the references to Jesus Christ and His names and what not all in red. Let me tell you, the Book looks like a severely embarrassed child with the chicken pox it is dripping with so many references to Christ. The Book is sooooooo true. So true!!! I know it to be true. Get to know it now, write it in the fleshy tablets of your heart.
4. Christ-like attributes are not just fun little things that we should try to work on, but a commandment. And if we truly want to be joint-heirs with Christ, we’d better be prepared to be like him and offer up a sacrifice like Abraham was asked to offer. Also, charity is number one. If we truly have charity in all that we do, then everything becomes a little easier. Repentance becomes more frequent and the commandments no longer are a burden, but a huge blessing.
As I get to this point in my letter, I have decided that perhaps you need to know what is going on right now in Ft. Lauderdale. It has been a very difficult transfer. I was sent into a very “sick” ward with some very wrong ideas about missionary work and how a missionary should act. (5. Be exactly obedient. It doesn’t just affect you, but everyone around you and those who will follow after you. Be obedient!!!!) So we have been trying to work as hard as possible to get the ward back on track. Complacency is such a strong way that Satan destroys the elect. It has been very difficult, but we are finally (FINALLY) seeing results. But our numbers have been really low. I was getting really worried and was thinking that I should just be transferred because I have not been doing something right. WRONG—the good things with the richest rewards take time. I finally saw that. We walked into another chapel last night, to teach a lesson to a member referral from the English ward, but the referral only speaks Spanish, and we felt the Spirit was soooo strong, almost like the temple. We came to the realization that what we want to accomplish in Hollywood Hills Ward is totally possible because the ward who meets in that chapel from last night was in our boat just 5 months ago. It just takes time. Change does not occur overnight. Great things are possible, and they are coming, we just have to wait and prime the pump.
How wonderful is the work of the Lord. Going on a mission is not a sacrifice, but a wonderful opportunity to learn how to be a better member of a family and a ward and a better daughter of God. It is so funny. No matter what we offer to the Lord He still gives us blessings. We will always be indebted to Him because He is always willing and ready to bless us. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes it feels like we are being left alone. Oh no, those are the times when we have to look a little bit harder, or a little bit deeper within ourselves to see the true miracles going on or taking place. That is when the Lord is gearing up, getting ready to show His power. It is like Isaiah said, quoting Christ—brilliant because then Christ quotes Isaiah, one eternal round kind of thing—“They may forget, yet I will not forget thee, O house of Israel.” He never forgets us because He has graven us upon the palms of His hands. His arms of mercy are extended towards us always. I know that. I can’t believe that I actually thought I would be ok without a mission. I can’t believe a lot of things, but I know that mission has caused me to awake and shake off the dust. The Lord is merciful and loving and kind and great and perfect and…the list is endless. But I just want you to know that I love you all. I love my God, and how grateful I am to be here now as a special witness, and selfishly, to gain these priceless experiences. Be good, all of you, so we can be a forever family in every sense of the word.
Love love love,
Ps—sorry for the lecture, but it is my testimony, and that is the best gift I have to offer.
Pps—I gave a talk on Sunday in Spanish. I felt good about it. The Spanish wasn’t the best but the spirit was there, that’s all you really need in a talk anyway. But, I thought you would like to know that.
Love love love,