Dearest, strongest, most faithful family,
Thank you for your informative email!
This is the email I sent to Dad, and after reading your email I decided I could send it to you as well.
What a joy it is to hear how great things the Lord is working and doing in all of our lives through seemingly small and simple means Alma 37:6-7. This is a scripture we have been sharing with many families in the ward who are a little shy or nervous to share their testimonies with non member friends and family.
I really appreciate your long email! This was so great to read and to get a better picture and feeling of what is going on at home.
Andrew is one of my hugest heroes and best friends on this entire earth! I pray for him every day and I just desire the opportunity to be able to build him up to be the greatest missionary there has ever been whom the Lord needs in His vineyard! I know without a doubt that Andrew has such an incredible calling to fulfill. That is why there is so much opposition to his growth.
Just like Joseph Smith was just a 14 year old boy without money or influence, yet men and women of both money and high position and influence in the world felt threatened by him and therefore heavily, and cruelly persecuted and fought him and his simple, pure testimony. That is one reason that I know without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church on the earth today and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet called of God. If there weren’t any truth to this church/gospel and to what Joseph Smith says he saw, there would be little, if any force against it. I know that Joseph Smith is not a liar. I know that he saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is the only way back to our Father in Heaven and that we will all live again with Him, the question is How.
I pray that we will all continually, consistently strive to live worthy and study to increase our understanding and seek and follow the will of the Lord, giving ours to Him. That thereby we may win the prize, which is eternal life with our family!
I’m sorry that this email is a little bit all over the place.
Mom, I am so pleased to hear about your experience with Sister D., what a tender mercy of the Lord! He truly does loves His children and is so aware of their desires and their needs. I love how He uses those of His children whom He knows he can trust to reach out to those who need to feel that He is aware of and loves them. Thank you for teaching me to be available to the Lord as you are!
I know that the Lord is aware of our situation and that He will continue to look after y’all while I can’t be there in the way that I wish I could be. Y’all are my whole world!
Oh, did y’all get my email?! Hey that is so crazy that I am only about 2 hours south of Aunt Elsie! I have been wondering how they are all doing.
Can I just say what an incredible family I have!? Y’all are all my heroes, for real! I look up to all y’all and strive to be more like y’all each and e’ry day! I decided when I get home, I’mma dedicate one day to each of y’all, just catching up. Y’all are my very best friends and I am excited for all the fabulous things y’all are doing and how y’all are influencing each part of the world that y’all are in!! How incredible to see how the Lord is using each of us to be beacons to others who don’t know (fully) His love and His plan for them….. yet. Let’s go get’em 😉
Zone Conference was so inspired, as usual. The spirit really touched my heart and taught me some very important things. Probably the loudest message I got though, was feeling love from my Father in Heaven and encouragement to continue doing and being what and who He needs me to be.
ENDURANCE. This is the real test of life. We were taught before we came and we are taught while we are here and the real test is if we will cling to the truth and the way we have been shown how to live, or if we will forsake or abandon and flounder around because we are proud. Truly, the only thing we can give to Heavenly Father that is really ours, is our will just like you said in Zone conference. I know from experience that the more I give my will to my Father and follow humbly, trusting Him completely, the more peace and hope and joy I have in my life and the better able to cope with each situation or curve ball that is thrown at me. This is what the gospel of Jesus Christ has done for me in my life. The knowledge of the Restored gospel allows me to be flexible and resilient to the storms and waves and winds that beat upon me. The more I can flow with them, trusting in God, the less injury or damage is actually done to me and I actually become stronger.
I am sorry if you have ever felt worried about me. I have striven to be a giver and not a taker. I know that I am here to serve, not to be served just as the Savior came to minister, not to be ministered unto. I want you to know that you do not have to worry about me. Yes, I get exhausted faster and easier than my companion, but it mattereth not, because the Lord sustains me and He has taught me how to ENDURE WELL.
Any struggles I go though are to make me stronger and to prepare me for the future. How can I be the wife and mother that I envision myself to be in the future if I can’t endure well what I have been given to experience now? This is a question I ask almost every day. My vision is to become a stripling warrior mother who can raise champions for the Lord, who can lift others burdens and comfort everyone who needs help from me.
Thank you for teaching me how to keep moving forward in faith and hope. The future is bright and God is so righteous! His perfect love for me is incredible to me. I am not sure I will understand until I have children of my own, but I know that even then I will be very humbled at the notion that I have a Father who knows and loves me personally, who organized me and wants me to succeed and be happy and to become as He is! He cares more about where I am headed than where I have been and that is why repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ works!
In my personal studies, I found a new favorite chapter in 2nd Timothy. Verse 3 of the 2nd chapter says, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Then in verse 11, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:” and last but not least (that I will share with you in this letter) verse 19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Oh wait! Sorry, one more verse that I wanted to share. 2 Tim 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” This reminds me of the scripture mastery scripture, “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” I love the Lord with all of my heart and I am grateful for your example of love and gratitude for the Lord.
I want you to know that I am happy and the Lord is taking good care of me as I am giving Him my all every day. I go to bed simply exhausted with nothing left to give and I wake up in the morning ready to do it all again, thanking Him for the opportunity to waste and wear out my life in His service and the service of His children!
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim 2:3)
Love your relation,
A good soldier of Jesus Christ
P.S. Ha ha! Honestly, it is a little weird to think that Mark is home and dating already… I am very glad that he is dating lots of girls and that he is looking for a companion who has her priorities straight. I am so glad to hear that he is able to serve in and help the ward back home. I am not even going to recognize it when I get there, but I am way stoked to be able to serve in any and every way that I can!
It was kinda freaking me out how much this ward in Madison is like Utah, I wasn’t quite sure where I fit in because I don’t have to help them out as much as I have in all of my other areas, so now I am finding the balance and trying to continue to strengthen the relationship between missionaries and members (especially ward council) . I am sure that this is helping me with being able to adjust better when I get home as well as being able to serve to the best of my ability in the ward and stake in which I will reside in the future. Fun stuff.
Oh! Our apartment complex has a gym and we actually got to use it this morning because no one was in there. I worked my arms pretty good and it felt way good. Sister Downs and I go running almost every morning and then we do abs and I finally go to do some lifting today. I feel so good and the Lord is helping me!
Funny thing: I had the first guy ever hit on me this past Saturday, it was weird and I didn’t even realize what happened until my companion told me… way awkward, but that is what I live for right now. 😉
We also got by the grace of God, 4 new investigators today!
STEADFAST IN CHRIST