Monday, December 2, 2013

Sadness and Joy

So this is my profession for these two years. I am here on the mission to spread the gospel to those who feel a lack of Christ´s love. I hope all of you can get a little of the next paragraph. É o Seguinte. It is the following. I received the news that one of my favorite Sunday School teachers passed away this past week. I don't know what to say other than I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. There isn't anything else that keeps me going so strong every day. At times the reality of the world can get to me, of course. Dedication to our Heavenly Father is key in the process of overcoming the mountains that seem to just appear in our life. The other day I was explaining how I overcame the loss of my father when I was 16 years old. I had the foundation to call upon...the study of scripture and the culture of heart-felt prayer, but I never put all of my most well-tuned instruments to work. I used the analogy of a captain that had studied and studied and studied the art of warfare but had never left the port to go to war. He was the top of his class, always the first to respond the hardest of questions but even he had never set foot on the great man of war. As he encountered his first battle, the strategy of success was not his first instinct. Like us, sometimes we don't turn back to what we know and feel the most -- God. He started to panic as the canon balls slammed into the helm and he started to call upon others. But people fail sometimes. The captain then remembered that he had a foundation of studies and battle tactics that were engraven into his mind since he was a young man in officer training. But those plans had never been placed into practice. As he remembered and called upon God to help him remember all  of his hard study, he managed to overcome the enemy and help others along the way because of his knowledge. The sails started to receive the wind correctly and the captain started to navigate. As a 20-year-old missionary I don't have a lot of experience with life but I have learned a couple of things on the mission. We are not alone. Never ever, and never ever again. When I heard that my dear friend Connie Tippits had passed on, my first reaction was to pray to God to help everyone back at home. The feelings of comfort came over me again. It was like reliving the first time I prayed to my Heavenly Father to know if I could really see my dad again. The feeling of joy came over me and I just came home. I was nearly in his presence. And I cannot deny it. There are some things that are hard to believe in this life. Some people do not believe in God. I know He exists because I have felt him next to me in the times when I needed him most. But I know for a surety that I will see my dear friend once again and that she is in a place where she can grow and be free from the heartaches of this world. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he knows every single one of us. He died in our place so that we wouldn't have to bear these spiritual and physical pains forever. Hey, everyone at home -- remember this:

Doctrine and Covenants 121:1-8

O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
 2 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
 Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?
 O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.
 Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword avenge us of our wrongs.
 Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.
 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Elder Forsyth
p.s.  You are in my prayers!

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