Jan. 17, 2011
24 months. A new langauge, country, and culture.Serving the Lord for 24/7. People swearing as you pass by, being spit on, doors slammed in the face. The joy felt when an investigator and their family decides to be baptized, and then after a year of constant effort, is sealed as an eternal family. The sadness when an investigator doesn't keep their commitments. The sweat and pain that comes from walking the streets of the biggest city in the world for two years. The smile on their faces as they leave the baptismal font. Working until 9:00 even when the members offer to take you home early, and then finding a whole family that will progress in the gospel. Coming to know Christ and His Atonement as you testify to everyone that He lives, and that He is our Savior and Redeemer.
These are some of the many feelings that a missionary feels. What I have done over these (almost) past 2 years has been the hardest, most rewarding, difficult, joyful, sweaty, painful, exciting, fun, growing experience of my life. I absolutely cannot describe the many, many lessons I have learned as a missionary. I can say though, that this is the Lord's work. That I know without a single doubt that He lives, and that we are nothing without Him. I know that I desire to serve Him all my life, and give Him everything I am. I have grown to love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and feel that I cannot go a day without reading from the Book of Mormon.
I love the Mexican people. I love their devotness and love they feel for our Savior. Even those who are not members know that they can't do it without Him. They desire to help their fellowman and have the sincere desire to become more like our Savior. As my companions and I have labored to find those who will not harden their hearts, but listen to the message of the restored gospel, I have seen miracles take place. I testify that miracles happen. When we have faith and show the Lord that faith by acting, that is when the miracle happens.
I know that if we don't share this wonderful and glorious gospel with all the people that we can, we will remember it in the last day. I know that as we open our mouth, the Lord fills it. There are so many that are desperate and searching for the truth, but don't know where to find it. I have heard investigators and converts testify that before they heard of the restored gospel, they felt a "hueco", a hole, or space inside of them. As tears fill their eyes, they smile and say they don't feel that anymore. There are so many who need what we have. I know they're out there.
I know that as we're diligent, the Lord gives us everything we could ever need in this life. This usually comes when we know it is hard, and we strive just a little bit more to give Him all we've got. Then the blessings come. I have been called to serve for 24 months. Not 23 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days. I am going to complete what the Lord has called me to do. And, as President Hicken says, there is no break at the end. The Lord will keep on requiring more and more of us.
I testify as a representative of Christ, that He lives. I testify that as we come to serve the Lord with all our souls, we can become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that the work of the Lord will continue to go on . As Joseph Smith said, “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; … the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
I love this work. I love our Heavenly Father. I love His children and desire to serve them all my life. May we all strive to find those who need these gospel truths, and be bold as we share it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.