You guys…. this is it. I don’t know how many emails it’s been, but I do know it has been 18 months. And these last 18 months have been the best ever. But before getting into that, first you guys.
Mom I am so happy I was able to moved! It’s 5 million times better, we even sleep better! It’s amazing. Conference with President was amazing, he said a lot of great things and General Conference was amazing too, I prayed for answers and I got so many answers. I am so prepared! I am so happy! When they spoke in Spanish (because the English listeners get banished to a tiny room to watch it in English) we all ran to the Sacrament room to hear it in Spanish. 5 million times better! He’s saying the words the way he wants them and not as the translator says them! It’s super chevere. I am doing great for the most part, I am super tired, but it’s normal, and everyone is doing great. I feel like we kind of slacked off because we were moving, but we’re jumping right back on it! Kake!!! Keep reading this email until the end and I’m going to tell you something (really I’m going to tell everyone, but it’s for you) and I think it’s going to help so much! Zach I am super proud of you, for the way you wear a fanny pack like nobody else (you’ll really fit in down here I promise) and the way you stand for your standards! YOU DO THAT! Ash I am super proud of you too! You are just too cute that I could not go without mentioning how much I love you! I love stupid question day! Ironically Hermana Routson and I were randomly trying to think of stupid questions this week, so thank you for the supply! NOE! I panicked when I heard about a Typhoon in Okinawa, and I prayed super hard and of course, the power of prayer really works, and I know that so many people were praying for you too and I was so relieved to see your email waiting for me in my inbox, it told me you were ok and that I would be able to see you again 🙂 That was super cute about the Down syndrome kid! I would have so sent him a card from Peru! That is too cute! And we’re basically family! TOO CUTE! I love the conference quotes, CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING! So glad to hear all is well with you guys and I can’t wait to see you in a week! AHHHHHHHHHHH! Ok to me really fast.
I thought a lot during this short time of writing this email what I wanted to say…. And I decided I didn’t want to talk about my week, but rather bear my testimony in this last email as a missionary. I want you all to know how much I have loved these 18 months. The good and the bad. The tears and the laughter. The hurt and the joy. Every bit of it has been worth it all. I cannot express my love for the changes and the things I have grown to know and to chance I have come so much closer to my Savior during these last 18 months. I know that there is no other way I could have done it without your support (yes those of you who are reading this), my family’s support, and the Savior’s support. I am so grateful to all of you and I want to thank my family so much for letting me leave them to go serve in a strange country for 18 months, not knowing how safe I would be, and for the prayers they sent my way every day and for their love and support in my life, since the beginning. If it wasn’t for them I would not be here having the best experience of life, becoming the person the Lord would have me be, and helping others to rise to their full potential. My family has been my biggest driving force on the mission, during my hard times and during those times when I needed it, thank you so much. I have always looked forward to your emails of encouragement and of love every week, but I can’t wait to have it face to face. Thank you so much for your great example to me, I am so grateful for that. I also want to thank you guys who are reading this. Thank you so much for the prayers, for the love, for helping my family when I couldn’t and for being great examples to me in all things.
I know this is the church of Christ, I know that with all my heart. It doesn’t matter what others say, it does not matter what others do, this will always be the true church and there is no changing that. I know that God loves us, we are His children and He loves us all so much. I cannot understand all the love that He has for us, but I do understand that His love is immense and will never change for us. I know that a mission changes lives. Not only the people you serve, but also your life. The mission is not about baptisms or the number of members you reactivated; it is not about the numbers. The most important thing about the mission is helping others to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him, through your example and actions and your service.
Baptism and reactivating is a way of helping others to fulfill that, but it is not a measure of success. We all succeed in different ways and when we let the mission to pass through us and not us through the mission and let those changes come, is when we really have success. The scriptures say “And if ye shall bring one soul unto me, how great thy joy shall be!” (Sorry if that’s not exact). That one soul is us. Like what was said in conference. You cannot help others if you are not fully converted first. We need to bring our one soul unto Him and afterwards others, and we are still promised joy beyond measure.
The mission is something that has changed my life forever and I will never forget the influence it has had on me. I have become so much closer to my Savior, my testimony has been so strengthened, and the gospel means so much to me. Before the gospel was something I knew I had to live, it was something that was a part of my life. Now it is something I HAVE to live, it is something I NEED in my life. We are promised that when we live the gospel and endure to the end, we are promised eternal life, but not just that, we are promised eternal life WITH our families. How great of a joy and blessing that is! To be with the ones we love forever and ever without end. And that is only possible through the atonement of Christ.
I still do not understand the atonement completely and I never expect to understand it completely, but now I understand how important it is to each of us. We are in such need of His atonement for us. Without it, we would be nothing. We could never live with our Beloved Father and Brother forever with our families without. It is through His atonement we are cleaned and it is through His atonement He can fully judge us on the day of judgment for the desires of our hearts and it is through His atonement that He understand every trial, temptation, and pain that we have ever felt, from the pain of a paper cut, to the loss of a loved one, to our own pain that we think only we can understand, because He understands it too. I am so grateful for the love and atonement of our Savior and for our loving Heavenly Father, who sacrificed His Son for us, so that we may live with Him forever.
Yo sé que este evangelio puede cambiar vidas. Ha cambiado mi vida en una manera yo nunca pensaba era posible. Yo sé que Dios ama cada uno de Sus hijos y este es porque Él mando Su Hijo al mundo para morir para nosotros, y porque tenemos un profeta hoy día. Sé que Thomas S. Monson es un profeta llamada por Dios, y cuando él habla, estamos escuchando las palabras de Nuestro Padre que nos ama. Yo sé estas cosas con todo de mi corazón. Digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, amén.
And I want to share this with all of you with all my love that I can give, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.