sorry for not sending a long email last week…i didnt have time to write a long one!
again the FACEBOOK page for my cute mission is
misión nicaragua managua norte
so the past 2 weeks have been pretty crazy!
hermana cole and i have met and talked to a range of people:
missionaries people from england
and every conversation has been pretty interesting.
out of all these conversations…the thing that stood out most to me was that…
Heavenly Father loves us so very much.
He loved us so much that he gave us this life as an oportunity to be just like him.
and he loved us so much to create a PERFECT plan: a plan of happiness.
and in that plan, he decided to give his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS CHRIST, to atone for the sins of the world, in order for us to return and live in the presence of Him bc no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of Him.
And what do we need in order to make it through this life…
The Holy Ghost
The Pure and Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ.
if we want to receive all the blessings, our Heavenly Father has for us, we NEED the Gospel.
if we want to overcome the things of the world and receive Exaltation, we NEED the Gospel.
how much i feel the Savior’s love when i contact a person and say,
“I am a representative of Christ and His Gospel. I am here to bring you a message of faith and hope that Christ has His Church, which is the ONLY TRUE CHURCH upon the earth. The name of his church is The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints.”
pretty bold, huh?
but my dear loved ones…..it is true.
i know it.
one thing that i have also been thinking about is that as members of the church, we are a family.
i visited a little old lady this week and she told me how no one visits her…..i couldnt help but get a little teary eyed as i told her…its okay, i will visit you every week!
i just want to say how important it is to visit people. show people that you are thinking about them and love them. we need to develop christlike attributes…especially CHARITY. if we dont have charity…we dont have anything. CHARITY IS THE PURE LOVE OF CHRIST. without charity and service, we dont have love for others and if we dont have love for others, we dont have love for christ.
and the last thing i want to share is a talk from president holland
THE COST AND BLESSINGS OF DISCIPLESHIP
President Monson, we love you. You have given your heart and your healthto every calling the Lord has ever given you, especially the sacred officeyou now hold. This entire Church thanks you for your steadfast serviceand for your unfailing devotion to duty.
With admiration and encouragement for everyone who will need to remainsteadfast in these latter days, I say to all and especially the youth of theChurch that if you haven’t already, you will one day find yourself calledupon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abusesimply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on yourpart.
For example, a sister missionary recently wrote to me: “My companion andI saw a man sitting on a bench in the town square eating his lunch. As wedrew near, he looked up and saw our missionary name tags. With a terriblelook in his eye, he jumped up and raised his hand to hit me. I ducked justin time, only to have him spit his food all over me and start swearing themost horrible things at us. We walked away saying nothing. I tried to wipethe food off of my face, only to feel a clump of mashed potato hit me inthe back of the head. Sometimes it is hard being a missionary becauseright then I wanted to go back, grab that little man, and say, ‘EXCUSE ME!’But I didn’t.”
To this devoted missionary I say, dear child, you have in your own humbleway stepped into a circle of very distinguished women and men who have,as the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob said, “view[ed Christ’s] death, andsuffer[ed] his cross and [borne] the shame of the world.”1
Indeed, of Jesus Himself, Jacob’s brother Nephi wrote: “And the world,because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught;wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, andhe suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of hisloving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.”2
In keeping with the Savior’s own experience, there has been a long historyof rejection and a painfully high price paid by prophets and apostles,missionaries and members in every generation—all those who have triedto honor God’s call to lift the human family to “a more excellent way.”3
“And what shall I more say [of them]?” the writer of the book of Hebrewsasks.
“[They] who … stopped the mouths of lions,
“Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, … waxedvaliant in fight, turned [armies] to flight …
“[Saw] their dead raised to life [while] others were tortured, …
“And … had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, … of bonds andimprisonment:
“They were stoned, … were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain withthe sword: … wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; beingdestitute, afflicted, [and] tormented;
“([They] of whom the world was not worthy:) … wandered in deserts, andin mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”4
Surely the angels of heaven wept as they recorded this cost of discipleshipin a world that is often hostile to the commandments of God. The SaviorHimself shed His own tears over those who for hundreds of years hadbeen rejected and slain in His service. And now He was being rejected andabout to be slain.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” Jesus cried, “thou that killest the prophets, andstonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gatheredthy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under herwings, and ye would not!
“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”5
And therein lies a message for every young man and young woman in thisChurch. You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral standin high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherishedbeliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimesridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because thealternative is to have our “houses” left unto us “desolate”—desolateindividuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolatenations.
So here we have the burden of those called to bear the messianicmessage. In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on(that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these samemessengers are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just toweep (that is the painful part of discipleship). They know full well that theroad leading to the promised land “flowing with milk and honey”6 ofnecessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with “thou shalts” and “thoushalt nots.”7
Unfortunately, messengers of divinely mandated commandments are oftenno more popular today than they were anciently, as at least two spit-upon, potato-spattered sister missionaries can now attest. Hate is an uglyword, yet there are those today who would say with the corrupt Ahab, “Ihate [the prophet Micaiah]; for he never prophesied good unto me, butalways [prophesied] evil.”8 That kind of hate for a prophet’s honesty costAbinadi his life. As he said to King Noah: “Because I have told you thetruth ye are angry with me. … Because I have spoken the word of God yehave judged me that I am mad”9 or, we might add, provincial, patriarchal,bigoted, unkind, narrow, outmoded, and elderly.
It is as the Lord Himself lamented to the prophet Isaiah:
“[These] children … will not hear the law of the Lord:
“[They] say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not untous right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
“Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One ofIsrael to cease from before us.”10
Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that ifpeople want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do notdemand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rockthe boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make usgiggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.11
Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes—and thisseems the greatest irony of all—these folks invoke the name of Jesus asone who was this kind of “comfortable” God. Really? He who said not onlyshould we not break commandments, but we should not even think aboutbreaking them. And if we do think about breaking them, we have alreadybroken them in our heart. Does that sound like “comfortable” doctrine,easy on the ear and popular down at the village love-in?
And what of those who just want to look at sin or touch it from adistance? Jesus said with a flash, if your eye offends you, pluck it out. Ifyour hand offends you, cut it off.12 “I came not to [bring] peace, but asword,”13 He warned those who thought He spoke only soothingplatitudes. No wonder that, sermon after sermon, the local communities“pray[ed] him to depart out of their coasts.”14 No wonder, miracle aftermiracle, His power was attributed not to God but to the devil.15 It isobvious that the bumper sticker question “What would Jesus do?” will notalways bring a popular response.
At the zenith of His mortal ministry, Jesus said, “Love one another, as Ihave loved you.”16 To make certain they understood exactly what kind oflove that was, He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”17 and“whosoever … shall break one of [the] least commandments, and shallteach men so, he shall be … the least in the kingdom of heaven.”18Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet in part becauserighteousness was always supposed to accompany it. So if love is to beour watchword, as it must be, then by the word of Him who is lovepersonified, we must forsake transgression and any hint of advocacy for itin others. Jesus clearly understood what many in our modern culture seemto forget: that there is a crucial difference between the commandment toforgive sin (which He had an infinite capacity to do) and the warningagainst condoning it (which He never ever did even once).
Friends, especially my young friends, take heart. Pure Christlike loveflowing from true righteousness can change the world. I testify that thetrue and living gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth and you are membersof His true and living Church, trying to share it. I bear witness of thatgospel and that Church, with a particular witness of restored priesthoodkeys which unlock the power and efficacy of saving ordinances. I am morecertain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances areonce again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-daySaints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpit and you sit beforeme in this conference.
Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live itat all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defendthem. A long history of inspired voices, including those you will hear inthis conference and the voice you just heard in the person of PresidentThomas S. Monson, point you toward the path of Christian discipleship. Itis a strait path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude atsome points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully traveled, “with …steadfastness in Christ, … a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of Godand of all men.”19 In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forgeunshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, evenshafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of ourRedeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, youcannot fall.20