Just this morning we woke up early and headed up a trail to Sunset Peak with Brother Bentley, Brother Steimle, Brother Lefler, his daughter, and Brother Bentley's father-in-law. It was a great hike and spending time with them was perfect. It made it probably a little harder on me to say goodbye, but it was great. I am so thankful they were wanting to do this! I enjoyed walking that trail and chatting. I see these members as friends that became family and I wish I could have more time to spend with them. Being busy with missionary work made that harder, but we still found time.
Well hmmm... these two years.. I am not sure what to say or how to put it in words.
It was a time that I will think a lot about. Many things that I may wish that I did differently but I am grateful I was able to learn through those. I was able to learn on how to rely on God more and help others to understand that as well. It was a learning process for me and all those who listened. God allowed our wheels to spin and we could learn. I had a lot of ideas of what I wanted to happen while I was out here, amazing things to take place, and big miracles to occur. Not many of those happened, well as I thought, but what happened was what was needed. It was grand.
I think the most important thing, and what I will hold most dear, is the testimony I have of Heavenly Father and of Jesus Christ. That they live and that they Love us. That they are eternal and I can have a personal relationship with them. That love I came to understand more while I was out here.
It came something I desire in my life and in my heart. It is what I would love my life to be filled with. The Love of God is real. I believe I have seen Him in the workings of my life. I didn't notice it all the time but looking back it was there.
Sometimes I get asked why I was sent out here on my mission, I usually respond that I am not sure but there is a good chance that God needed me here to help some people and do some good. That is a hard question to answer because I just have faith that it is the right thing to do and I trust that it was by inspiration I was sent here. I feel that a lot of the time you just got to go for it. That's it, that you just got to go with your gut and if it feels right then do it.
God has given us our free will and He lets us acts for ourselves. I don't think it is necessary for Him to prompt me to help someone because it is what He already wants. Early on my mission and still now I will think "should I go help that person? Should I say that?" I despise that should word. Yes, do it! God loves all those we see each day, that is my what I strongly believe. When there is less questioning going on about whether we should or shouldn't and just doing, I believe that is when we are looking to Jesus Christ as our example.
I learned there is no set of rules on how we should serve or love. Do what is right and know He will help you. I know that God gives us personal revelation and will guide us if we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit. I have learned that when I have Him on my mind, I am thinking of what He would do. it becomes easier and more desirable to serve. It becomes easier to be obedient to God. It is easier to be happy. The Holy Ghost will be with me and making sure I have what I need to make sure what needs to get done gets done.
When I choose that I will use Christ as my guide or mark of the target, life is more fulfilling. President Hawks has really taught that principle and it is something I love. When Christ is our target then we don't have to question what we do is right or wrong because He will lead us to what is best. His Gospel is what I love to live. It is what I love to share. It truly will bring us the peace and joy in life. I think of the times when I felt most happy or thrilled with what I was doing. It was when I was fully focused on the Gospel and allowing to be in everything.
I hear a lot that when you have a goal in life and you are doing it, you will feel happier and more satisfied with life. I have set and worked on a lot goals in my mission. It was satisfying accomplishing them and I was happy, but as I live the principles of the Gospel, I cannot contain my happiness it is so great.
I love in the Book of Mormon the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi people. It shares about how when they were converted to the Lord that they put away their weapons of war, they lived and engulfed into what they had just added to their lives. They were willing to stick true to what they were converted to even if it meant death because they didn't even fear it. They lived their lives by example. Our example is the best way we can spread the Gospel. Even when their lives were being destroyed, they stayed true to their God. By that act, which is incredible to me, they changed other's lives too. They could not be destroyed because they loved and lived for their God.
I hope and pray that my life and those I met out here will always live to serve God. I pray that we may all be able to stay true to our Father in Heaven and know where the riches are found. That is why I love the scripture in Mark. It is a humbling scripture and reminds me of where I put my riches and my attitude to God. I have found happiness in giving up some of my riches now and following Christ. I still have more to give and more to learn but I love that the Lord keeps us progressing.
I am not sure if I am making sense but all the little thoughts that come to me I type up. I cannot put into words what I feel or think, I just can only cherish it. This experience has been amazing. I will miss it deeply and those that I was blessed to serve. It honestly hurts a lot to say goodbye to them. There have been people that I look up to greatly here and mean a lot to me. Today was rough saying goodbye to a couple members that I look up to greatly. What I love most about them is that I can see that they live the Gospel and the blessings of it. Their examples are really powerful to me.
To sum all of my little thoughts up is that I know that God is part of our daily lives. He will always help us no matter who we are or where we are. When we allow ourselves to accept Him, the tender mercies come out. Our eyes are opened to understanding and out gratitude is magnified. I imagine when one of His children turn their hearts to Him or even back to Him, His joy is magnificent. I feel it when I see that occur and I don't think my body could comprehend what He must feel. This Gospel is of God and I know it to be true. I firmly believe and have faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Redeemer. I have experienced the power of His Atonement and Priesthood. It is amazing. I love Him and my Heavenly Father. All of this puts a smile on my face and makes me grateful beyond measure.
I hope I made a little bit of sense in my rant.
I am very grateful for this time and the people I met. I will miss them a lot. I learned through them and pray they learned something too :)
See everyone in a few days. Wow, that is still weird to think.
Loves (for the last time from email in HK)