Monday, July 7, 2014

Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad

JULY! I cannot believe it is already July. Today I was counting on my hand how many months we have already past in the year, and it is SEVEN. SEVEN MONTHS have already passed, and here I am HALFWAY with my mission. What has happened?!? Suddenly I have no desire to ever end my mission and just want to hang out here in Honduras forever, eating baleadas and pollo con tajadas. 

This week we had eight investigators in church! Seriously it is higher than I ever imagined. I was in awe as more and more kept trickling in. And, one of our families who haven´t come to church for probably a year came yesterday! I was pretty much freaking out with joy and happiness. I have to say these moments make up for it when you pass by for people before church, and suddenly they are ¨going to go wash clothes¨or she told me to tell you that she is sleeping. What was amazing was that the wife of a member came to church. He is super inactive, but we have been visiting them when we can find them. On Saturday we went and they told us they weren´t coming to church because they were going to go grocery shopping. Suddenly we started trying to explain all of the blessings of the church and why they should come. At the end the husband told us that they were going to come. He didn´t come, but amazingly she chose to come with her daughter. So awesome! Also one of our youth that we were ready to stop visiting came (Finally!).
This past Sunday we did a fast as a mission to be able to find the Lord´s chosen and to have more baptisms as a mission, especially as the Lord is hastening his work. I truly believe the Lord answered our fast quickly as he prompted and helped people to come to church!
This week I suddenly realized something. It is no longer hard for me to study for an hour personally and for an hour with my companion. I love it. I look forward to it. The rules that used to be so hard and annoying to obey have suddenly become easy and non important. I have truly seen the blessings that come as we are obedient, even when we do not understandy the reason why we need to be obedient. Suddenly I think of my Savior and my Heavenly Father, and how I do not want to dissapoint them. I do not want to ever look in the eyes of my Father and see dissapointment or sadness. Rather, I want him to look at me with joy for everything I have done. I have made a new goal for the last half of my mission, to truly come to know my Father and my Savior. I want to say that I truly know them. This verse struck me so hard the other day when I read it, ¨This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he...¨ (D&C 132:24). We can start our eternal life here if we know God and Jesus Christ. And truly, I know that we can know them if we choose to draw near unto them.
In honor of yesterday when it was Fast Sunday, I want to bear my testimony that I know God lives! I have felt his presence so strongly in my life. I know my brother, Jesus Christ, is my Savior and redeemer, and that through him, I can become perfected. I know that only through this gospel can we be truly happy and feel the joy of the Heavens. I know that as we draw nearer unto them, our lives will be filled with joy. I know Joseph Smith prayed and saw God the father and his son, Jesus Christ, and that later he received all of the keys and ordiances of the gospel. I know President Monson is our prophet, and that he leads the church under the direction of none other than our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and this is a gospel of joy! 
I love these words from Joseph Smith in section 128

 22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and beexceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was,that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.
 23 Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills,flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars singtogether, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear fromheaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!
 24 Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and likefuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord anoffering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in hisholy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.
This one is a huge butterfly we found outside our apartment.

This one is my companion and I doing service. We moved all of these blocks (yes, my arms are sore today)!

This one is when we were eating today for lunch.
The BIGGEST BALEADAS in the Worrrrrld

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