Well everyone, this will be my second to last update, next week will be my last. Time is going by so fast….starting to get a little scared that I am actually going home. I feel sad, joy, happiness, anxiety all at once, but it is what it is! Had my final zone training and an interview with President Merrill. He asked me to bare my testimony so I did and he talked a lot about how joyful it is to see the growth I have experienced. We talked about my mission and what not but he said he will save a lot of it for my exit interview which will be on the 31st… crazy. So grateful for the mission president I was blessed with. He stood by me through the ups and downs and helped me become who I am today. He told me he is so happy to see me finishing the way I am, full throttle! Like I said before, I want to work so hard till the last day where my parents have to take me off the plane on a stretcher, and I think they will have to, sho I am so tired hahahah!
This week was pretty long though…Fish Hoek is a pretty tough area. We did see 4 investigators at church and a few less actives as well, so the work is definitely moving forward. One girl we have been trying to get to church for ten weeks finally came. When she walked in I was so pumped. We had a powerful zone training and Mormon Helping Hands (annual community service that the church is involved in) on Saturday. This week should blow by and then, my last week of my mission….eish. Everyone at church always says “how much longer? you are going home!” I am like “no, no, no I still have two weeks guys”…kind of have been in denial.
I have been reading my journal so much and looking back at the good times, times of sadness, of joy, just so grateful. One thing that I realized is how much time has been spent in studying the gospel. I will have finished my mission by reading: the Book of Mormon 5 times, Doctrine and Covenants 2 times, half of the OT, the New Testament, Pearl of Great Price twice, the Inevitable Apostasy, the Infinite Atonement, Jesus the Christ, the Continuous Atonement, the Autobiography of Parly P Pratt, the Way of the Master, Our Search for Happiness, Counseling: A guide to Helping Others, Mine Errand from the Lord, True to the Faith, Answers to Gospel Questions, and every Conference talk since 2000, hahahahah!! I have made studying the gospel an everyday part of my life. But I still don’t feel like I know enough…I always have that desire to learn more and more. All of us need to continue on that journey. The Lord reveals to us “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.” I have had to work hard to get that knowledge….it doesn’t come easy. I am so grateful for the scriptures.
To close this weekly update, I just want to share some of the things I have come to know to be true over the past 2 years. For one, I know the church is true. You just need to compare a church that exists today with the church that Christ established in the New Testament and you will see. Does the church baptize the way Christ did? Does it have apostles, prophets? Does it have the Priesthood and the authority to run that Priesthood? Does it partake of the Sacrament to remember Jesus Christ? Does it believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost to be three separate people but one in purpose as Jesus Christ taught… John 14:26, “the father will send the Holy Ghost in my name” (Jesus Christ). And there are so many more things. If you took at all that was in the New Testament and compared it to a church, the only one that you would find is exactly the same is “the Mormon” church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has all of the characteristics laid out in the New Testament. It is the church that Christ established in His time, and it has been brought back in its fullness in our day. We are often hated as a religion, but I take comfort knowing the Savior was despised as well. One of the main evidences of the church today is the Book of Mormon…which was prophesied to come forth in Ezekial 37. There are two options, either it was made by God or the Devil, you can figure it out for yourself. The book was translated by a boy with a 7 year old education who never read the Bible all the way through before that… 531 pages of history, that draws you closer to God. Christ teach us “by their fruits ye shall know them… a bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit” and what does the Book of Mormon do? It draws you to Christ. People claim we are not Christians which is funny because the actual name of the Church is “the church of Jesus Christ” and the Book of Mormon makes reference to Him one out of every 1.7 verses. Every verse, every page, every chapter is the word of God. I stand, with the millions of people who have received a testimony that it is true. People have died for it, left their homes, and millions of lives have been blessed because of it. And because I know that book is true, I know that this is the only true church on the earth. Joseph Smith was and is the prophet of the restoration…if I did not know that I would have been home a long time ago. A mission would have been too hard to do unless I KNEW what I was sharing was true. And that is why I say if this church isn’t true, which one could be? And luckily I KNOW it is… sorry for the bluntness but I was prompted to say that because there was someone, I do not know who, who needed to hear that because it will change their life. Love you all.