Monday, November 24, 2014

God's plan for us
October 27, 2014

I have some strong feelings I want to share with you all right now! This week has been one of the craziest weeks of my mission and I feel drained, but I LOVE IT and I want to serve my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ for the rest of my life. You want to know why? BECAUSE HE LOVES US. GOD LOVES US and He has a plan for us! no matter what! and I'm sick of this settling for less than we deserve!  All of you who are reading this probably know me in some way, and no matter if you are close family, or friends, or whoever you are, GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU and he comprehends everything that is going on in your life! If something tragic happens, he already knew that would happen and He's already placed things in your life to help you out of it. If something great happens, God already knew it would! HE KNOWS EVERYTHING AND WE CANT FORGET THAT. Sometimes we just need to wait for God's promised blessings to come to pass, but the most important thing for us to remember is that we are GOD's CHILDREN and He loves us.

I wanted to start off this letter with a portion of my email that I sent to one of my best friends this week:

Before we lived here, we lived with God.  As spirits. Not bodies. God has a body of flesh and bone, but he is glorified. He is our literal father. He knows you because you spent time with Him. In this time when we lived with God as spirits, we were presented a plan. We wanted to become like our Heavenly Father because he was so great and loving, and he had so many blessings and so much knowledge and so much joy! But we couldn't do that unless we also received a body and learned for ourselves. We were presented a plan by God that we could go down to earth and receive a body. We shouted for joy. However there were two plans: Satan wanted all of God's children to go down to earth and have no ability to make choices, and then we would all return to live with God. The second plan was that we'd be able to go down to earth, and receive a body and be able to make choices, while being away from God's presence. We'd be able to learn and grow and have our own families. Part of that though is that we'd make mistakes, because we had to learn for ourselves. God knew us well enough to know that we would make mistakes. So Jesus Christ stepped up and said I will be their Savior. When they mess up, when they go through something hard,  I will be there. I will be there to redeem them from their sins and make them clean so they can come live with you again. He wanted us to be able to learn and grow and change here on earth. So those who decided to follow Jesus Christ's plan received bodies and got to come down to earth! Those who followed Satan and didn't believe that Christ could do it, didn't come down to earth and receive bodies. This means you chose Christ! You knew Him before! And you knew this life was possible! You also learned that it'd be hard, but keeping God's commandments would help you because you'd receive blessings. This is just the beginning of our purpose here on earth. We are meant to return to live with God, but only on conditions of change! We need to change and learn and grow and that's what you're doing now.

The first and most important thing to remember is that GOD LOVES US. That's not just a phrase! We lived with Him and knew Him and understood him and talked to Him! Think about someone that you live with. Like, your mom. Or dad. Or someone. And think about how well you know them because you have been around them. THAT'S HOW WELL GOD KNOWS YOU. He literally knows our personalities and what we need and who we need and what we need to do. This is so real to me I think my heart could jump out of my chest. I sincerely hope that you can all feel my love through this email because I KNOW THIS IS TRUE and I feel just a small part of that love for you! and for the people I teach! and for everyone that we come in contact with.

So this is a story about someone that I taught this week. We had only met him once, but a little background story.  This man joined the church when he was 19. He was very active in coming and learning and loving the gospel for many years, and for some reason, over 20 years ago, he stopped coming. This is all we knew about him at the beginning of our lesson. So we went into his house and started with a prayer, and then pulled out a pamphlet about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My companion started teaching, and then it came to be my turn. and I couldn't speak. I literally could not open my mouth and I was supposed to just tell him about families and how Jesus Christ blesses families! but I couldn't. I just felt this OVERWHELMING feeling that I needed to say something specific. So I sat there in silence for an uncomfortable amount of time, and then just burst out and said "YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS IS TRUE!" and he was like yeah, I do. This is really familiar territory for me. So I asked "THEN WHAT KEEPS YOU FROM COMING TO CHURCH?"  We talked and we bore our testimonies about the church and he told us a wonderful story about how the Spirit has really touched his life. The Spirit and love of God was SO strong in there, but I still knew there was more that God wanted him to know. I felt so strongly that he needed to come back to church now. That there would be something in his life that he would need the full blessings of the gospel and he could not wait. and that God loved him SO much. I sat there and just bore my SOUL to him and told him that God had a specific plan for him and he needed to recognize it. I kept feeling like I should ask him what was bothering him but I already felt kind of crazy for bursting out earlier so I didn't ask for a while...but then I finally did.  He said nothing was bothering him. So we asked him to say the closing prayer- and that's where the truth came out. He thanked God for helping us recognize that he needs help.   and that was just it- he needs help. We all do. We all need prayer. I am impressed to tell you all that PRAYER is the answer to everything. That is where truth is revealed. That is where we are able to communicate with our Father in Heaven and ask Him what He has in store for us. Ask Him what we can do in our lives to better serve Him. I want to bear you my witness that this gospel is true and real. It's so true and real that I'm going to turn to this man next to me who is wondering what I'm so passionately typing about and tell him the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He lives and so do we  and I'm so thankful for it. I sincerely love you all and  hope you make prayer a bigger part of your lives. I love God and the plan He has for us!

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