Thursday, January 23, 2014

Onward, Ever Onward

When you first open your call, you can't wait to go. You start counting down days until you leave. Then, the final week hits and you start counting down the days you have left until you go. This isn't a refection on your desire or dedication, it merely means that you really start to understand the sacrifice you are about to make. You begin to realize just how long a mission is and the immense responsibility that is about to be placed on your shoulders.
I'm in the final countdown now. I've started counting the days until I go -five. This is the day I've waited for for almost five months and now that it is here... I wish it was just a little farther away. 
The blessing and curse about coming home early is that you come incredibly close to your family and your friends. Saying goodbye is so much harder the second time. But, I don't want this final blog post before I enter the mission field to be just about myself. Funny, isn't? After all, this is my blog. 
I've thought for a long time what I wanted to post. The only thing that really mattered to me is that I share my testimony. As a future missionary, I'm going to need all the practice I can get. And besides, this is probably the last testimony that I bear in English for a while. So, here it goes. 

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He has a plan for each of us. He listens to every prayer. I know he does answer, even if it's not when or how you expect. He provided a way for us to return to him and be made clean from the sins of the world. This way is Jesus Christ, our brother. He came to this earth and atoned for our sins. I know that through repentance we can be made clean. 

I know that Jesus Christ understands. He is always there, ready to lift, to comfort, and to love us. I know that his priesthood authority administered to the apostles is real. We have that priesthood authority on this earth today because it was restored to the prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did translate the Book of Mormon, which is the word of God. I know that through Joseph Smith, the true church was restored. 
I know that we have modern revelation, which is given to each person personally, through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will testify of truth to those who diligently seek it. 

And now, I speak specifically to those who have been sent home or those who are going through a trial. I know it hurts and I know it's hard. I know that you'll often feel ashamed, downhearted, and many doubts will enter your mind. Do not let those doubts consume you. Always remember this, Heavenly Father has a plan. He does. He knows the beginning of your life to the end. Though you may not see the reason now, I know one day you will. I know that there is always light to be found, joy to be felt, and love to be spread. Despite the great darkness of the world, there is incredible light. This light is Jesus Christ. Regardless of what we are going through, our circumstances and pains, that light is always there. 

Be of good cheer and remember that you are loved by Heavenly Father; your Heavenly Father. Have the faith and the endurance to continue on- never give up. Whatever we do by following Heavenly Father's plan for us, no matter how hard or how long we endure it, will always be worth it. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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