Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Welcome Home!

I returned home from my mission on Friday, November 11.  My family was there to greet me.  They say I am a bit taller, and heavier...and a lot more talkative.  I am thankful for the opportunity I had to serve as a full-time missionary!  In the very near future, I will be returning with my family to visit the people and places I served!  I am very excited!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Have Learned...

What can I say for my last official communication as a full-time missionary? The only thing I can think of is referencing scriptures that I have thought about these last weeks that have helped me push through the rest of my mission.

Scripture #1: Jarom 1:3-4. I was reading through this scripture while we've been having a hard time finding people in my current area. I read verse 3 and thought, "That's EXACTLY how I feel."...then I read verse 4, and it struck me. I hadn't been focusing as much on the people we had already found, which have had many revelations already, "for they are not all stiffnecked." It made me think of one of the families we have been teaching. The Spirit is beginning to be in their home. It is a wonderful feeling to see them progress. It's crazy how a book written many thousands of years ago could still have relevance today.

Scripture #2: 1 Corinthians 15:55/Hosea 13:14. As I was in District Meeting one day, the last scripture came to me. I was thinking about bearing testimony on faith and repentance when this happened, which is all that Hosea is about. When I read that verse, I immediately thought of the verse written in 1 Corinthians. I turned to that real quick, then read the footnotes. I replaced one of the words in the verse with the footnote so that it reads, "O death, where is thy sting? O hell (or spiritual death), where is thy victory?" I thought about how that applies to us. As we have "faith unto repentance", we can say as Paul said.

Scripture #3: D&C 61:3. Don't remember how I found this scripture. But as I thought about this scripture, I thought of Pocahontas singing "Just Around the Riverbend".....Those were the only words I could think of to that song, but I remembered the main message. Anyway, as we choose the harder right/experiencing trials, we must remember that there are others who are "perishing in unbelief." As we share the gospel, we will feel the joy that comes through doing so.

Scripture #4: Isaiah 63:1-3....I thought about this scripture during the last part of Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk "'Abide in My Love'". What stuck out to me especially about this scripture was verse three is partially in past tense, partially in future tense. As you think about that and think about how Jesus Christ was in the place of the winepress when he suffered for our sins, it makes Elder Christofferson's and Isaiah's remarks seem cooler (for lack of a better word).

Scripture #5: Daniel 3:16-18. This scripture has had an impact on me again and again during my mission. Throughout my mission, I have had a couple friends/family members die, despite all the prayers. This past transfer, it has helped me as I thought about it with a couple of words of wisdom from a wonderful sister, whose husband died 6 weeks ago. She said, "We have faith in the Savior, not in the miracles." This matches perfectly with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego's remarks: "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not,...we will not serve thy gods." Now, they were delivered from their afflictions, but some in scripture have not been for a time (namely, the women and children of Ammonihah, Jeremiah, Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, Joseph in Egypt, Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, etc.)

Last Scripture: D&C 20:17-35. What glorious things we know about because of the Book of Mormon. Enough said. :j