Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

I'm staying in Abolição with Sister Pereira this next transfer.  Sister Arzani left for Sousa (I gave her a bunch of cards to take with her and give to all of the recent converts and wonderful members of the Church there), Sister Nobrega came from Sousa to be companions with Sister Lawrence.  I have been talking to her a bunch about how everything is going there.  S. and J. aren't very active in the church right now, which was really sad for me to hear, but other than that, it's all good news.

This last week I completed one year in the mission field (09/11).  Sister Lawrence did as well.  We had a Family Home Evening at the church with cake and balloons with a lot of members.  Sister Lawrence and I bore our testimonies about missionary work and what we had learned so far on our missions.  Sister Lawrence bore hers first and then it was my turn. 

I won't lie, I had no idea what I was going to say and just said a quick prayer asking the Lord to give me inspiration.  After one minute of talking, I had already started crying (REALLY HARD). I cried/sobbed/bawled during my entire testimony of at least 10 if not 15 minutes (doesn't sound very reverent does it?), as I spoke about why I chose to serve a mission and bore my testimony of the things I had learned this last year (It was terrible).

I have seen, experienced, and learned so many things this last year as I have dedicated my life to helping people come unto Christ.  But to simplify things a bit, I think that my mission has really helped broaden my understanding of 1. The Atonement of Christ, 2. The Plan of Salvation, and 3. The fact that the gospel blesses families. 

Before my mission, I did not truly understand our Savior's atoning sacrifice, how it worked, or why it was important.  All I knew was that Jesus died for our sins and was content with that. But during this last year I have grown to understand the who, what, when, where, and why of the Atonement as I have seen it with my own eyes being used by countless numbers of people. 

Through the Atonement of Christ, people who once lived lives of sin (drugs, alcohol, adultery, etc.) are able to change.  They are able to repent, to forsake sin, and to be clean in the eyes of God.  People who once lived horrible lives are able to find hope and happiness as they choose to accept the atoning sacrifice of our Savior through faith, repentance, baptism by immersion by a proper priesthood holder, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. 

Christ says that He will pay the price for our sins.  He already has.  We just have to believe him and accept his sacrifice so that one day we can be perfected and return to live with our Father in Heaven again. 

Families are a central part of our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness.  On my mission I have seen so many broken families and my testimony of Helaman 5:12 has grown so strong.  The scripture is:

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

It is only when our homes are built on the firm foundation of our Savior and His gospel that we can experience the happiness promised to us by our Father in Heaven.

It is so hard for me to think that I only have six months left. I feel a little bit like Alma from the scriptures:

“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me. I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.” (Alma 29:1-4)

But I am trying to change my perspective and think that I still have six more months and am still in the middle of my mission.  I will use these next six months to the fullest to complete the mission my Father in Heaven has prepared for me here in the promised land of Brasil.

Love you so much!

Sister Dyer

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