I do not have words to express my feelings.
Tomorrow is the final day of my assignment to the West Virginia Charleston Mission. At 9:00pm, I’ll hug my mother, then my father. After 3 days of travelling with my parents, I’ll be released as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Every day leading up to this, it just hasn’t been real. Not for 2 years. But today, it’s real.
This has been the greatest experience of my life.
These past two weeks have been remarkable, arguably the best of my entire mission. I have felt light and love increasing and expanding constantly within me over the course of them.
I bear my solemn witness that Jesus Christ lives. I know He lives. It is beyond a hope or a belief. I know it. I know that his atonement on our behalf paid the price for everything. Every pain, every sickness, every sadness, every sin. We don’t have to bear it! We don’t have to feel it. I have felt His grace powerfully during these two years, and in the years leading up to them. I know that the power of the atonement is real. I am in His debt forever.
I am so excited for all that is to come. I love life and I love LIVING it! I have so many plans now, and I’m so free of chains that would stop me from accomplishing my goals. The future is so bright. =)
So I want to share my tenth gift I have written, and I have a few to choose from.
Last time I kind of promised but didn’t deliver on one, so I want to share it now.
Gift 10: A testimony of obedience and sacrifice
We’ve been taught that obedience is the first law of heaven, and is the greatest trial of this life. We learn in 1 Samuel 15:22 that obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience to God’s laws binds God to act and deliver on the blessings that are promised (D&C 130:21; 82:10). As Latter-day saints we are taught the principle of sacrifice in such laws as fasting and giving offerings. Obedience lays the foundation, and without it there is little power in sacrifice. But when we have both, God’s power cannot be held back. In prayer we are obedient, and when we couple it with fasting, the power is magnified. In tithing we are obedient, and when coupled with offerings, God’s blessings pour out upon us and others.
My dear friends, I bear my testimony that there is power in obedience and sacrifice. I have seen those blessings poured out throughout my mission. I have learned to obey, (which, in my experience, is by far the more difficult of the two). When coupled with sacrifice, miracles happen.
I love my Savior. I love my Father in Heaven. I will never forget these two years, nor will I forget the people I have met and grown to love during them. You will be forever in my thoughts and prayers. I love each of you. I will visit, and I will pray for you, and we will be eternally bound by our experiences together in this life. I know that is true. Don’t give up, don’t turn back, and don’t lose hope. Jesus Christ Lives, and we will live forever because of Him.
I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.