Dearest and Wonderful Family & Friends!
WELCOME Exchange Student!! I have forgotten your name, sorry, yet I know you are already awesome!! May God bless you and Kaleb as you both attend American Heritage this year. What a great opportunity!
The reason I named this letter, “Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd” is because I feel strongly that we are children of the most High God. I have come to know my Savior more than ever this week and I am so grateful for the blessings and faith building experiences I have had.
I often ask myself, “Have I done all I could for my area? Am I a good missionary, because we have had so little success? And why are the people not accepting the message we have? It is right in front of them!!! The truth, the spirit, the love of Christ, the evidence and the words of Christ.
As I turned to the scriptures in searching for my answers I could not help but cry and pray for the Lord to help me understand. And yes, He did answer my questions and so many more. I felt Him lift my spirit to a higher field of view. I felt such love for my brethren, for the people I have met and for the one’s I have not yet met. I felt the tears come as I read of the prophecies found in 2 Nephi 24-33. With each verse, I felt more that my Lord knows exactly what I am experiencing and He seemed to cry with me. I could feel the words of Nephi’s sorrow, and share in the feeling of having the people receive the words and esteem them as naught. How come they so often say to me…God has already talked to His people and we have no more need of His words or new revelation?
But who are you to say that God has only one people, be that
Who are you to say that the Lord is done speaking to His children? Who are you
to say that there is no more to learn? I KNOW with all my heart that God’s love
is infinite and it doesn’t stop with the changing of years of time periods. I
have felt of His love for myself. It extends endlessly. I know God lives and that
he has prepared the Book of Mormon to come forth. And I know that there are still
more records that will be given when the people are ready for them.
I can honestly say that I have seen so many things and heard so many vile justifications of the "why not´s" and "your church is not true because of this, and He loves us all and all of the churches..." YES, He does love us all, but there is just one God, and He has one Church and one faith. They see the words, they feel the spirit, yet they open not their hearts. There are those faithful and humble few that think they have found the truth, yet they are lead away by the learned men who lean not to the Lord for understanding.
I have really enjoyed and received encouragement from Alma 29:9-10 and Alma 26:16.
It is good to have messages like these when times are tough. These past six weeks have been pretty rough. However, even though my companion, Hermana Peterson and I, experienced a prueba de nuestra fe (a test of our faith--Ether 12:6). We also experienced a miracle this week. This powerful, faith building experience has helped me to know that the Lord wanted to make sure I would do the work His way and rely on him more.
Domingo (Sunday), we had the opportunity to proselyte after attending church. We first talked with a potential investigator, but no matter how many times we have tried to build his faith and allow him opportunities to feel the spirit, to no avail, he resists and rejects our message. I could not help but cry after our time with him. As we walked away I felt so much love for that man, and desired him to accept the truth. I know the Holy Ghost testified to him, but he still rejected it. May God help soften his heart and prepare him to some day accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power unto salvation.
My leaders talked about not murmuring or complaining. I have been fortifying my efforts this week and well…they were proven true. I know God has heard and answered the prayers of my companion and I because later on Domingo, we were walking by this man that we often see around our area and he waved to us. I said to my companion, one day that man will hear and accept our message. Then a little bit later, he stopped us. We started to share our testimonies. He talked with us for about an hour. And he said he is going to need to pray about if baptism in the church is right for him." ¡¡Que Milagro!!
Last night we had a wonderful Noche De Hogar (FHE) con our Stake President and Bishop-- both of whom are neighbors and in our ward. It was wonderful. The spirit was so strong. We were able to address this man’s needs! We invited him to church, and he is preparing to be baptized. Yerbal has not had a baptism since March! This is a milagro (miracle). I pray that my companion and I stay worthy of this miracle.
The Quote from C.S. Lewis describes best the feelings and truth I feel, "Give me all...give me your weaknesses, your strengths...and I will give you myself. I will make you whole and full of light." I have through my desires and will have asked God to help make up the difference. EVERY time I open my mouth the Lord God is there. I feel weak and lacking many things. I feel like through Faith we are made whole, "If thou will, thou canst make me whole" He says I will, and says "thy faith hath made thee whole, go thy way and sin no more. Cross Reference D&C 6:33-37. This principle is true. WE need to learn to do things the Lord’s way.
We are ALL DEAR to the Heart of the Shepherd. He gives up on no one. He is still helping us look for and help the lost sheep find their way back into his fold. He loves and cares for each one of us. I am so grateful for my trials. Thank you Lord for answering my prayers.
Sincerely, to my Lord, family and Friends, We are children of God.
The scriptures referenced earlier:
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do anot bglory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember awhat the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me. (
Therefore, let us aglory, yea, we will bglory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his cmercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. (