It has been a wonderful last week in Lambayeque. Tomorrow I will be headed to a new area, so I was grateful to end with such a beautiful week, chock-full of miracles, I loved it! We have met so many people this week who are so ready to put into practice the gospel of Jesus Christ. One Sister said that she is just so excited to take the necessary steps to be on God´s path. We met her tuesday and left a DVD with her to watch. Instead of watching just one of the videos, she watched them all, and invited her friends over to see them as well. When we returned later in the week she told us how much she loved the story of young Joseph Smith who, like her, wanted so badly to know for himself what is true. She testified of the temple, its divine purpose, and of the great sacrifice and miracles that went into the establishment of Christ´s church in this time period. On Sunday she came to church all by herself! It is truly inspiring to see someone so ready to receive the truth into their life. She knows that she wants peace and guidance in life... so she is taking the necessary steps to attain it. I pray that like her, each one of us chooses to take action. We cannot idly await for the truth to enter into our hearts. We must search. Seek for the truth, tune into the feelings of your heart, be sensitive to the guidance of the spirit. There is a God. He lives and He has extablished truth. His pure doctrine is on the Earth today. Take action, Search for it, there is no greater treasure.
I feel so blessed to have this pearl of great price in my life (Matthew 13:46). I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true because I have lived it and seen the miracles that it initiates. I invite you to do the same. (Mosiah 4: 5-13)
Happy Mother´s Day!! This week we
did lots of service activities. One sister asked my companion, Hermana
Kingsford, to clean the dust from the top of the windows because the short
little Peruvian sister couldn´t quite reach. I had a good laugh watching the
sweet little sister as she stared in awe as Hermana Kingsford reached up to
clean even the highest patches of dust.
It was a simple activity, but
it got me thinking deeper about how sometimes our lives our similar. Often we
recognize mistakes that we have made in life but, like little patches of dust,
they are just out of our reach. We cannot clean them off ourselves. We cannot
erase those mistakes alone. In order to be completely cleansed we need the
intervention of someone else. We need the help of someone grander than us who
has all reaching power. We need a Savior.
God has provided us a Savior, Jesus
Christ. His sacrifice is all reaching and can cleanse the mark of any mistake.
I am awed by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He taught us how to repent
and He declared that He "suffered these things for all that they might not
suffer if they would repent" (Doctrine and Covenants 19:16). I know that through repentance we can heal even the
deepest wound in our hearts. I pray that each of you goes to your Heavenly
Father in prayer and begs for that healing. I promise that if you do so, in
faith and humility, you will feel the tender healing power of Christ´s
Atonement in your life. I know it´s true because I have felt that same power
enter into my heart and heal my personal wounds.
Trust in the Savior. Know that He
And, may all your thoughts, words,
actions and hopes be done to glorify your loving Father in Heaven.
Just kidding, I am pretty sure that
is only a holiday in Mexico.
Anyways, this week I have been
thinking a lot about integrity verses hypocrisy. As I read in the Bible, Matthew 23 versus 5-7
I was struck by the words that Christ spoke
to the Pharisees. He condemned them for doing all that they do with the sole
intention to receive the praise of men, to gain friends, and to look important.
That really got me thinking about why I do what I do. I remember Mom always
said that leadership is doing what you are supposed to even when no one is
watching. That is also the core of integrity. Integrity is when we stick to our
beliefs ALWAYS. What an important trait to master! All week now I have been self-analyzing.
Why do I do what I do? How can I better keep the promises that I have made?
What can I do to be a more genuine person?
This week we had the opportunity to
visit with a brother who hasn´t come to church in a few months. As we spoke
with him it became apparent that he stopped attending due to the hypocrisy that
he felt many people displayed. For me those were some of the most disheartening
words I have heard this past year. No one is perfect. We are all striving for perfection
(which is a reachable goal). But I pray with my whole heart that in our search
for perfection, we don´t allow the imperfections of others to halt our course.
We cannot allow others to stop our spiritual progression. Each of us must be
honest with ourselves and with God. Then we must show an outpouring of love to
all those around us. Rich, poor, sweet, or sour. They are all God´s children.
If we show integrity by keeping the commandments of God in public and in
private we will be blessed beyond measure and we will help others along in
their process towards perfection.
This week we watched the Joseph Smith; Prophet
of the Restoration movie... a lot. It was marvelous to feel the truth of
that message time and time again. Saturday night we watched the movie with a
teenage girl. She always reads the chapters we left, but her prayers often were
much less than heartfelt. After watching the first 10 minutes of the
Restoration video her eyes lit up. We paused the video and asked how she was
feeling. The typically quiet young girl spouted off a list of thoughtful
questions. "What did God say to José Smith?" "How can I know if
this is true?" She eagerly searched the scriptures with us as we responded
to her questions. As we knelt together in prayer with her, the words she spoke
carried great conviction. She wanted to know the truth and she knew that God
was going to give her an answer. Her prayer came from the depths of her heart
and I know that in these days that follow, God will testify to her of the truth
of the message of the Restoration.
Another family was
similarly struck by the video. They all were captured by the scenes of the
video, and moved by the deep faith of the young Joseph Smith. Following the
movie the young father expressed his amazement and the feeling of peace that
filled him as he watched the miracle of the Restoration unfold.
I too feel the peace that the
Restoration brings into our lives. I am so thankful for the young boy who truly
desired to know the truth. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints is the true Church on this earth. I know it is God´s church. It has His
Priesthood Power. It is organized in His way. There is a living prophet on the
Earth today. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I know it, because I have
lived the truths taught and seen the miracles. I know it because I have seen
the blessings in my life. I know it because I have felt it. Search the
scriptures. Ponder the doctrine. Pray. You can know!