Well it’s been about a month since I got home, and I just wanted to write one last letter for you all, describing some thoughts and my feelings about this whole journey. My mission means a lot to me, more than I can easily describe. I've had some of the most meaningful experiences of my life, I've gone through some of the most profound and valuable changes that will change my life forever, and most importantly I have come to know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A couple of lessons that I learned that have marked my mission and now my life. First, obedience. When obedience stops being any irritant and becomes our quest, that is when the powers of heaven distill upon us. If we want happiness, if we want success, if we want to progress then we must be obedient, and we must do it fully. Partial obedience doesn't count! And although we might be tempted to do so, we must not ever forfeit our obedience to something or someone else. There will be voices that tell us to bend, to ignore just one little thing, but we must not give in. We must give all of ourselves to the Lord, all of the time, and to no one else. Don't forget about the little things as well, they're all important, no matter how small they seem. If we can make the little things important to us, then He'll make our big things important to Him. Remember what He said, that if we obey then we receive more truth, and the truth will make us free (John 8:31-32). Obedience is the first law of Heaven because nothing can be achieved without it. It is the foundation for success as a missionary, and for happiness as a disciple of Christ.
Next, repentance. We are all on the same quest for perfection, and as thus none of us are perfect and we will all mess up from time to time. I have learned that the Lord is well aware of this, and in His infinite patience and long suffering, He will walk with us every step of the way as we strive to either get back on the path, or simply keep moving forward on it. There will be moments when we must humble ourselves, admit we've done wrong, repent of it, and then accept the consequences. However, that is exactly what the Savoir wants. There is no limit to His kindness, to His love, to His patience. He will forgive us so long as we have a broken heart and a contrite Spirit (Moroni 6:8). In that, we must do our best to ignore the voices that tell us we're not good enough, or that we've done too much wrong far too many times. Those voices do not come from heaven, and they try to eliminate hope. When we fall down on the ball we need to have a quick bounce back plan, and get back up and running with the ball. That is how I think the Savoir envisions repentance. Quick and thorough. I have experienced and know for myself that the Savoir wants us to repent and He wants to forgive, no matter what we did, or how how many times we did it, or how long ago it was done.
Lastly, as members of the Church and disciples of Christ, we should never be content with the mediocre, or with choosing to be or to do only OK. Christ has such a bigger vision for us, and knows we are capable of so much more. We should never be comfortable with only doing the bare minimum, but should always strive to do our very best, no matter what it is. We must truly be a light to the world and stand out, be the embodiment of the message of the Restoration. We may find ourselves in difficult situations where we are tempted to give up our obedience, or we may be forced to stand alone like Moroni. But all that's okay because the Lord knows we can do hard things. He continually asked me to do them throughout my mission, and I was continually surprised as He helped accomplish them and grow and stretch. He knows our potential, what we're capable of, and He graciously intends on helping us reach that.
There are so many more things that I learned on my mission, about love, patience, service, diligence, goal setting, planning, getting my priorities straight; the list goes on! One simple letter does not do it justice. But I hope that from here on my whole family and those around me will be able to see how much I cherish my mission, and see all that it did for me, reflected the way I act and in the new person I have become. The Lord is amazing in His ability to find things to give us, even in the most peculiar of circumstances. What at first seemed to be the greatest sacrifice of my life has turned out to be the greatest gift for my life. They were two of the hardest, most challenging, most rewarding, and glorious years of my life so far. And as I've come to know Him, I know that things will only get better from here. I encourage anyone and everyone that has ever considered a mission, to do it. And to serve with a willing heart and mind. The Lord will do wonders through you.
I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that He loves me, that He knows my name. I am grateful that He is willing to take time to be apart of the little details of my life. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that has provided a Savoir for me and all mankind. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, and that he restored the true church of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that it contains the power to change peoples lives as it has changed mine. I know that living the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings us the greatest, most profound happiness that we can experience in this life. I know that I am a changed person because of His Gospel. I have served Him two years, and I will continue to love and serve Him without question for the rest of my life. He has saved me and redeemed me, and I will love Him forever for it. This is my witness and testimony. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
at 7:17 PM
Monday, December 8, 2014
at 6:18 PM
Monday, December 1, 2014
I will never ceased to be amazed at the goodness and mercy of God. He takes time to remember all of His children, especially when they seek Him out with real intent, and with a broken heart and contrite spirit. So this is what happened. Belen didn´t get baptized. She called us on Tuesday and told us she had changed her mind. She feels that God will not condmemn her for being a good person (which He won´t, but that doesn´t eliminate the need for ordinances and making and keeping convenants). But NBD because Ximena (I was spelling it wrong all along...I¨m going back to 3rd grade with Billy Madison) has made some STELLAR progression! Her baptism is set for this Saturday at 7pm. With each passing day she becomes more and more prepared for it, her heart opens more and more, and her understanding grows; that day just can´t get here fast enough. I haven´t seen a change quite as drastic ever in my mission as I have seen in her. I mentioned this before, but it still continues to surprise me, the amount of love I feel for her and her family. It´s different with her and it´s difficult to describe, but I honestly feel like this was started before this life. It´s wierd, and I probably sound crazy, but it´s how I feel. Anyway!
This week there´s really only one thing on my mind: getting Ximena prepared for Saturday! It´s going to be the best baptismal service this ward has ever seen. She met quite a few people at church yesterday and a member of the bishopric came to a few lessons with us. She´s already becoming a part of the ward. We´re going to reteach her everthing throughout this week, on Friday she´ll have her baptismal interview, and then Saturday she makes a covenant with Heavenly Father! I¨m seriously so so excited.
In other news, our rolls were a super success at the Thanksgiving dinner, even though we made everyone wait 40 minutes for us to arrive! The rolls were worth it though. So mom, seeing that I am a pro now, next year I got the rolls, cool?
That´s all I have to write this week, because there´s really only one thing that I care about anymore and that´s Ximena. But life is really good, and we´re still doing really well. I love you all a lot and will talk to you next week! Loves!
Here´s a picture of all the stinking rolls we made. And yes they tasted as good as they look.
And this was the plate of food I ate at thanksgiving. The mashed potatoes are hidden under the rolls.
at 6:16 PM
Monday, November 24, 2014
Suuuuch a good week. I know I say that about every week, but seriously this time I think it was one of the best weeks of my mission. Elder Kearon from the 70 visited us and it was incredible, amazing, SPECTACULAR! And on top of that Sergio and Gimena have made some serious progress, and we set a fecha bautismal with a woman named Belen for the 7th of December, and it´s a solid fecha. Amazing week!Elder Kearon encouraged us all to change and grow and become better and I loved hearing his words. There were so many things that he said that I absolutley loved, but I´ll share just a few. So he talked about stretching and doing hard things, about going for the impossible. He said that Latter Day Saints have always faced adversity, resistance and challenge, but that´s okay because we thrive on it. I loved that a lot. He also talked a lot about choice, and making the decision to change, to become better. It´s our choice and Heavenly Father isn´t going to force us into anything. He loves us so much, He loves us exactly how we are right now, but He loves us enough to invite us to change. So we must decide to become better than what we are now. His wife mentioned the story from the bible of the rich youth, who in the search for eternal life asked the savior "what lack I yet?" That´s a great attitude that we must all have in order to really reach our full potential. And sometimes in our quest for improvement and refinement, we must do hard things, but no worries because we thrive in adversity. Sometimes, we must do what Moroni does, and want he does he does better than anyone. Stand alone. But it´s all worth it. I left that meeting totally and completely edified and inspired.We had had several meetings with Gimena and the Lord and the Spirit have been working hard with her. She´s progressed so much! She read a Plan of Salv. pamphlet and had a lot of questions and when we answered them all, you could see the wheels turning. She read the Book of Mormon saturday night and had a really big spiritual experience, and Sunday she was planning on surprising us at church (because before she said she wouldn´t be able to come), but in the end didn´t end up making it. But just the simple fact that she had started making plans to go to church on her own, that´s huge!! And last night we had another really great lesson, the Spirit was sooo strong as we read from the scriptures. She knows it´s true, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, she´s just afraid now of the commitment. She´s afraid that she won´t be able to do it, and because of that she would be worse off than before. So she gave herself her own commitment. During the next few days she´s going to not drink cofee nor tea in order to see if she really can do it. I know the Lord will show forth His power and help her. He´s done it with me when in the past I had to get up very early in the morning to go to work. We´ve been praying mightily for that blessing, so that her fear of committing herself will leave. Please PRAY with us, I know He will hear and answer our prayers.So that´s that. Belen will be baptized next Sunday. And Gimena will be baptized next Saturday the 6th after she sees the Lord´s power and realizes that she can do this, and that His yoke really IS easy and His burden light. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of our friends (we no longer call them "investigators"). I know the Lord has great power and can bring forth this mighty miracle. There are few miracles as great as seeing a person change their entire life for Christ´s sake and accept the restored Gospel. It really is something miraculous. I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week and enjoy Thanksgiving! Loves!Elder Webb
at 5:30 PM