Monday, February 24, 2014

February 10, 2014

Buenas Tardes! 

Well...I'm gonna start by saying that this week was really hard. But, once again, I just feel like it's those moments that are trying when you can learn the most! So for that, I am really grateful for this week!

So the hard part about this week was that for 4 days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, every single person that we visited all of a sudden had a really difficult trial in their lives. And trust me when I say really difficult. Emotionally, this week was really taxing. Every night, mi compañera and I would return to our apartment, just really down and discouraged. It was difficult to sleep, think, focus... It was really hard to wake up in the morning, because I just didn't want to know what we were going to have to face that day. But we just keep moving forward. We kept doing the best we could to help these members and investigators believe that through their faith in Jesus Christ, they could keep going. Let me tell you, it really helped my faith as well. I have to trust with my whole heart that there is a purpose to everything. I know that is a true principle. Satan does everything he can to keep us from reaching our potencial, coming unto Christ, and being happy. But more importantly, I know that our Father in Heaven, who loves us more than we can imagine, wants us to grow. 

Friday morning, during personal study, I was reading in Alma 31. It talks about how Alma's heart was extremely sorrowful over the sins of the Zoramites. He was weighed down. He was discouraged. I'm fairly certain that he didn't know what he or his brethren could do for them. They were feeling a lot like Hermana Muñoz and I. Then in verse 5, we learn that "the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them" In that moment, I realized that I had to keep going. I had to keep preaching the word, and inviting others to read the words of God. Later in the chapter, verse 38, it says that "the Lord also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ." 

I know that all of our affictions, trials, challengles, heart aches, sorrows, sins...all of them can be "swallowed up in the joy of Christ". Christ can give us the strength, endurance, and the ability to press forward, even when we don't know how. I always remember the quote that says, "the grace of Christ is not the light at the end of the tunnel. It is the light that leads you through the tunnel." And I had the honor, the privledge, of teaching this principle this week. In the Atonement of Jeus Christ, we can ALWAYS find hope. We can always endure. We can always be conquerers through Christ. And in teaching this, my love for the Savior and my appreciation for the Atonement has grown tremendously. And I promise that the tunnel does eventually end. It doesn't always put us where we thought we were going, but it's always where we need to be. 

My end of the tunnel came last night, when I was able to witness the miracle of two baptisms, for two hermanas who are extremely dear to my heart. It truly was a miracle. When I watched them come out the water, when I saw the happiness on their faces... words really can't express the joy I felt in that moment. And I realized that it is moments like that that make everything else worth it. I love being a missionary. This really has been the best 12 weeks of my life, and I am so excited for the rest of the journey!

I love all of you so much! Thank you for your emails and words of encouragement! I know that this church is true! 

Hermana Smith

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