This week we were able to go to the temple with a recent convert to do baptisms for her first time. I'm so grateful to end my mission with a good experience like that, with the temple, because even though we mostly think of baptism as a missionary's main goal, it is not the end goal. As missionaries we know that baptism is just the first step to being able to enter into the temple--an even greater goal. To make it even better, this recent convert taught the class in third hour in church. The class was about temples and she bore her testimony and shared what a powerful and spiritual experience she had in the temple. It is amazing the opportunity we have to see and be a tiny part of peoples' progression as missionaries, an opportunity I will miss deeply.
When I think of my mission, this scripture comes to mind...
" O God... if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me...".
I have always believed in God, but He has most defiantly shown himself into me during my mission. There is no possible way I can deny that God exists and that He is our loving Heavenly Father, after all I have seen and experienced while on my mission. I have seen His hand in my life daily through all the tender mercies He gives me. I know that He has placed hard things in front of me so that I might be able to grow from them and become who He intended me to become.
I know that Jesus is my Savior, I know that he loves everyone of us because of the marks on his hands and feet. His Atonement allows me to be forgiven of my sins and mistakes, but it also allows me to overcome hard things, it allows me to go beyond myself and become more Christlike.
I know that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored today just like it was before. I have seen the gospel work in my life and in the lives of others. I have seen the difference in light and happiness of those who are living the gospel and those that are not.
I know that the Book of Mormon is scripture from God as another testament of Christ and contains the fullness of the gospel. I have seen the power this book has to change lives and strengthen families.
I know the Temple is the house of God, I feel His power every time I enter, and even if I am just close.
I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, I love His gospel, I love the scriptures, I love having the opportunity to always repent and change for the better, I love that God has a perfect plan for each of us, and I have loved my mission which has taught me all of these things, brought me closer to Christ, and changed my life forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Well, Mama can't add to that, except to say that I am proud of my daughter, and for the experiences she has had while serving the Lord and the people of Northern Virginia for the last 18 months! I am grateful for her beautiful testimony and I too am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the truth and happiness it brings to my life, and the life of my family.
I can't wait to see my Hermana Peabody on Friday!