Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Farewell that's not the farewell... speaking in church before leaving...

I survived the whole "farewell" experience. I was able to express myself, my testimony, and why I am so passionate about serving a mission, and without even doing the "ugly cry"!  The bishop gave me the assigned topic of "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God" from D&C 18:

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
 11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
 12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
 13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
 14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
I shared my experience of coming to the realization that I should serve a mission. It was while watching the movie "The Saratov Approach". When the 2 missionaries are talking to each other about when they knew they should serve a mission, the one elder said something like "Jesus Christ sacrificed his whole life for me... I should be able to sacrifice 2 years of my life for him".  I had a very overwhelming feeling come over me, knowing that I wanted to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, sharing the joy that his gospel brings. And even though I had not initially thought that serving a mission was the right thing for me, NOW was the time and so I would waste no time! I would never want to live my life knowing that I had had a profound experience, a highly spiritual one, and then did nothing about it!
I also shared how I know personally that the worth of souls is great. My father made the decision to join the Church, even though doing so would cause him to have to leave home, not knowing if he would ever be welcome back there. He did it because he knew it was the right thing to do; that he could not betray the testimony that he had. I am so grateful for his faith and dedication! Now our family is 24 people, strong in the gospel! My ancestors on my mother's side made similar decisions over 100 years ago, and because of their commitments, they posterity is huge... I have no count as to how many are in the gospel, but certainly in the 1000's!
I hope to help at least one person come to know Jesus Christ and recognize His true Church!
So grateful for good friends throughout my life! Love you, Lindsey!

It was hard to say goodbye to my grandma Velasquez. I am so very grateful for her, for her kindness, sweetness, and support! Even though she isn't a member of our church, she made a huge difference, by being supportive of my dad back when he was a teenager and began going to church. She would iron a white shirt for him and buy him ties to wear to church every Sunday. I love her so much!

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