Friday, April 18, 2014
I am so excited to be able to talk to you all! I know this communication is one-way (save my sister) but still it excites me to think that maybe somebody out there in this big wide world is able to glean something or take something or be taught something by these words that I strew together.
God loves us. Honestly, if that is something that I have come to know better on my mission it is that. He loves us through our joys and through our sorrows and tribulations. His love is never-ending and pure. He wants the best for us, He sees us for all that we can be and he constantly is inviting us to become that by repenting or changing and turning our lives over to Him. As we come to understand and feel the reality of God's love in our lives, it makes us want to change and to live in closer harmony with His teachings. We will want to be baptised, to be cleansed from our sins and to start anew.
It has been brought to my attention that some of you may know something about what it is I do out here or why I chose to leave my life behind to be here, but that the basics of what I teach or the gospel of Jesus Christ which I strive to live is actually foreign to you. So this blog entry is directed to you - with an extra 'hello' to Alex whom Eliza has told me is reading my blog! Hello! Don't call me "Miss" anymore! Call me Sister Magallanes!
So I thought I would take a few time to write a few words out about that message. The crux of it is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church that I represent, is the same Church that Jesus Christ established when he was on the earth those thousands of years ago. This church is His church and it has been restored, after being lost, corrupted, led astray by mankind. Some of these individuals were very inspired, they too saw the corruption of the Church around them and called for change - but how can the original be reached by a branch off from a corrupt tree? You need to go to the roots themselves, and see if they are good. And this happened.
Because God loves us, He has never left us to our own devices to work out the way to salvation ourselves. He calls prophets to lead the way. From time immemorial he has called prophets and even sent his Son, Jesus Christ to establish His church, to introduce key elements of His doctrine which were being misunderstood at the time. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Incredibly, people even rejected Jesus Christ and the earth fell into a state which we call "apostasy" - or a turning away from God. This apostasy had been foretold even by prophets in the Bible. And that authority that Jesus Christ gave to his Apostles, that was lost as the people were too wicked to listen to them, and they were martyred one by one.
But the message that I share as a missionary is one of joy! The gospel has been restored! God still has the same power, still has the same love for us. And we definitely still have the same need for guidance from on high. It was restored through Joseph Smith, who said a prayer that changed my life. In the 1800s, in that time of religious freedom in America and amidst all the turmoil of so many churches, each denouncing the other and declaring that they were the only one that was true and right, Joseph Smith knelt down in a grove of trees and offered up a humble prayer, asking which church he should join. His prayer was answered, and he saw the living God, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. And through direction from God and His angels, Joseph Smith found and translated the Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ into English. You can hold that evidence of God's love in your hands. I hold it in my hands everyday. I study it everyday. And I know that the words printed therein are true. And I know it is true because the power of the Holy Ghost has made it manifest to me. What else could persuade me to leave my life behind? Only the truth.
What I love about being a missionary is that I never have to ask anyone to believe me, all I need to do is to direct them to God themselves, through prayer. It is promised by a prophet who wrote in the Book of Mormon that "by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things." It may not come at once, and it may be very difficult to recognise. But doubt not, for it will come and you can know of these things for yourself.
One of my companion's very favourite things about being a missionary is having the opportunity to watch people change. The more we study this gospel, the more Sister Green and I look up at each other and say, 'This must be true! How else could everything fall so flawlessly into place?' And we truly just feel humbled to be a part of those that represent Him as we declare His word to the people of Adelaide. The time is too short! It's been ... 4 months? 4 and a half? Everyday I am happy because I am getting better at recognising the many blessings the Lord has heaped upon my humble little life.
I love the Lord. And I love the work! And I love you all. I hope you know that.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
Saturday, April 12, 2014
I'm not sure what to share this week.
Things fly by my head.
Just reading over my journal entries this past week has been amazing!
I am so blessed to be here on my mission.
My optimism is never-failing.
And why should it fail?
I know why I am here.
I know that this is my calling and I just feel so ... blessed.
Words fall short.
But I do have something to share with Nivvi - if you read this! I hope you do because I want to tell you something and I have no other way of doing so. We are teaching this Indian family about the Book of Mormon and the girl is 12 and her brother is 10 and the girl reminds me of everything I love about you! Her smile is so huge - if we studied law (or anything) together I know we'd also have a blast. And I can't explain it but when I teach her I just feel this instant kind of love for her and her family. I get so excited. So, I hope you're doing well Nivvi!
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
"I thank my Heavenly Father for each and every day I have to be a part of this work. This time I have sacrificed out of my life isn't even my gift to God. It's His gift to me."
I would like to preface the message of this email by letting you all know that I love Jesus Christ. He truly is the master teacher! There is so much I learn from His example and His teachings. I hope to never stop. And I've been reading Jesus the Christ (James Talmage I think) - mostly during my free time so whilst eating (so not that much has changed ... book in one hand, spoon in the other) and it blows my mind. How can we truly love people that we do not know? How can we become like someone we do not know? This is why it is important and why I love morning study. There is much good to learn in this world. I am very excited.
And anyway, during my morning study this morning I have been studying the Book of Mormon as is required here in the ZAAM and I have reached 3 Nephi. I am taking it really slowly to really help let the teachings of the Saviour sink in. And today something really stood out to me that I want to be able to share with you.
When Jesus Christ visited the Americas, he was about to leave for the day and he had just counselled the people to 'Go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.' And then as he is about to leave he 'Beheld the multitude and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.' This really struck my heart. I'm sure all of you know what that feels like, to want someone to stay or to capture a moment for just that little bit longer. For me, I remember my little sister - she told me before I left that she didn't want me to go, and when I said that I was going she asked if I could go maybe when I was 50? - and it strikes a tender chord. But to continue with the narration, Jesus then said 'Behold my bowels are filled with compassion towards you,' and he asked if there were any sick or lame or blind or halt or maimed or leprous or withered or deaf or afflicted in any manner. And they were brought forth one by one and he did heal them... 'And then they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.' And then he prayed for them, the words of the prayer so great and marvellous that it cannot be written. And then he said 'Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.' And after he said those words, he wept. And then he blessed the children.
|"Jesus Christ visits the Americas" - Painting by John Scott|
|"Jesus Christ" by Heinrich Hofmann |
On that note I would like to share with you a miracle I have witnessed on my mission. This dear Sister whom I shall keep anonymous has attended church faithfully with her brother and her sister-in-law for 16 years. 16 years is an awfully long amount of time. 16 years ago I wasn't even in kindergarten.... But her father has never allowed her to be baptised. And just last Saturday, that changed! It was a beautiful service. And she shone. Her whole countenance shone. And I am so grateful to have even been able to witness that. Good things truly do come to those who wait.
I leave you these things as my testimony that I truly am part of something so much bigger than myself. And I thank my Heavenly Father for each and every day I have to be a part of this work. This time I have sacrificed out of my life isn't even my gift to God. It's His gift to me. I love you all! And hope you are doing well.