How are you all? We are doing so so well out here in Cerrito. This weekend was better than Christmas. After the long-awaited conference had ended we all wanted to cry. It’s so great how as a missionary you just feel a HUNGER for the words of the living prophets and leaders of this church. It is more satisfying and joy-filling than any earthly thing.
I learned A LOT and I stressed this morning thinking how I would communicate it all to you in my email so I decided I’ll just share a little. Hahah.
At this point in my mission I have been seeing so clearly how much I lack to be the person and missionary I want to be. It is interesting how we sometimes feel worse about our weaknesses as we come closer to Christ! I have been tempted to feel discouraged by my imperfections and to compare my experiences with those of other missionaries, here and in other parts of the world. Maybe in the letter we missionaries send home everything looks inspiring and beautiful and wonderful!! But each day, pressing questions are asked in each of our hearts. Am I doing enough? Am I the missionary the Lord needs me to be? Is he pleased with my work today? What can I do better?
One principle that is really being engraved on my heart is the principle of relying completely on the Lord. We are ALL sinners who repent and daily try to be better. I love Elder Renlund’s talk. We are all far from the perfection that God plans for us. We ALL need the Atonement. We are all lost and need to be found. And Heavenly Father is watching and waiting anxiously for our return. When we start the walk back, He WILL run to us and embrace us in His loving arms!
I was profoundly touched by Elder Holland’s and President Uchtdorf’s talks. We were NEVER meant to just jump as high as we could, grapple for a moment, then fall. That is NOT the divine plan of our Father! IF we jump, Jesus Christ WILL grasp us, hold us, and lift us to eternal life. We are all SAVED by the grace of God, made possible by Jesus Christ’s part in His plan. Grace is what unlocks the gates of Heaven. We are all dependent upon it. Even if we did ALL we could possibly do, those gates would STILL be locked before us. President Uchtdorf said something like, “We all come short! We are all unclean! We are all unworthy to enter into the heavens.” We cannot earn our way to heaven. Grace is our only hope and the path of discipleship leads us to become like our Father. I think I was most impacted by President Uchtdorf’s talk. De verdad. I came to understand how FULLY God and Jesus Christ love each and every one of us equally, and how completely we all depend upon His grace to be saved after all that we can do. Although–they do not wait until we have done all we can do to help us, lift us, embrace us.
Something that also struck me during Elder L. Tom Perry´s talk is that we ALL wear the same jersey as children of God! We are all trying to find happiness and a way back to God! As missionaries our goal should never be to persuade others that we are correct, but help them to understand God´s great and eternal plan of happiness and salvation, and help them live His commandments.
I also loved the principle taught in Obispo Causse´s and Elder Andersen´s talks, about ¨hearing the music¨ of the gospel, seeing and REALLY seeing, hearing and REALLY hearing and understanding. I felt slightly melancholy pondering this principle, feeling so disappointed because of the beautiful experience lost by many of those around me who cannot yet comprehend the beauty of the gospel enough to commit themselves to really hearing the music. It moved me to want to HELP them hear, to teach more than just the steps of the dance. The gospel should ALWAYS be wonderful and breathtaking to us! If it is not, it is on us to make it wonderful again. Discover and rediscover. Forever. I love when Obispo Causse quoted “I Stand All Amazed.” That is how I felt after this conference. I too stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me… It is WONDERFUL to me!
I believe in Christ–my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I’ll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan’s grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.
I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I’ll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.
I love Jesus Christ and my Loving Father that sent Him. I know that He lives! And I am eternally grateful for Him. I love you all and I hope you are constantly striving to hear the music! To make the gospel wonderful! To let God give you all of the blessings He has. I love you all!! Thank you for everything.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Christine Marcheschi