God gives us agency not to change his doctrines. He gives us agency to choose if we will learn, accept, and live them.

Hi everyone!

I wish I could record every moment of the mission so you would understand all that I would love to explain. But I’m a little limited. 🙂 This week was really great. We were able to increase our results even more, and continue to higher our goals and work hard to achieve them. I love the mission. What a great deal have I learned and experienced. It is the most treasured time of my whole life up until now, and I know that it will continue to be a treasure to me.

We have been teaching Cintia almost daily this week and she is progressing so rapidly. The greatest difference between her and other investigators? Her will power. She reads the Book of Mormon daily and has great questions for us each time we teach her. She yearns to learn and do all that is within her reach to strengthen her faith and repent of her sins. We had a very personal experience with her this week as we taught about the principle of justice and mercy. At one point during the lesson, we saw that she had a question. We asked her to share with us her question as she hung her head. She finally looked up and was teary as she told us that she didn’t know if all her sins could be forgiven. She was DEVASTATED as she felt that something could keep her from being baptized. We could see that it truly was something serious, and we could FEEL her anguish throughout the night and all day following that cita. In our lesson the following night, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that it is ONLY by living the principles of His gospel that we may find peace and happiness in our journey back to His presence. Cintia felt it as well. We were all touched and we were able to know by the end of our lesson and could testify to Cintia that she could be completely cleansed by true repentance and baptism on the 5th of September and becoming purified by the gift of the Holy Ghost. She continues to read, learn, repent, and prepare for baptism.

We have been experiencing great blessings as we work with the members of the ward. We have been able to leave with them to contact the references they give of friends and family, long-lost high school companions, or little-known neighbors. I encourage all of you to pray for opportunities to share the gospel every day! I know that it may be hard when you go to a high school where 99% are members of the church, but that does not deprive you of opportunities to share the gospel, nor is it an excuse. 🙂 This work will not move forward until we, the members of the church, recognize our great part to play.

I was studying this morning in Alma 41 and 42 and I felt that my knowledge of a certain principle I have been recognizing and understanding on my mission was greatly strengthened. One of the greatest and surely the most sly of all lies that Satan has planted in the hearts of many people that we contact and teach is that ALL of the churches will take us someday to the same God. It doesn’t matter which church we belong to in the end. We all adore the same God, and one simply needs to learn well what his or her church requires, live it well, love our neighbor and God, and we will all be saved. A question we often ask is, if all of the different doctrines contradict themselves, how could they all be taught by God? How could a loving Father teach contradicting doctrines? How could the spirit testify of teachings that are completely opposite, or even varied in the slightest way? Our Father’s plan is already set. His commandments were set in stone long before we came to this earth. God gives us agency not to change his doctrines. He gives us agency to choose if we will learn, accept, and live them…. Or no. In Alma 41:8, Alma says to his son, Coriantum that

“… the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.”

The way is ALREADY prepared! Our duty is to find it, and “walk after his commandments” (2 John 1:6). What authority have we to decide what God requires of us so we may enter into His presence? This plan is of HAPPINESS. But the happiness we desire is only achieved when we learn our duty and do it, ever increasing our faith, and ever repenting of our errors. The Book of Mormon has helped me to know with a certainty that all of our Father’s commandments are for our protection and happiness. When we truly understand this, we will feel desirous to obey and embrace each and every one of them–not just a few or the majority. His standards are inalterable. I know that the authority of God and all of the exact principles of His gospel have been restored in the latter days through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Jesus is the Christ. This is His church! I love Him. I love my mission. I love you all! I hope you can let the Book of Mormon constantly remind you of this principle. Read, study it daily! It is true.

All my love,

Sister Christine Marcheschi

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