Well, this might be the very last letter I write as a missionary. I'm not sure if next week I'll be able to or not.
First off the temple dedication was super awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been a really long time since I went to the temple and it was so good to feel the spirit of the temple around me again. The temple really is a holy place. It is the House of the Lord. Elder Bednar was there with President Uchtdorf. I really enjoyed his talk. He talked about OUR dead. He put so much emphasis on the word OUR. In the scriptures it always says OUR dead not THE dead, but OUR dead. The work in the temple isn't for The dead but OUR dead. We must bring our own names to the temple to get the really full temple experience.
Well, I just want to say the mission has been a big roller coaster. Full of ups and downs. Spiritual highs and spiritual lows. Over all I know this mission was exactly what I needed to become the man I needed to become. There has been a lot of growth but I'm not done growing yet. That's the thing after the mission or after what ever step in life we are in it doesn't stop. It keeps going until we get to that perfect day were we are perfect. We have to keep learning and growing. The only way growth is possible is by the atonement of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer of my soul. He is the rock of salvation. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is everything, and without him and his Atonement we are nothing at all. I don't know how people can live with out the purifying and rehabilitating powers of the Atonement. It is so necessary to live. I also know that because He loves us so much he called Joseph Smith to be the prophet of the restoration. That man WAS and IS a prophet of God. He translated the Book of Mormon to Bring another testimony that Jesus is the Christ. I know that its true. WE HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE POSSIBLE.
I love y'all so much, and I hope and pray for the best. I'll see you soon
P.S. This is what I want for dinner when I get home
BBQ RIBS, mashed potatoes and gravy, Dr. Pepper, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, homemade bread, bacon, Strawberries, watermelon,, Ranch dressing, salad and chocolate Chip cookies.....I think that would do.
Thank you so much for your words. I have been so worried about the future. I don't want to go home in a way. the other side says heck yeah go home, but that is a small part. Your words always come at the right time.
My thoughts about the mission. Well at the beginning it was a combination of many things of why I went. I don't know which was more powerful, or in what order it came in. These reasons are not in any specific order. I felt a duty because I loved God. He wanted me to go so how would I say no to Him. I felt a duty to the family. Y'all had given me everything, and prepared me to go. Every cousin had gone before me, and on moms side I would be the first. Everyone said go; How could I say no to y'all? Another was a duty of society. The church and its leaders had put so much time into me and attention. People like Fradnsen and Gerber wanted me to go, and did everything to get me there. How could I say no to them? Basically as you can see it was all duty driven. That's why I left. I couldn't let the ones who love me down. I also had a duty to myself. I had planned on this my whole life how could I let myself down; so I left. With all the faith I could muster I left.
The crazy thing is God can turn even a desire to believe into a knowing. I had a desire to be on the mission, for whatever reason, it was a desire. Through the process of my mission that desire turned into a love of the mission. It's gotten to the point where I don't know what else I can even do in life. Everything else seems so insignificant. Not in a bad way, but just in a way that this work is so important that it is so big compared to anything else you can do. Now this change didn't just happen. I had to be broken and stripped of my pride. It took a long time too because I am so hard headed but God is patient, and I am so grateful for that. He took this man child (probably the worst state in the natural man) and made me a Man of God. Now I'm not perfect, but now I know how to get better and use the atonement to fix my problems and my weaknesses.
It really works! The gospel really works! The testimony I wrote to mom, but basically it's that I KNOW. There is now doubt dad. How can I doubt when I have literally felt His power and He has answered my questions. The atonement really is real. It makes us feel better in every way possible. Jesus is my savior. He died for me. I'm still trying to figure out how his atonement is possible but until I know how I'm just going to keep using it because it works. This is his church on the earth again. It's here to unite families now and through out the eternities. The Book of Mormon is TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone who reads it will feel its power and it they don't its because they choose not to feel it. I love this gospel. Going inactive is not an option. The only option is to live it to its fullest, and then gain exaltation. I know This is the plan of God. If I turn away from this my life will be dark and lonely. I know all this is true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you dad,