My dearest family and friends,
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! I can't tell you how much your examples, support and your prayers have impacted my life. I fly home on Wednesday and complete my mission and my feelings are definitely mixed at the moment!!!! I am so excited to see you all again and to enjoy the holidays together.
This week has been incredible and this last little bit of time I have been able to spend with everyone here has meant the world to me. I have been reflecting a lot these past few days about my mission, the experiences I've had, the people I've met,and I am just soooo grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending me here to the California Los Angeles mission! When I first arrived to the mission, I remember my mission president and wife explaining to me about the mission, what it's like, the people, geography etc. and I vividly remember them referring to Los Angeles, as the city of angels, translated in Spanish, is what it means. Historically there a few reasons why its named that, but I know that by many other missionaries over the years, it has been said that this is the greatest mission in the world and that angels surround this mission and the missionaries. It honestly was difficult for me, in the beginning, to see Los Angeles as a city that could even be associated with something as angelic, as angels. The city itself, is surrounded with people that are very much involved in the world; Babylon at its finest! But as I have been on my mission, as I have witnessed so many miracles, I have been able to see the hand of the Lord over this mission. There are souls that need saving, and lives that need the message of the gospel, and so many are prepared to hear it! I have been a witness of the angels, the missionaries serving full time missions, and very much the angels from our Father in Heaven sent down to help in our missionary work.
"And whoso receiveth you, there will I be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand, and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88
I have felt so strongly the strength and help of the Lord and His angels through my hard times on the mission, and I have also felt their presence in the joyous times! Yesterday we were able to go up to the temple to do baptisms for the dead and go to the Visitors Center one last time with Norma and Francisco. As we walked around the temple, Norma just continued pointing at the temple as we walked around and just kept saying, that that's going to be her "home", soon she will be able to enter with Francisco into the temple and be sealed as a family. It made my heart so full! That is why I am serving my mission, so that others can come to Christ, accept the gospel, to enter the temple with their families and to be exalted. Every ounce of energy, every tear, every worry, every discouraging day is worth it! It is so worth it. I testify that Heavenly Father loves us. He love us SOOO much, and I have felt that love in my heart, SO much love for me, my investigators, the members, less actives, recent converts, for everyone, so much that my heart feels like it could burst. I know that missionary work is the greatest work that us as members of Christ's church can do. I feel so privileged to have been able to serve Him for 18 months and I know that this service is just the beginning. I testify that the power of the Atonement is real. I have felt His strength, His presence, His guidance through the spirit and because that spirit of Christ has entered into my heart, and enter the hearts of others, I will truly never be the same again!
I love you! See you SOON!!!!!!