Monday, May 20, 2013

The Best Thing I Have Ever Done

Oi Gente!
I still have one more P-Day to send email, but I know that next week my brain and heart will be I want to share my testimony, a testimony that was definitely strengthened this year and a half that I have been serving the Lord, this week.
Serving a mission was the best thing I have ever done. No doubt. By far. I knew the mission would be hard, but it is impossible to know how hard it truly is until you have served one. I have been stretched. I have been refined in my tribulations. When we think of the Atonement, we usually think of the redeeming power of the Atonement. I have gained a testimony of the enabling power of the Atonement. I know that the Lord has given me the capacity to be an instrument in His hands. I know that as we pass through our trials, the Lord strengthens our shoulders so we can carry our burdens with more ease. He qualifies and perfects us and expands our own abilities. He allows and helps us to change!
I have seen people change. Myself being one of those people. I have seen how God changes us if we are willing to follow Him. There is no doubting that God's path that we tread by living according to the principles and ordinances of the restored gospel is the means by which we can have happiness in this life. How do I know this? Because I know that I am happy when I am obedient and seek to do God's will. Also because I have seen a DRASTIC DRASTIC DRASTIC difference in the lives and families of those who keep God's commandments and follow Him and those who prefer to worship wordly things.God is so willing to grant us eternal happiness....that is His work and His glory. If we want to be happy, we have to make and keep covenants with God. It is that simple.
I have learned that there is GREAT JOY to be found in serving people. It is great to forget about your own cares for awhile and concentrate your efforts in helping others and building the Lord's kingdom here on the earth. I have made many friendships that will last for eternity...with converts, members, missionaries, companions, President and Sister Wright. Tá louco. Why have we been blessed so much? Not to keep these blessings to ourselves, but to use these blessings, knowledge, talents to push forward Zion's cause.
I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is evidence that the Lord loves all His children. The Savior didn't just establish his church on the Asian Continent, but appeared here in the Americas to minister to the people and establish His church here as well. I know those pages are sacred and priceless.
We have a prophet here on the earth. Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece. We are the only true and LIVING church. Why can we say that the church is LIVING? Because of the revelation that we receive from God through a living prophet who has power and authority from God. I know that this power was restored to the earth through the Lord's servant, Joseph Smith. I know that the Lord didn't leave us here on earth without one of His special prophets.
I know that Christ lives. I know that this is His work. I know that He came to the earth to fulfill the Father's will. He passed through it all so that we don't have to if we will just turn to Him and repent. This is His church. He is at it's head. My sincerest desire is to be a worthy daughter of my Heavenly Father and one day be welcomed into His glorious presence as one who served Him with all her heart, might, mind, and strength.
I love you all and can't wait to see you so soon!!! (I don't think I will be one of those awkward return missionaries, but I will need all of your help if I am!!)
Sister Autumn Rae Barnes

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