Monday, August 11, 2014
August 11, 2014
Starting with the funny moment slash picture this time! This week we proselyted about family history on the main street of Warsaw! We dressed up like we were from the 50's for an extra umph! :)
So...the last email! I guess I don't even know where to start because how is one possibly supposed to sum up a year and a half of their life... not just that, but a year and a half of growth, miracles, realizations, new friends, new places, new responsibilities, changed desires, and a stronger testimony all in one email?
I was praying last night and asking Heavenly Father what exactly it is that He wanted me to talk about in my last email home because i was actually pretty nervous for it. I was looking through some old journals and some spiritual notes, and something that stood out to me is LIGHT! I really didn't understand the idea of light before my mission. I'm sure you've all heard many times that some people just have "a certain light about them" or that someone "is glowing". People have even said that to me a few times in my life, and I always just thought they were just saying words that were kind...but I have learned over the course of my misison that this light is absolutely real! It is the light of The Savior that is with in us all (Moroni 7, Book of Mormon). I think a way that helps me understand how this light works is by thinking of a mirror behind our eyes...The light from our Savior reflects off of that "mirror" and projects out of our eyes! When the mirror is dirty, it doesn't reflect as well...when the mirror is clean, the light reflects bright and strongly! Our choices influence the cleanliness of this mirror. Listen people, everyone makes mistakes...everyone dirties their mirror! Eventually the grime on the mirror can get so built up that not very much light or no light at all can even reflect off of it. But all that grime and dirt can be washed away!...through the Savior! I have learned and seen first hand on my misison that when someone repents and stops doing what is wrong (whether it be pride, addictions, a dirty mouth, or laziness in keeping the commandments), Jesus Christ cleans our mirror and His light brightly beams from out of us! When we are made clean enough for the Spirit to fill us, His light shines out of us! I just wanted to write a couple of instances where I have witnessed this light:
--When I moved to Katowice in November, an investigator helped me get off the train...I remember being struck by the light that shone from out of his eyes! I knew that he was a true seeker of Christ and had been changing his life around to live more in line with what the Savior teaches us!
--When I saw a picture of two people who were in the same room and same lighting, and one's face sort of looked hidden in a shadow and the other one's face looked radiant and beaming light! One had been living the standards of the gospel and the other one hadn't.. The spirit truly shone out of that person's eyes and smile!
--I've seen it in Łódź after the baptism of 3 of my friends...something was different! Something was clearer! Cleaner! I know the Savior's light really truly changed them!
--I've seen it in myself too. When I have have recently recommitted myself to the Lord, I am serious, my eyes truly are bluer! When I feel joy, they even sparkle!
I know that this light of Christ is a clear manifestation in those who are repenting and who are filled with the Spirit! For those who haven't cleaned off their mirror in a while, I know with absolute certainty, that The Savior can help you clean it off! You can have that light in your life again. Commit yourself to loving the Savior. Do what He asks because you LOVE HIM! Not because you're told to and not beause you know you should...do it because you love the Lord. His light fills with more joy than I can even describe! It can change people! It has changed me!
I know this is the Lord's church. I know it because I have experienced what it's like to be led by Him as I've been called to invite people to it. It's not just "a church"...it is "THE church"! There is no other way to feel completely free of past mistakes without coming to the Savior...that can mean "coming to church and renewing your covenants and being clean again". That can mean "coming to the waters of baptism and becoming ellegable to partake of Christ's Atonement".
You know...I've been doing this for a year and a half and I could not be more grateful for this training for the rest of my life. My mission has taught me lessons and given me tools that have prepared me to "live in the world but not of the world". To have other priorities, but make the Lord my first priority. To not just do things because I know they're right, but do them because I have a desire to! Because I know the Lord wants me to! I'll honestly say that I haven't made a 180 degree turn around in who I am (seeing that I did live the gospel before my mission), but I can with complete confidence say that the few degrees that I have turned have made all the difference, and I feel like I have become what Heavenly Father needed me to become during this time. He has helped me become a more deeply dedicated disciple of His Son. It is my lifetime goal to do and say what I do in his name, even in writing this email. He really turly is the light of the world...look to Him and make Him your priority, your goal, and your path. I love Him and am so so so grateful that I got to serve Him among some of his most beloved children in Poland!
Niech żyje Ewanglia w Polsce!
Sister Kendall Taylor Blake