Wednesday, February 17, 2016

And The Gospel Continues To Be Shared...

I am going to rewind a bit to the day Sierra had her open house. There are so many things I want to share about Sierra's special day, and because I wasn't there to help her in any way physically, I went to town texting, and calling my friends I left behind in Utah all about my daughter's missionary farewell! I am grateful for the many friends that showed up to express their love, and support to her. 

But there is one particular person that I am most grateful for showing up, and the words "thank you" don't seem like enough. This one person (along with this other dear friend who couldn't make it) were there for me 23 years ago while I was investigating the church. 
// My dear friend Susanna, (who I knew as Sister Lee) taught me the gospel, and here she is with our lovely daughter! //

I don't want to be prolix in sharing every single detail of how I became a member because you can read my entire conversion story in this post. It's amazing to look back at that post, and see myself in a different light. Sometimes it's hard for me to fathom it! Who knew that because of my joining the church, I'd marry a wonderful man in the church, have children, and almost 24 years later have my firstborn serving a mission! Unbelievable, and remarkable at the same time! 

The Lord definitely knows our plan in this life, and because of Heavenly Father's plan I know that I had to endure every single thing that I have come to pass on this earth until now, and the same goes for my family. In order for all of us to be where we are at in this life we had to endure all things. And for our oldest daughter to be where she's at today...serving a mission. 

I want to share a snippet from her farewell talk that relates to this post. I can't even begin to express my gratitude to her in deciding to serve a mission, because she is indeed going to have a huge impact on so many people. I know that for a fact because two missionaries had a huge impact on my life! 

"Now, we all know the Atonement accounts for two parts of death...physical, and spiritual. Physical death is the first part that we all have the right of overcoming. But the second part, the spiritual death, is an aspect that everyone on this earth has to attain. We are not entitled to overcome spiritual death, it is a reward we must work towards. 

As a missionary, I'm going to the Philippines to remind those who've lived without the gospel, that they chose to come here. In the pre-mortal existence, everyone who has a body on this earth wanted to follow God's plan, and volunteered to come here, go through an individual experience of trials, tribulations, and lessons that would help us to remember our life before, and have the opportunity to come back to Him. Unfortunately, we also passed through "the veil", and that hindered our ability to retain all of our spiritual knowledge of the life hereafter, of God's plan of happiness. Missionaries help bridge that gap. We are some of the ones who help others realize their purpose on Earth, and recognize the spirit and what a beautiful change it can bring." 

I know from experience that missionaries do help bridge that gap because they helped me along the way. They helped me to understand what the atonement meant, and what i needed to do in order to be clean again. I know for a surety that the atonement is real. Without it I would not be who I am today. For many of you who somewhat knew how I used to be in my younger years should be a testament to my actions today. I love the Lord, and with all the imperfections I am given I know that I can continue to work on them. Although I may have a few small regrets I am grateful for the hard experiences I endured thoughout my life until now because without them, I wouldn't be challenged enough to grow spiritually. 

Our daughter's past, like mine, has been dotted with "stupid actions" (those are her words.) But without the repentance process, and the opportunity to turn ourselves around, and be able to be clean before Him once again, she would have never considered a mission. And for that I am truly grateful. 

And so I end this post with a quote from her favorite apostles (and mine too) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. This talk was given back in 2000 when he spoke at the Provo MTC. 

"Throughout the teaching experience, missionaries must bear testimony of the Savior, and His gift of salvation to us. Obviously you should bear testimony regularly of all the principles you are teaching, but it is especially important that you bear testimony of this central doctrine in the plan of our Heavenly Father. There are several reasons for bearing testimony. One, is that when you declare the truth, it will bring an echo, a memory, even if it is an unconscious memory to the investigator, that they have heard this truth before--and of course they have. A missionary's testimony invokes a great legacy of testimony dating back to the councils in heaven before this world was. There, in an earlier place, these same people heard this same plan outlined, and heard there the role that Jesus Christ would play in their salvation." 

Elder Holland's words ring true, and as I was being taught the gospel I knew immediately that what I was learning was true. I wanted to change my path in the life I was living. I was tired of not succeeding, being a failure, feeling as if I was truly alone. I wanted to make sure that through all the abuse I endured that I was still loved by God. It was then when the sisters stepped foot inside the small apartment I was living in with my mom that I wasn't alone. That I wasn't a failure. That I was supposed to have endured all those things. And that I chose to come here to work at gaining eternal life. That Heavenly Father is there for me. That He has a plan, a way to where I can value my life now, and in the eternities. 

So thankful for the missionaries that saved my life, for the restored gospel that puts everything in perspective, and that our daughter has chosen to serve a mission. That she is out there learning a different language, and growing more by being around other missionaries in becoming more knowledgeable with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The word of God is amazing. It truly brings an unspeakable happiness that sometimes I just can't explain. It's a warmth, a joy, a fulfilling "drug" if you will, that is needed on a daily basis, and like the Bible, I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that it was restored for us today so that we can learn from it. So that one day we can return back to our Father in Heaven in full glory without feeling any guilt. I know that if we try each day to correct our wrongs, and just love without any backlashing, backbiting, or unfriendliness, that the Lord will help us to be better. I know this is true. I see it in myself everyday. The harder I try, the happier I am. The more I love, the more joy I have. The more I put the Lord first with His teachings, the stronger I become. 

If you are interested in learning more about the missionaries, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, please don't hesitate to email me or log onto lds.org. to learn more. I can even send you a Book of Mormon for free! There are missionaries all over the world who can contact you too! 

**Also...if you want to send our sister Sierra any letters while she's in the MTC please do so! I know she'd love snail mail. She'll be there until the end of March! 


Provo MTC address:
Sister Sierra Jorgensen
MAR30 PHI-URD
2005 N. 900 E. Unit 204
Provo, UT 84602



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