To my Mama! Hi Mom! Happy Mother’s Day! I love you! I honestly think Mother’s Day is one of my top favorite holidays now! Because I love my Mama so much. From here on out we are going to CELEBRATE BIG on Mother’s Day because the fact that you are my mom forever is a really big deal! I will always celebrate Mother’s Day with a completely changed, humble perspective that my mission has given me about my mom! Thank you for being my Mama!
I am thinking you will probably be getting this letter just a few days before we get to Skype on Mother’s Day. I am so excited to see my family again!
I am looking through the last letter I got from you (April 13th letter) and you asked me how I liked General Conference. Loved it! Everything was so clear and simple and good. Just solid truth. Everything was focused on Christ and love and being good and doing good. Just a couple of days ago I was re-reading through my notes form conference and wrote these 6 words on a little piece of paper and glued it on my missionary daily planner to remind me of the main things I want to remember/become from what I learned at General Conference:
“Remember Christ—Be Grateful—Love everyone.”
Another little side note about my thoughts on General Conference – not spiritually related but more of a practical observation after living in Japan for a while now…looking at the Tabernacle Choir it was like, “Whoa! Everyone has got BIG hair in America! Big bosoms too! Japanese people for the most part are small and thin and don’t do the big hair thing. It takes all kinds to make a world!
So you know how when we skyped on Christmas I asked about how I could come closer to Christ, like what did that mean, and how was I supposed to do that because I felt so far, so very far away from Christ. But I was closer than I thought. And that is the little miracle that I wanted to tell you about…now, I love Him! Christ makes life beautiful!
It’s like that hunger I felt back in December to feel closer to Christ, as I tried to do the things I knew how, like praying to feel more love for Him, and reading of Him in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, that emptiness inside started to get filled up! But it’s like as I started feeding that hunger, I got hungrier and hungrier. All I want to do is read and study and think about Christ!
These are some of the things I’ve written in my study journal as I’ve studied and just thought about Christ:
I’m reading in 3 Nephi 5 about how the Nephites believed in the signs of Christ coming to earth and how they believed He had come. They forsook all their sins and “did serve God diligently day and night.” I wonder what it must have been like to be on the earth at the same time you knew Christ was living here too; knowing He was on the other side of the world. Just knowing He was here. How sweet it must have been to live every day and sleep every night knowing He was here; knowing He had come.
Today is my half-way mark as a missionary! Wow. It has been quite the adventure…filled with so many feelings and moments and experiences. I’ve experienced probably some of the deepest pain my soul has ever felt. I’m learning that sometimes you just have to hold on. Let it be. Let it pass. I’ve also experienced some of the sweetest feelings and moments of gratitude to my Heavenly Father, for my family, the tender, beautiful mercies from my Heavenly Father and of growing grace by grace in loving Jesus Christ, my Brother, my Savior.
Yesterday and today for personal study I have read 3 Nephi 17. I’ve read this story before but when I read it yesterday and again today, I loved it so much. I read it slowly and tried to picture Christ talking to the people and looking at them and seeing their tears; of Christ laying His hands on them and healing them, of the emotion and excitement when Christ announced He was going to heal everyone with afflictions, of the people kissing His feet, of Christ kneeling and praying for the people and Him weeping and blessing the children. He is so very real! This story is so powerful because just a few days before He was performing the infinite Atonement and now here He is, resurrected, alive, and so, so full of love and mercy and compassion.
As I’ve read this story, I want so much to be there and feel and experience this sacred, pure moment. When I read this account, my soul felt good, like this is true. I believe this story with my whole heart and I feel in my heart that it is true. It’s helped me grow in love and testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I will always love this story and Him so much the more now.
Right now in personal study I am studying about Jesus Christ and the Atonement. I was just thinking about Heavenly Father and how proud He is of His Son. Just like and dad who is proud of their son when they stick something out and do something hard especially for someone else. It must have been a very sacred, quiet moment in Heaven, a very hard time for Heavenly Father. I picture Him watching. I picture Him maybe closing His eyes and just weeping for His Son and in His heart thinking, “Hold on Son, hold on. Remember who you are.”
Today when I was taking the sacrament I thought as I watched the living brothers pass the sacrament and how Christ is living. He actually took the captivity of sin and death captive. He is alive and because of that everything is actually going to be okay! I thought about Dad. It’s not the end. It’s not over. We are all eternal beings and because of the goodness of Christ life can be beautiful forever. Dad is alive. He will be resurrected and have his body again! No more sickness, no more cancer. Only triathlons and jumping on the trampoline and cross-stitching! I felt so grateful as I took the sacrament. Christ came! He overcame sin and death! Life is sure. Living is what it’s all about. Beautiful, beautiful life!
Oh my family! I love Christ. I am so grateful for our Brother who loves us and takes care of us.
“And now I would commend you to seek this Jesus…” and when you do, something beautiful will happen. He will come. He will come into your heart and life will become even more beautiful! Thank you family for loving Christ and for teaching me and helping me to learn to love Him too.
I love each of you! Forever and ever.