I felt like I should write to my home ward. If possible, Mom, could you have this one be read to our ward? Thanks.
1 Nephi 1:20
Dear Family and Friends
Thank you so much for all the support, prayers, letters, emails, packages, and good thoughts that have been sent my way. I don't think that until now I have been as grateful as I should have been. I know that it is a sacrifice. I know that Heavenly Father has heard your prayers and honored your sacrifice, and that He, in His infinite mercy, is choosing to bless me and the people of Uruguay as a result. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.
Last week was an extremely difficult week for me. Where missionaries are the recipients of so many blessings, I believe that we are also subjects of great opposition-- and opposition is not something that is always immediately visible to the natural eye. Fortunately, the Lord looks upon the heart, and one of my favorite names of Christ is the Great Physician.
I know that the mission is the only place in the world where I could understand the Atonement at the depth of understanding that Heavenly Father has blessed me with through these experiences. I am so grateful to be surrounded by leaders who have firm and unwavering testimonies of Jesus Christ. It is through their faith and help that God has reached out to me this week. I testify of the power of priesthood blessings given by faithful and worthy priesthood holders.
I testify of the incredible strength and divine help that is found in the Gift of the Holy Ghost, a gift which I too often take for granted-- or even forget that I have. During times of difficulty (whatever form that difficulty may choose to manifest itself), I testify that we can find refuge in the Holy One of Israel, who will never fail us, who will never loose patience with our own repeated failures, who remembers His covenant people in everlasting mercy and grace. It is through His small, tender mercies that He manifests His mighty hand. The same hand which crafted the universe and keeps the cosmos in order is in every aspect and every corner of our lives, and if we look we will see that we have, in reality, have enough resources to keep going, the strengthe to press forward with a steadfastness in Christ.
My dear family and friends, I plead with you wherever you are that you turn to Heavenly Father in prayer, and search the scriptures diligently for His guidance and counsel. In short I plead with you to remember that Jesus Christ is your Savior, that He gave all of Himself for you, and that there is no such thing as not worthy enough, not smart enough, not experienced enough, not spiritual enough, too old, too young, nor too sinful to have access to the Atonement of the Son of God.
I love you forever,