Dear all (or Hey y'all, what ever suits you best),
This week was absolutely incredible. There are just so many things to be grateful for in this great work. There are miracles everywhere. You need only to open your eyes and see.
We found a family this week... with 7 kids. Yeah. We were pretty excited. The mom let us right in! They are so great! I can't even describe it! I'll keep you posted on how they progress. Ah! :)
I am ever grateful that the Lord saw fit to call me to invite others to come unto Him. The opportunity to serve others in this way has been the most remarkable thing that I could have ever hoped to do in this phase of my life. I have seen the gospel bless other people in ways that I never thought imaginable. This is truly the greatest work in all the earth!
We have an investigator who works in a donut shop, and she loves to tell stories about people who come into the shop and are just so happy because they're getting donuts. She loves making people's days! But she also sometimes tells us stories about people who aren't so happy. "How can they be grumpy in a donut shop?" she is always lamenting. I ask that same question: How could someone be grumpy in a donut shop? (Because, really... It's a donut shop.) But I also ask another question: how can someone be grumpy in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
"Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy (D&C 128:19)."
"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25)."
What do we hear in the gospel? A voice of gladness! We know that men are that they might have joy!
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33) ."
Christ himself has told us to be of good cheer! He has overcome the world and is the Way to help us overcome it, too!
When He visited the Nephites, Christ knelt and uttered a prayer so sacred that it could not be recorded:
"And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full (3 Nephi 17:18-20)."
These Nephites caused Christ great joy because of their faith, and we can as well. And because of our faith, we can receive a fulness of joy in the kingdom of our Father!
"And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy... (3 Nephi 28:10)"
"Behold, canst thou read this without rejoicing and lifting up thy heart for gladness? (D&C 19:39)"
This gospel is a gospel of joy! Because the fulness of the gospel has been restored to the earth, we know the true purpose of life. Because a young boy retired to a grove of trees and knelt in prayer in the spring of 1820, we know the true nature of God. Because God loves and speaks to all of His children through prophets-living and ancient-we have been given the Book of Mormon to help us understand who Jesus Christ truly is. Because of Jesus Christ, we know the way to return to our Heavenly Father. Because we can return to our Heavenly Father, we will receive a fulness of JOY.
"Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing (D&C 128:22)"
May we always remember the joy that is found in the gospel and continually find joy in the journey.