Dear Friends and Family,
It's been another good week here in Guatemala. Church was fantastic on Sunday, and we've been doing alright so far this week as well.
Today I'll be going on divisions with Elder Pearson, my current district leader, and one of the mission secretaries when I entered the mission. He's from Ohio, and he's really great. We both have Mexican companions, so today we're going to have a competition, Mexicans vs. Gringos: who can get more contacts? The winners get ice creams, bought by the losing companionship. We're going to get going at full speed and talk to as many people as possible to be able to get the ice cream, but mostly because we need to talk to more people, because every single one of them needs the Gospel.
This week, I really gained a testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ. I thought I knew, but now I really know. It was during companionship study, and we were studying the Plan of Salvation, of which Jesus Christ is the central part. Usually, companionship study doesn't really excite me, but this day, it was absolutely amazing. For me, there are lines in several hymns that best express how I feel about my Savior.
"I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine,
to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"
(Hymn:I Stand All Amazed)
"He lives, all glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior still the same!
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
'I know that my Redeemer lives!' "
(Hymn:I know that my Redeemer lives)
Also, the hymn "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me" really touches me. I would write the words, but I only know them in Spanish, because we hardly ever sing this hymn (they don't sing it much here, either).
I'm getting close to the point where I can't "bear the thought that even one soul should be lost," as with the Sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. I still have a ways to go, but I'm really seeing the need that every single person has to be able to accept the Gospel, and be baptized with the proper authority, that of the Priesthood of God. I am seeing prophecies fulfilled from the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon, for the better and the worse. I know that the people of Guatemala need this gospel more desperately than they need anything else in their life, or more desperately than anything else they could possibly ever need. As we read in 2 Nephi 31:21
"And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen."
I'd like to close with my testimony in Spanish.
Yo sé que Jesucristo vive. Yo sé que no hay otro nombre dado debajo del cielo por medio de lo cual nos podemos salvar in el Reino de Dios, solo el de él. Yo sé que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es la única iglesia verdadera sobre la faz de la tierra hoy en día, Y que Jesucristo la Dirige por medio de un Profeta viviente. Ninguna otra iglesia tiene la autoridad del Sacerdocio para poder recibir revelación de Dios, para efectuar las ordenanzas salvadoras del Evangelio de Jesucristo, y para poder sellar familias por la eternidad. Yo sé que solo hay una senda, Y no hay ninguna otra por lo cual nos podemos salvar, y regresar a vivir con nuestro Padre Celestial, o sea, regresar a casa. Y se lo dejo en el Nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.
I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know there is no other name given under the heavens through which we can be saved in the Kingdom of God, only his. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the Earth today, and that Jesus Christ directs it through a living prophet. No other church has the authority of the Priesthood to receive revelation from God, to perform the saving ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to seal families for eternity. I know there is only one path, and there is no other path by which we can be saved, and return to live with our Heavenly Father, or rather, to return home. I leave this with you in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They are being felt, and are always much needed.
Yours in the Faith,