As I look back at this last week, I realize that I have hit my 10-month mark--yet another milestone in a missionary's life, I have hit double digits. Congratulations to me, I've been out a while. I can't believe it! Where did it all go?!? I just left the MTC! At least that's how it feels.
Anyways, I also look back at this Easter weekend and have thought a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As many of you may or may not know, as missionaries we are given time each morning to study the scriptures and other church material to spiritually prepare ourselves for the day. I have recently started the Book of Mormon from the beginning again, and consequently I was in 1 Nephi and came across a passage of scripture that hit me very hard. in the 19th chapter, verses 7-9, it reads,
"For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels. And behold he cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem. And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."
As I sat there thinking about the sufferings of Jesus Christ, I couldn't help but think of his innocence and love. It reminded me of a scripture in the 45th section in the Doctrine and Covenants, where Christ speaks and says to the Father "behold the sufferings and death of Him who did no sin." I love this scripture, as I know the Lord will be there to stand in my place as long as I have lived my life worthy of the mercy and grace of the Savior.
As I also thought about the cruel pain Christ went through for each of us, my sadness was swallowed up as I thought about the joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the occasion for which we celebrate Easter. I love having the knowledge that we will live again. As President Monson taught us this weekend, we have the answer to Job's question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that I know that Christ lives and that we will all be able to live again because of the love that God the Father and Jesus Christ have for us. I know the reality of the Atonement and that the Savior's arms are outstretched in mercy all the day long for us if we will but come unto Him. "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you."
This week was a good one that, as you may be able to tell, was filled with many spiritual experiences. We found some new people to teach, including JJ, an African-American man who used to be a Baptist preacher. He is really friendly and rather open right now, and may end up being baptized! Elder Davis and I are really starting to see success and should start baptizing soon. Please keep us in your prayers! We are so close with a lot of people but we need all the help we can get.
General conference was amazing. If you missed it, go to lds.org and watch it!! It was so incredible!!
I hope you all have an incredible week. Keep moving forward!