Hey folks! Remember how last week was like the best week ever and almost everything went right and it was all rainbows and butterflies? Well this week was like the exact opposite of that! Woo hoo!!! :-)
Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some rays of sunshine (like we had a marvelous lesson with Aiêny, our pesquisador Newton is gonna be baptized this week, we ate waffles, the weather was decent, we ate some berries we found growing on a tree in the street, etc...), but I definitely won't be dwelling much on this week for too long.
The good news is that as always, there was a lesson to be learned here (or at least that's what I'm telling myself so that I feel better). So we got to church on Sunday and we were definitely in a broken-hearted and spiritually contrite state. While these days/weeks/trials are always hard for us to support, they are wonderful opportunities for us draw closer unto Christ. I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:6,8-10,
"6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
I think I could write about 20 pages about these verses alone and how much I love them (but I won't today). This week we felt troubled and cast down, but we were not destroyed and we never will be. After Sister Newell bore her testimony and we began to sing I know That My redeemer Lives, I was overcome with the spirit. The words touched deep in my heart and I felt the Savior saying to me "I love you. I love you and I am here for you and I will never let you be overtaken." It was a very special moment and exactly what I needed to hear and feel.
I know that my Savior lives and loves me. I know that this is His work and that we were born to succeed gloriously in what we're here to do, THAT is our purpose. I know that all of our struggles and trials are for our benefit if we let them be, if we go to the Lord in humility and meekness and ask Him to help us be refined. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that we have every week to partake of the atonement and to make Christ a part of us physically and spiritually through the sacrament, because without that power we won't have what it takes to face our challenges with the assurance that we're going to come out on top.
I love you all so so much and hope that you remember that you all make time to think about and feel how much Christ loves you personally and individually.