Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dear Family! (10/12)

Again I don't have much to report this week. We are really struggling in our area to find people to teach. We have spent the majority of the members and strengthening them and encouraging them to do missionary work. We haven't seen any success from this yet but hopefully things will start to fall into place for us because we are really working as hard as we possibly can and I know we will be blessed for it. 

   Yesterday during the broadcast of General Conference I was reflecting on what I would write to all of you and the thought occurred to me that I haven't really shared my testimony with you as much as I should throughout my mission. 

   As my time here is winding down I look back and I am amazed at how much I have learned and how strong my testimony is now. I thought that I had a strong testimony before I left, but that tiny flame is nothing compared to the bonfire that I have now. I think that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the last seventeen months has really allowed me to use it in my own life and I have never been happier. I firmly believe that Jesus is the Christ. It is because of Him that we can all live again and not just as individuals but as families. Here is a link to a video that we share with people that come into the Visitors' Center. I think it has a really powerful message:

  The foundation of my testimony of Jesus Christ comes from the Book of Mormon. Studying the Book of Mormon has allowed me to really come to know what I must do in this life to have peace and happiness. There are so many examples in the Book of Mormon of the love that Heavenly Father has for us. It is this love that the Plan of Salvation is based on. Through the plan of salvation that we really can live with our families forever. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it really is the word of God. I have seen it change people's lives and it has changed my life for the better.  

  Another amazing gift that I have achieved from my mission is a stronger testimony of repentance and change. I have learned here like never before that repentance is necessary and that change is possible. It is amazing to me that we can have a weakness or something that we struggle with and then we can humble ourselves and ask god for help and be given the strength to overcome it over come it. I feel like I have changed and grown so much and I know that this is a pattern that I can continue to apply in my life. I used to think that repentance was something to be ashamed of or something to be embarrassed about because it meant that I wasn't good enough or something like that. I now know that it is a beautiful gift and we need to use this gift everyday to be able to progress and move forward. 

  As glorious as all of these truths are, we wouldn't have any of them if it weren't for the work and sacrifice of the prophet Joseph Smith. As a young boy he was called as a prophet and I know that he saw what he said he saw and that he did what he said he did. I am eternally grateful for the work of Joseph Smith as God's prophet in the latter-days because it it weren't' for him, I wouldn't have the relationship my Savior that I now enjoy. 

  This is just a small piece of my testimony and it is very special to me. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to go out and hare these truths with the people here everyday. I love this gospel and I love this church and I love being a missionary. Remember that Heavenly Father loves each of you and know that I love you! 

Sister Simkins
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