I've been so grateful for the things that I have learned and experienced over this two-year time period. It has involved some pressure often and yet it has been such a joy; I've experienced such joy as I have not known previously - not as much nor so often. It has come from the growth I've seen as an individual, of course, but most of all I have come to know my Redeemer to a degree I didn't before, and that has lead to my unsurpassed happiness.
|Josh Meeting with the William's family this week.|
Along that train of thought, I am grateful that many of you have taken something away from the things I've learned as I've sent these weekly emails, and I want to leave you all with the best of what I have taken from all these principles and these two years.
It begins with a boy and a testimony. For us in our church, a testimony is something that you know or believe to be true, that you have learned for yourself. It's not a perfect faith or knowledge, but it's enough to believe in and that belief spurs you to action. I also did not have a perfect knowledge. I believed in a God who is my Heavenly Father, I thought that He loved me, and I believed myself and heard from friends and family that many other people could be benefited by the things that we believe to be true in church. I didn't know perfectly, but that belief and trust in that idea prompted me to come.
I don't know, as it's been a while since I've said anything on it, if you all are familiar with the expectation of missionaries as representatives of Jesus Christ. We don't come out for ourselves or based off of our own honor or for personal gain. It does grant us a lot in the personal progress department, however our purpose - as stated by ourselves every day and by the church missionary leadership - our purpose is to come unto Christ, and invite and help others to come unto Christ by helping them receive His gospel through having things like faith, baptism, repentance and change, and His Spirit to be with them in their lives.
I was just a young boy (though 20 years old) and by fair measurement am not far off from that still. However, having fulfilled that purpose of coming unto Christ and inviting others to do so the best I could each day has changed my heart to something more than the heart of that young man walking off the plane who had yet to live this way, serving others and helping them recognize the love of their Savior. I'm definitely not trying to put myself on a pedestal; I've said too much about humility in weeks past to do that haha. It's not so much about that; I've just come to know so much good.
I want you all to know that I know that everything good comes from God. It's His plan and the Savior's grace that save us and bring us happiness. I live for Him, and love Him. I know that He loves me.
I think it's fitting to end with love - the meaning of iokwe.
I love you all and am grateful for your interest in my progress and for being involved in the journey.
I love Christ, and I'm grateful for His love and salvation.
Thanks for all of the strength you've all given as support during these couple years. It's not without an impact - I'm grateful. Now, onward and forward!
See you all soon!