Joluk bōd for last week--I wrote out an entire email and then decided at the end of my time that it wasn't what I wanted to send out, so I had no time to rewrite it.
Life has been great. We got to go to the Temple. What a huge blessing it was to enjoy the peaceful spirit that prevails there. It was definitely the highlight of the past few weeks...
Until ...Danny and his family were finally baptized!! That was such a great moment. We watched them change over the past couple of months to become a family anxious to make covenants with God and follow the example of the Savior. They were confirmed and as we had a lesson with them after church, I was reflecting on the changes that they had made. I can see how they have grown closer as a family. I can see the greater light that exists in their home and just in their very lives. You can just see a difference in them. They seem so happy. I realized that helping people make that change in their lives is why I came out here. I experienced that change myself. I know that newfound joy comes from living the principles of the Gospel. Danny told us his life didn't have direction before; he was just living day to day. Now he is working to learn, to better himself, and one day return to live with God again. He's following the Savior. I want that for everyone.
I've been serving a full-time mission for over six months now. 1/4 of my mission is now over. Instead of a weekly challenge, I want to share some of what I have learned so far.
I've had some time to spend really living what we teach. I've spent time helping others to live it. I've studied it, prayed about it, fasted about it. I've learned for myself that these are true principles. They don't exist to hold us back or limit our lives. They exist because our loving Heavenly Father wants to set us free, help us to be happy--truly happy, and one day return to live with Him again. I know that as you live them, as you really apply the teachings of the Savior, that they will bless your life. No matter what needs or concerns I've run into, they all have been able to be resolved by wholly living the Gospel. I love it. It's making me happy.
It's making me happy because it helps me to change. I am not a great person. It's nice because I can relate to people that we talk to and share with them my struggles and weaknesses. I have a lot of shortcomings. That's not me being down on myself or negative, just being honest. The mission field has been a great experience so far because I have been able to recognize those weaknesses. The Lord promises
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them," (Ether).
That promise has come true for me. As I have recognized those weaknesses, when I have humbly tried to draw closer to the Savior, He has helped to change me. That has been a constant source of joy for me. I know that through the Savior's Atonement and sacrifice for us, we can find peace, relief, and true lasting happiness by changing and becoming more like Him.
Thank you all for your continual support as I have been serving out here. I know you take time out of your lives to read from and write to me. It means a lot and helps to keep me going. I love you all and hope to continue to have you with me on my journey.
P.S. Transfers happened--I'm staying in Norman. Still with Elder Larsen. Wahoo!!!!
Elder Josh Kilmer
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission, Marshallese/English speaking
Fudoshin: immovable spirit