Monday, June 9, 2014

Down to Eight Days

Hello everyone!
And we are down to EIGHT DAYS? How in the world is this possible? I still feel like Jackson is leaving in a few months! It absolutely blows my mind that it is coming up, like, NOW. But I am so beyond thrilled and excited for you Big Jack (: You are going to be INCREDIBLE. There is nothing in the world greater than being a missionary.
This week, we had our Mission Tour with Elder Mozart Suarez. Talk about one of the most powerful conferences I have ever had in my life. Holy cow. I won't be able to even begin to explain how much I learned from that conference, but we were asked to write home and tell our families why we are here serving a mission. And I thought, "What a perfect week to do that, with all this mission preparation going on at home."
I know that some of you already know why I am here, but there are many who don't. There have been many experiences that have shaped me into who I am now and have ultimately led me to be a missionary. When I think back on my life, I see that Heavenly Father has always been preparing me for this day to serve as a full-time missionary. But the real reason that I am here, is because I have a knowledge of the truthfulness of this church and a love of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that is indescribable.
The church wasn't always a big part of my life. I never really thought about why it mattered and why I needed to live the gospel. Throughout my Junior High and High School years, I wasn't the person that I wanted to be, and I just felt miserable. The word "happiness" wasn't a part of my vocabulary. I went through the motions each day, doing what was expected of me and hating every minute of it. I didn't know what I wanted out of my life. I spent many of those days without purpose, without direction, wondering why I was here. I constantly reflected on past decisions and actions of myself and of others that led me to think selfishly. It was a very difficult few years of my life.
However, thanks to a dear friend, and the help of many of my church leaders, I was able to see that this life that I was living was never going to bring me happiness. I was able to see that there was nothing in the world that mattered more than my Savior. I learned of, studied, and applied the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life. And things changed. I learned the meaning of the word "forgiveness." I learned of a loving Heavenly Father, who didn't care that I was scarred, that I made mistakes. He loved me no matter what. He saw that I could grow, that I could overcome those weaknesses and those difficulties. I learned that this life meant something more. I learned that maybe every day would be a challenge, but that every day would bring blessings. I began to feel joy, something that my heart had never seemed to feel before. I learned that I had something greater that I needed to do with my life. I learned that my family was the most important thing in the world. I learned that there were others who needed help. I learned that I could be an example; that I could help other people see this transformation in their own lives, as I had seen it in mine. I learned that this gospel of Jesus Christ was the only route to happiness. And as I learned those things and truly changed my life around, I knew without a doubt, that I needed to serve as a missionary.
It's been a process of learning. It's an ongoing process of learning. There is much that I need to do, much that I need to improve, but every single day, I am getting a little bit better, thanks to the help of my Savior and His Atonement. I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this gospel. I have seen it work in my life. I have seen the differences between the darkness and the light. And I know that it is through this gospel that this transformation has taken place. I'm serving, with all my heart, might, mind, and strength today, because I know that this church is true. I know that my Savior loves me. I know that He has the power to change lives. I know that there is power in prayer. I know that our families can be together forever. I know that there is life after this one. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Through studying it, pondering it and praying about it, I have gained even more of a certainty of Christ's love for me and for each one of His children. I know that this church is true and that through the prophet Joseph Smith, it has been restored in its fulness. I know there is happiness in Christ. I am certain of it. I've never felt more certain of anything in my life.
I can't wait for Jackson Scott Card to get out and be a missionary NEXT WEEK. There are going to be countless miracles taking place in his life, the lives of those he is serving, the lives of our family and many others. I know that he is going to be such an incredible missionary and I truly cannot wait to hear all about it. Keep him in your prayers (:
Jackson, remember: This work is a work of love. And there is nothing that you're going to love more than this work (:
I love you all. Have a fabulous week (:

Sister Card

Divisions in Alegrete! (:

Elder and Sister Suarez (: I LOVE them!

Noite Familiar (:

Sister Vedia (: Such a doll!

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