I will try to be more prayerful as I think about how I should include you all as much as I can in this mission and the effect that it is having on my life. It is truly changing me, and I want to share that with you all.... I just don't know how. I don't know how to express the transforming power of the Atonement in my life that I experience in greater measure each day.
Lately, I have been reflecting upon repentance. As missionaries, we ask people to repent. We teach them of Jesus Christ and the way by which we can truly tap into the power of His sacrifice for us. That way is through sincere, consistent repentance--not just saying "sorry" when we mess up one time, but having an overwhelming desire to change forever. It's selecting ways in your life where you can continue to improve and progress. It's not becoming complacent when we think we are doing well. It is being painfully aware of our need for the Atonement and pleading with the Lord: "Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day?" (Alma 22:15). I know that our Savior is waiting, standing there for us to turn to Him.
I remember as a little kid, Mom trying to teach me Sign-Language. One of the only things that stuck with me was that the words "change" and "repent" are signed the same exact way, with the letter R replacing a fist. To repent, simply, means to change. Just because it's simple, though, doesn't mean it's easy. It was never meant to be easy. To quote Elder Holland, "Salvation is not a cheap experience." Jesus Christ came to make it possible. That through His grace we might be able to change. Change doesn't come without growth, and growth doesn't come with out some degree of pain or discomfort. The miracle of the Atonement is that we can do it! All we need to do is turn to Him and enlist His divine help. He will know the path we should take. He will know where our next step will be. He will even carry us when we feel that all of our strength is gone.
I hope to grow. I want to change. I don't want to be the same old me, but a transformed, renewed me. I know that I can do it only in and through our Savior, and I am excited for the journey! :)
God bless you all!